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Trek sponsored triathlete Julie Dibens started out as a swimmer and then decided to bring two other events into the mix. The result was that she won Ironman 70.3 World Championship as well as the XTERRA Triathlon World Championship three times. “I am able to challenge myself daily in training when I try to push to new levels,” Julie tells SHAPE Middle East. “I find it empowering.” Need some tips from the top for the triathlon season? Read on…
MY TRAINING SCHEDULE It’s really varied and depends on the time of year and what the focus is. I normally like to swim four to six times a week, ride four to seven times a week, and run four to eight times a week. Hours may vary from 15 in the off season up to 40 hours in my ironman prep phases.
MY WARM UP EXERCISE For me warm up means warming up at a slow pace and then getting into the session. It’s not structured and I just go on feel. For most workouts it’s pretty short – five to 10 minutes, and for key workouts that are done at a harder pace the warm up maybe extended out to 20 to 30 minutes.
MY DIET I don’t follow a special diet. I did in my early years of racing, but now I just try to follow a balanced healthy diet. My big weakness is cookies. If I could I would have them for breakfast lunch and dinner...and snacks in between.
MY TRAINING GROUND I think Boulder [Colorado] is a great altitude to live and train at. We sit at between 1,500m and 1,600m which isn’t super high, but it is high enough that you can feel the benefit when you go back to sea level. It is also not far for us to access higher altitudes for training if we need to. It’s fairly popular to do some long runs up to 2,400m or 2,000m, and when we ride up in the mountains a lot our riding is done up at this height too.
MY KIT BAG ESSENTIALS Goggles and ear plugs. I had a lot of problems with my ears as a kid, and have had to swim with ear plugs since I was 10. If I swim without them now I get really dizzy, which isn’t a good thing.
LESSON I’VE LEARNT Staying healthy is the first goal. Without that it doesn’t matter how fit you are.
IF YOU’RE STARTING OUT… Set yourself regular goals and achieve them. Make them realistic and small at first, and then gradually try and push the boundaries. It’s amazing how your motivation increases once you start to get on a bit of a roll, and start believing. So if you set yourself the goal initially of working out three times a week....once you do that you realise, ‘Hey I can do this... then maybe it’s four times a week....“