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What does your standard training week involve?
My week consists of 6-7 days swimming, 5-7 days riding, 4-6 days running, a couple of strength sessions, and lots of time in my NormaTecs (recovery system).
Where is your favourite place to train?
There are lots of places I like to train, but home is probably my favourite. There’s nothing like coming home after a long, brutal training session, collapsing onto your own couch, and hanging out with family.
What is your favourite 2XU garment? When do you use it and why?
My 2XU race kit. It’s SO comfortable AND pretty and gives me the ultimate advantage on the course.
What is your favourite training accessory?
My bright pink Rudy Project helmet. Not only is it pretty in a totally obnoxious way, but it really jumps out, so drivers can see coming – safety first!
What has been the toughest experience in your career and what did you learn from it?
My ACL and meniscus tear and repair in 2006 that left me sidelined for the season (surgery was in February; started jogging in August). I learned to be patient and tough; to take one day at a time and just keep pushing. That’s all that I could do, and that’s all that I can control.
What’s the most common training mistake you see on the circuit? Any suggestions on how to avoid it?
The “more/harder is better” mentality; always trying to cram in more training and trying to make every session a “smashfest”, often at the cost of sleep and recovery, with the price being burnout and/or injury. One way to avoid this is by working with a good coach, who, most importantly, you feel comfortable communicating with. Someone can design a beautiful plan, and prescribe the perfect training sessions, but if you’re not able to tell him/her when you’re feeling wiped out or start to notice the nagging little bud of an injury, then he/she is no better, for you, than the magazine article with the generic “10 Weeks to IM” plan. If a good coach is out of your budget, mapping out a plan before the season starts, including the volume and intensity progression, recovery weeks and taper etc. Sticking to it is also critical and makes a huge difference once you get into the season.
What motivates you to train and race harder?
The ability to inspire others to push themselves; the fear of not pushing myself as far as I can; the elation I feel after a great race; the frustration I feel after a poor race.
Describe your diet/meal plan leading up to a big race:
For most of the week, it’s pretty typical – lots of vegetables, fruit, lean meats – and, then, a couple days before IM, I’ll start a bit of a carbohydrate load, keeping the fiber, fat, and protein low.
How do you balance your training and racing life with life outside the sport?
With lots of help! My husband, my sister, my mom, my friends, they all understand what I do. They help keep me organized (especially my sister, Mikaela!), keep me level headed when I start to get tunnel vision, and understand when I need to have tunnel vision.
What type of nutritional supplement do you find most helpful (either for training or competition)?
Ironman Perform sports drink – provides a sodium, carbohydrate, and fluid balance that work well for me! For recovery, I really like Zone Fish Oil. It has done an amazing job lowering the overall inflammation in my body, and we have the data to prove it.
Best and worst thing about being a professional athlete:
Being able to exercise for a living; having to say, “I’ll be a little late. I have some training to get in…”
In five years time, I'll be:
Other 2012 results: