You are a triathlete. What is a triathlete?
A triathlete is someone who competes in three disciplines. For example, a 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run – consecutively.
That sounds like hard work. Why do you do it?
I love it! And it gives me a sense of achievement. If there is a deeper meaning behind my commitment to triathlons, I haven’t found it yet.
What is the hardest part of a triathlon?
Finding the time to fit in all the training between work and family commitments.
Which of the three disciplines is the most challenging for you?
The cycling. Because I’m relatively new to cycling I’m still building my base and cycling strength.
How do you prepare for a triathlon?
In winter, I select my races for the forthcoming season. Then I create a training plan. My plan consists of three sessions of cycling, swimming and running per week, plus yoga, and strength and conditioning.
Do you have a special diet?
Not really. I just eat healthy, wholesome foods. During training, I drink energy drinks. I also prepare my meals for the week ahead on the weekends.
What do you think about when you compete?
I don’t think of anything in particular. When the race starts, I soak up my surroundings and enjoy the atmosphere.
How long have you been a triathlete?
About five years. But I still regard myself as a beginner. There is still a lot to learn.
What’s the best part about competing in a triathlon?
The sense of achievement when you cross the finishing line, plus the medal, of course!
How do you manage the training with work and family commitments?
Early mornings and careful planning. It’s amazing what you can achieve if you plan correctly.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in becoming a triathlete?
Join a triathlon club. There you will get advice and support from like-minded people. In Britain, you can get advice from gotri.org
What started your interest in triathlons?
I became interested by accident. For a friend’s fiftieth birthday we decided to do a triathlon. We trained together and had a great time. The race was a lot of fun, but also a challenge to overcome obstacles. Even though I finished last, I was hooked.
What is your greatest achievement as a triathlete?
Competing in Ironman 70.3, Weymouth – 1.2 mile sea swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run.
Why was that such a great achievement?
It was my first middle-distance triathlon. At the start, I thought it was impossible. But I discovered that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible.
Which is your favourite discipline?
Swimming because six years ago I couldn’t swim. Also, I had a panic attack the first time I went open water swimming. But I’ve overcome all that and from a major challenge swimming has become my most enjoyable discipline.
A final word for our readers…
I complete locally, nationally and internationally and all have a great atmosphere. Triathlons teach you that if you put your mind to something and work hard towards it, you can turn the impossible into the possible.
Daniela Jones is a mother, an accountant and a triathlete. She is also the founder of Goylake Publishing, the publisher of Mom’s Favorite Reads.