Lucy Gossage talks to us about how her 2014 season has gone to date, and her preparations ahead of Kona.
1.With 4 x 1st place finishes, one of those being 1st overall and a second place, we would say you’re in great shape and 2014 is proving to be a great year. Tell us a little about how you’re developing into a ‘full time’ Pro, with no work commitments in 2014:
A: To be honest for 95% of the time it’s felt like one big long summer holiday! I can’t say I’ve missed my phd – it’s amazing how time fills up when you’re not working. I do miss the sense of satisfaction you get from a productive day at work (though those days were far rarer during my PhD life than they were as an oncologist!), but most days I wake up feeling extremely lucky to be pretty much ‘living the dream’ as the cliché goes. I think as Kona gets closer and I get more tired there are more sessions which feel like hard work. However I think that is part and parcel of knowing you’ve done everything you can do to give yourself the best opportunity when you’re out there.
2. What are the main differences between 2013 and 2014? Do you have more sofa time now?
A: Last year was crazy! I really had to pull my finger out at work to make sure I got my PhD finished and life was literally made up of training, working and sleeping (not as much as I’d like!). I decided to base most of my racing in the UK as the travel was feeling like a chore rather than a pleasure with the stressful busy work weeks before and after each trip. This year I’m doing a bit more training but not massively more. The main difference is sleeping more, watching more trashy TV, and hopefully getting a bit more from each session. And I’m making the most of the opportunity to enjoy training abroad!
3. With Kona weeks away, how is your preparation leading up to your first time in Kona as a Pro?
A: Touch wood it’s all going well. I had a bit of a break after Lanzarote Ironman doing some fun low key races which I think has meant I’ve had the mental energy to stay focused when it really matters (i.e. the last month or so). I think I’ve more or less got myself to the stage where the big sessions are all done and ‘less is more’ rather than the other way round. I think the challenge will be not doing too much between now and then and adding to what I have rather than taking away!
4. Are there any training tips you can advise the age groupers on, in leading up to the last 2-3 weeks until the big day?
A: Don’t get carried away doing too much! And if you get a niggle or cold remember the extra rest may just do you a bit of good!
5. The Big Island has many challenging elements, from the IRONMAN 140.6 miles to cover, to the weather conditions. You’re a tough little racer, which elements of the race are you most looking forward to? How do you prepare for facing the challenging weather conditions?
A: I know it’s going to be a tough day physically whatever happens. I just hope I can get myself in the mental state I was before Lanza where I focused on myself rather than anyone else. Coping with the heat is critical so I’ve come out to Lanzarote to try to get semi-acclimatised before I head out there.
6. On race day, nutrition will play a vital role in coping with the weather conditions and the race itself. Do you have any nutrition tips and advice for those who haven’t trained or raced in extreme conditions before?
A: Drink more than you think you need to-using electrolytes rather than plain water.
7. Nutrition pre, during and after training and competitions is vital to maximise performance and recovery. How does Nordic Oil help you as a professional athlete?
A: There are masses of benefits from omega 3 fatty acids to endurance athletes. While some of them are very hard to measure objectively I was convinced enough of the medical evidence behind the claims to start using Nordic oil – I’m usually pretty skeptical of supplements but figured I’d be a fool not to give myself the opportunity to use the one which really does have good medical evidence behind it.
8. Well known as the “Duracell Bunny” you will obviously need some chill and down time. How you spend her down time?
A: I’d love to say I read highbrow novels but honestly, I’m usually too tired. So end up watching boxsets instead!