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Profession – 2 Time World Triathlon Champion, Coach, emmacarney.com Owner
World Triathlon Hall of Fame and Triathlon Australia Hall of Fame inductee, Emma Carney raced her first triathlon in 1993, competed in her first International Triathlon at the World Championships in 1994 and won that race by the largest margin in the history of the sport. During 1995, 1996 and 1997 Emma won all but three races and took Triathlons to a new level of speed, power and athleticism.
Emma became a two time World Champion, three time World Number one & nine time Australian Triathlon Champion.
Prior to being a triathlete, Emma had a background in athletics and was one of Australia’s leading young distance Athletes.
As a talented junior distance runner, Emma won national school titles on the track (1500m and 3000m). As a senior athlete, Emma represented Australia in two World Cross Country Championships and two Australian Road Relay Teams and in 1993 ran the 7th fastest time by an Australian over 3km.
Emma throughout her career was renowned to posses a lethal bike and run combination which enabled her to destroy her competition. Much of this athletic prowess was thought to be due to her abnormally low resting heart rate (recorded to be below 30 at the AIS during altitude testing and training effects studies) combined with her extremely high lactate tolerance threshold. It was thought perhaps Emma was able to race at her maximum heart rate, with little to no lactate build up allowing her to maintain speed, whilst opponents struggled in the back end of races.
Emma was forced to retire, in 2004, when she was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. Emma had raced with a heart condition for a number of years & still remained competitive internationally. Emma was initially told by doctors she ‘would never exercise again’, as she was to be the recipient of an ICD (defibrillator).
Since this time Emma has worked with her Cardiologist and has returned to a level of fitness that allows her to continue an active lifestyle. In recent years, Emma has competed and won her age group at the Noosa Triathlon and takes part in number of events around Australia. Emma has a goal of competing in an Ironman Triathlon in 2016-2017.
Emma spends her time between training coaching and teaching others the skills involved in becoming more successful at whatever they turn their mind to.
Emma’s goal now is to successfully promote healthy lifestyles through work with her sponsors and emmacarney.com.
List of 2XU gear you use/prefer (3 fav products)
What does your standard training week involve?
When competing I trained very hard, and fairly intensely. Now given my heart condition I train regularly, but never push myself to a hear rate above zone 4.
Favourite training venue/environment:
Swimming – the ocean at Noosa
Bike –the hills around Eltham where I grew up
Running - trails away from crowds
Favourite 2XU garment, when you use it and why:
I love the 2Xu wetsuits – because they make me go faster! Anything from the elite triathlon range I enjoy wearing, I simply feel fast by putting it on. The training gear is also very comfortable, it fits well and looks great.
Favourite training accessory (ie. heart rate monitor, power meter, pool buoy):
I never train without my Garmin device monitoring my heart. Power meters are great for the bike too.
Toughest experience in your career & what you learned from it:
Cardiac arrest in 2004. I am very fortunate I can still keep active.
What’s the most common training mistake you see on the circuit? Any suggestions on how to avoid it?
I believe there is a lack of quality training. Speak to me about avoiding it!
What motivates you to train and race harder?
I have a fear of being ordinary.
Describe your diet/meal plan leading up to a big race:
my diet was always varied, and I never had a set meal plan leading into the race because travel made it so difficult to fit in with rigid plans. I didn’t like carb loading, as I felt it left me feeling ‘heavy’, so I stuck with normal portions whilst also focusing on hydration.
How do you balance your training and racing life with life outside the sport?
When I was racing I was completely focused on racing and training. I kept the domestic season, when I was back in Australia, to work with sponsors and the local media.
What type of nutritional supplement do you find most helpful (either for training or competition)?
I didn’t use a nutritional supplement when I was racing, however if I was still racing I would look into it.
Best and worst thing about being a professional athlete:
Best thing – I was able to swim, bike and run as a living.
Worst thing – I really can’t think of anything.
In five years time, I'll be:
Wearing 2XU garments that allow me to go faster even though I am slower & www.emmacarney.com will be the largest online training tool in Australia.