Julie is a pro British triathlete living and training in Boulder, CO. Julie is the 2009 world champion in both Xterra and 70.3. She is one of a few triathletes who is able to compete competitively in a wide range of triathlon disciplines. Julie is one of the strongest swim / bikers in the sport and her run continues to improve.
Q & A
Congratulations on your recent win at the Abu Dhabi Triathlon. In a recent interview, before the race, you stated that this race would let you know whether you enjoyed longer distances and how you compare to the other Ironman girls you have not raced before. Now that you have won the race what have you decided? How do you feel?
Did i say that? ...I don't remember it! Just kidding. My plan was always to use Abu Dhabi as a test to see how I do over the longer distance. I will now race Kona as I really did enjoy the day in Abu Dhabi. I will still go into the full ironman distance with a fair amount of apprehension about the run. But there is a fair amount of time between now and October for me to continue to work on some of my concerns. So I am excited about it. Much like this race was, it is a new challenge, and I am excited to see if I can rise to it.
Describe the race course. What part was most challenging?
It’s funny, because on paper it looked like a pretty undemanding course; flat untechnical bike course, flat run course, calm waters for the swim. But I always say that the race is always as hard as you make it. And i would say a lot of people found it a hard day out there....me included. You are probably always going to get that when you have a lot at stake, like the prize purse on offer. Plus sometimes the flat courses are the hardest because there is not backing off. The heat too was pretty tough, especially on the run.
Did you have time to explore Abu Dhabi? What did you do?
You know I didn't get a chance to do much other than prepare for the race. I would have loved to stay a few days afterwards but my husband Mike had to get back to work. Someone has to pay the bills right :). We did try to get into Emirates Palace, but Mike was showing too much leg, so we weren't allowed in!
How will you prepare for Kona?
Swim, bike and run a lot! Between now and august I am going to race a fair amount. I love to race, and so I will mix up racing some Olympic distance races, with some 70.3's. After the boulder 70.3 at the beginning of August I will then focus on Kona. With this being my first attempt at Kona I don't think I am ready to give everything up for just the one race yet! I also plan on also going back to Maui for the Xterra world champs, and possibly the 70.3 world champs in Clearwater as well.
Are you following a certain nutrition plan? Are there any foods that you have had to give up?
I go in phases a little. I think as I get closer to some of my bigger races I get a little stricter with things, but for the most part I eat what I want. I do have a bit of a weakness for cookies!
How and why did you get into Triathlons?
I had been a competitive swimmer growing up, and swam in college at LSU. By the time I got around to graduating I knew I had gone as far as I wanted with swimming, and was looking for something new to transition into. More for general fitness and well being than anything. SO triathlon seemed to be the perfect fit.
Who are your influences/heroes and why?
Chrissie Wellington. I want to beat her :)....oh and Greg Welch.
Do you participate in any other sports?
I think triathlon keeps me busy enough. I have done the odd cycling time trial though, and if you call Scrabble a sport then I could say that.
Where is your favorite place to train? What discipline do you enjoy the most?
Boulder. That’s why we moved here. My favorite discipline is cycling, especially being here in Boulder. The cycling is awesome. I love riding up in the mountains.
What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome?
I dislocated my toe. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it took three surgeries, and 18 months to be able to run pain free again. I had serious doubts as to whether I would ever be able to compete again, and seriously considered making a switch to cycling.
What is one piece of advice on improving in your sport?
From a female perspective they need to find a way to ensure that the women have a fair race. Too many times you hear stories of how an age group or pro men have an influence on the outcome of the race.
What is the best advice you've heard?
Don’t take life too seriously. In the grand scheme of things what we do as professional triathletes is pretty minimal, yet I am so fortunate to be able to do it. I love what I do, and if I didn't I wouldn't do it any more. Life is for living, so go out there and enjoy it no matter how
What are you working on?
Improving my interviewing skills.
What are your strengths?
Eating cookies, and RockBand