Q. How did you get in to Triathlon?
A. I was actually a gymnast first of all from the age of 7 until I was 14. However by the age of 14 I had got as far as I was going to with my gymnastics career and decided the time had come to move on to a new challenge. My next-door neighbour at the time did age group triathlons and suggested I should give one a go. I was a little bit apprehensive as I had never swam, biked or ran before, but I joined my local Triathlon club (Leeds and Bradford tri club) and learnt to swim enough to complete my first children's triathlon in Harrogate and really enjoyed it.
Q. What is your favourite discipline?
A. Running is my favourite discipline, I think it's the one that comes most naturally to me, and I love just putting my running kit on and heading out in to the fresh air.
Q. What has been your career highlight so far?
A. My career highlight so far is probably my 5th place at Banyoles world cup last year, the field was really strong and I finished behind 4 women who were ranked top 10 in the world at the time.
Q. And greatest challenge?
A. My greatest challenge would have to be learning to swim at the age of 14, I couldn't swim a length of front crawl so I have had to work really hard to get to the standard that I am currently at.
Q. What does your weekly training schedule consist of?
A. I generally train between 30-35 hours of swim, cycle, run and gym work. I will usually do a swim, bike and run on each day, plus 3 gym sessions a week.
Q. Talk us through a normal day?
A. My typical day starts with a 4.5km swim session of either long aerobic reps or shorter faster efforts. I then refuel and head out for an easy run up to 60 mins mid morning. After this is a bit of rest and lunch followed by a long ride of between 3.5-4 hours. The last session of the day is a 45 minute gym session which consists of weights and a circuit.
Q. Do you follow a strict nutrition regime?
A. Well to be honest my diet is quite restricted anyway as I am gluten intolerant so I can't eat bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits etc and I get migraines if I eat chocolate (bad luck I know!) So I have to be careful and plan ahead if I am going away to race. Apart from that I eat a normal diet, I eat a lot of food, I try to make sure I eat a well balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates and lots of fruit and veg. I do however let myself eat what I want to, if I fancy a treat then I have it, I think if you train hard enough and eat sensibly then you will be fine.
Q. What's your recovery routine like?
A. After I have done a hard session such as track I refuel straight away with a Forgoodness Shake recovery milkshake. I usually have this within 5 minutes of finishing my cool down. Once I get home, I cook a good meal such as chicken with rice and vegetables, and put my feet up for a bit and watch TV. I will always make sure I do some stretching to give my muscles the best chance possible to recover for the next session.
Q. Have you had any injury struggles?
A. Yes unfortunately I seem to be quite injury prone and since December I have had 2 injuries that have stopped me running for around 5 weeks each. The first was a problem with my hip, and most recently with my Achilles tendon which I am just starting to get back from now.
Q. Do you have any pre-race rituals?
A. I always eat the same breakfast before a race, which is porridge with banana. If I’m racing abroad, I always make sure I take two porridge pots with me, as it's so quick and easy to make (you just add boiling water) and no matter where you are in the world you can make it no problem. In addition the night before the race I make sure know everything about the course/ the timings for race day etc so that I am not stressing or panicking on race day and can get a relaxed nights sleep.
Q. Who is your greatest triathlon inspiration?
A. I wouldn't say I have any particular triathlon heroes however I really admire the Brownlees, I have trained with them since I started training with one of my coaches Jack Maitland at the aged 16 and I have seen how hard they have worked over the years. They are phenomenal athletes and watching them train has given me added motivation to train hard and achieve me best.
Q. How do you reward yourself after a race or tough training session?
A. Well my favourite food is ice cream so after a race I always go find an ice cream shop and treat myself to a few scoops of my favourite flavours.
Q. What are your goals for the upcoming year and beyond?
A. This year is my final year as an under 23 athlete so my main goals are to race well at the Europeans and world champs, if I won a medal that would be amazing. As for the future I hope to carry on progressing as a senior elite athlete and racing well on the world series circuit.
Lois Rosindale co led a session with Virgin Active triathlon experts at the Barbican Virgin Active. The exclusive session ahead of Virgin Active London Triathlon was supported by Sketchers who kitted all participants out with Sketchers GOruns.