Athlete Profile: NatSep 14, 2021
Hello and welcome to another athlete profile.
This lady is an ex-roller derby athlete and has been part of the Mojo Academy for exactly 1 year now. Her progress has been incredible, learning more and more about the sport, and her body, through hard work and dedication.
She is also a very vibrant and supportive member of our community here at Mojo.
Let me introduce Nat:
How long have you been training/competing in triathlon?
I started competing in triathlon in 2021, however I started training in 2019 so it seems like a really long journey for me so far. I used to play roller derby which I gave up at the end of 2018 with the aim of becoming a triathlete.
However just at the end of my skating career I sustained a stress fracture in my tibia which took a full 18 months to recover from.
In 2019 I took part in Croyde Triathlon as a relay team having roped 2 friends into doing the bike and run legs for me. I hoped that the following year my leg would allow me to do the entire event but sadly it wasn’t meant to be.
My first event was a sprint distance triathlon in Gloucester earlier this year. I came almost last but was super pleased and grateful to have just been able to take part and cross the finish line. Since then, I’ve taken part in a couple of Olympic distance triathlons (most recent being last Saturday)
What inspired you to choose triathlon as a sport
I had a friend who was a triathlete who I swam with on and off. She kept nagging me to enter into an event but at the time I thought it was just for really really fit people, not people like me. In September 2018 my husband took part in Ironman Wales which was his first event ever. I was in awe of him mostly but also of the different people that took part, there were athletes of all shapes and sizes, ages and abilities.
I was also really impressed by how ‘cool’ the athletes looked on their bikes going at top speed in the aero position. It was at this moment I thought I could possibly do it and it was something my husband and I could do together. I was already a runner having taken part in several running events before my leg injury. I could ride a bike well enough to get around hilly Devon and could swim without drowning.
What was your goal this year for tri and do you feel you have achieved it?
After flaking quite badly in a 60 mile cycle earlier this year due to eating badly (a donut and a few jelly babies) I have focussed heavily on nutrition and feeding during events which remains a general goal but it's becoming more natural.
My overall aim with London Triathlon Olympic distance was to do it in under 3 hours which I achieved by about 3 minutes. Each goal depends on what the event is and how I think I could do, and to then improve it.
Lou (coach) has helped me think about how I approach each event within my ability and we are still learning about how I can achieve my potential as a triathlete.
What things have helped you in triathlon so far?
Having a coach (Lou) has been the single most helpful thing for me. Having a training plan set takes the stress out of planning and thinking about how I get to where I want to go. Also it makes me accountable for ‘turning up’.
With the Mojo Academy I like that there is a group where others motivate one another and share successes, failures and learning.
Having a husband who is also into the sport helps, we talk about bikes,
events, our heroes in the sport and really motivate one another. My best friend is also into triathlon having dragged her into it too, we motivate one another and this helps. I am also part of a triathlon club (Raptor Racing) outside of Mojo which mainly focusses on cycling. I miss being part of a team so being involved with a local club can help you feel you are part of a team.
Physically things that have helped me have been having a decent bike, time to train (although you can fit most training programs in a standard week) and learning to be an early birdy (that means getting up before 7am for me!).
Do you have any advice or recommendations for ladies starting out in tri now?
Don’t procrastinate and just get on and do it. It is the perfect way to get fit and to challenge yourself. There is a distance for everyone, so although I was initially in awe of the Ironman full distance triathletes, I found out you don’t have to do 140.6 miles to be a triathlete, there are events as short as just a couple of miles.
You get compared to athletes in your age group so the playing field is fair. I used to thrive on the adrenaline of roller derby which I still get at the start line of a triathlon. I didn’t need to worry about not being part of a team anymore as I can honestly say being part of a growing female triathlon community is really inspiring and makes me proud to finally be able to say I’m a triathlete!
Huge thanks to Nat for taking the time to discuss her Tri journey so far.
If you would like more info on the Mojo Academy and triathlon coaching you will find it here
Have a wonderful week and train safe,