Over the winter I focused on aerobic work, and improving my running mechanics, to help me run faster. Tempo running was also part of my weekly training plan. In my pre- season phase I wanted to ensure that I would get to the first World Triathlon event at Abu Dhabi in good shape – after this it’s about performing consistently and focusing on qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
We all have doubts about our ability. Sometimes it’s difficult when know you are going to be standing on a start-line and you’re not race sharp. No athlete wants to be doing this thinking they’re relying on luck to do well, so I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be for the first race of the season. This is when experience is key. Part of training well is to be careful when it comes to recovery, nutrition and sleeping. Luckily, now we can all track our sleep data as well as our heart rate, giving us more control.
For the most effective run, I like to train to the right heart-rate zone, rather than to pace. If you’re running off-road you can’t really track your pace, so you focus on training to time, for example for 45 minutes, rather than for six miles.
My favourite route is off-road. I love to vary the terrain I run on. I am able to do my weekly training runs on a towpath along a canal or over fields by where I live. For me, distance is less relevant than the effort I put into my sessions.
The key to success is definitely to train consistently, as well as plan your training thoroughly. This has been the key to my progression as an athlete. I like my training plans to be really clear. Once you’ve got your goal, you can work backwards, and plan your training to reach that goal.
I’m happiest when I can see small, incremental improvements, week by week. These really help your mental approach to your goal, as you can see that you are constantly moving forward.
Vicky is the first female triathlete to win an Olympic medal for Great Britain. At school she was a nationally ranked swimmer before moving to athletics and taking up the 1,500 metres. She didn’t begin competing in triathlon until her second year at Loughborough University, when she was approached by British Triathlon. Vicky is an ambassador for Polar UK.