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A Q&A with double Commonwealth Gold medalist, Jodie Stimpson

Gail Edmans

Jodie Stimpson 300x225 A Q&A with double Commonwealth Gold medalist, Jodie StimpsonJodie Stimpson is one of the UK’s leading female triathletes. At only 25 years old, she recently won two Gold Medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – one in the women’s triathlon and then in the team event alongside the Brownlee brothers and team mate Vicky Holland. Last year she finished runner up in the ITU World Triathlon Series.

Years of hard work, passion and dedication, coupled with an enormous amount of raw talent have helped to get her to the top of her game in an incredibly tough field, competing professionally in one of the UK’s biggest growing participation sports – triathlon.

I first met Jodie on a week-long training camp run by triathlon coach Steve Lumley in Majorca, back in 2007 when I was training for my first Ironman distance triathlon. As a total novice, I hadn’t ever done a triathlon of any distance at this point and to say I was way, way out of my depth doesn’t even begin to describe it.

But Jodie, along with the others, made a total novice feel incredibly welcome, willing to share their triathlon experience and knowledge as they were all so passionate about it and I ended up having a fantastic week, with a slightly better idea of what the sport was about. I was at the other end of the scale when it came to ability but Jodie and the others just wanted to share their enthusiasm, so it didn’t matter.

When I asked Jodie how she got into triathlon I remember her saying, with incredible passion and honesty that she’d entered her first triathlon when she was about eight years old because her uncle had got her into it and then she just said with a big smile ‘I just love it!’ Jodie has enthusiasm in abundance and I am sure it’s that which gets her through all the months of hard training, dedication and sacrifices so we can just enjoy seeing her race and smiling on the podium.

So here is my Q&A with Jodie, making a career out of doing something she loves and wants to share with others. For those just getting into the sport, I hope you experience such a welcome and interestingly, running still comes out top for Jodie.

Q&A

What was it like to win two Commonwealth Gold medals in Glasgow 2014 and would you say it’s your greatest achievement to date?

It was absolutely amazing in Glasgow and was for sure my greatest achievement to date, it was my first major championship and coming away with 2 golds with all my family and friends there was something I think I will treasure!

Which is your favourite discipline – the swim, bike or run?

Running without a doubt.

Do you have any pre race rituals?

Not really, I like to swim if the race start is late enough for me to do so and I always have honey on toast or a bagel.

How many hours a week do you train to keep you at the level you’re at and what’s does a typical training include?

I probably train around 30 hours a week and it’s a really difficult question to say what’s a typical week training is because every day is so different and Darren (my coach) is with me day in day out so if there was a hard run planned for example and I am not ready for it, he will change it there and then so the training is really tailored to each of his athletes.

What’s the biggest sacrifice you’ve had to make to get to where you are now?

Not being at home with my family and friends for 9-10 months of the year is really hard -missing birthdays, family gathering, celebrations etc. I am a really family girl so this is the toughest thing and something I struggle with it.

Do you follow a strict nutritional diet?

This is also something I struggle with and it’s an ongoing battle. I have to be pretty strict with myself.

What’s been the best ever setting for a race?

I love racing at home where I get the home support as it really is an amazing boost and that for me makes the setting the best for a race.

How do you relax?

At the minute I am watching a series called Bones in between training sessions and social media is always good to fill some downtime.

What advice would you give to anyone starting in the sport?

Beware; this sport comes with an addictive edge so when you start you won’t be able to stop :-) Go and get involved with your local tri clubs I haven’t met a bad bunch of triathletes yet!

Which sportsperson do you most admire and why?

I have 2 strong women I really look up to one is Lisa Norden who I am having the pleasure of training with again and the other is Chrissie Wellington. I look up to these 2 women for similar reasons because not only are they are both fantastic athletes and have destroyed the rest of the field in their races, which is amazing in itself but they are also both highly inspirational people and the way they carry themselves on and of the race circuit makes them the best athletes and truly amazing people.

What are your goals for 2015?

Hoping to qualify for 2016 Rio Olympics and continue developing as an athlete and building my skills.

Twitter; follow @Norsemouse

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