Age group: 30-34
Gold at Europeans 2011, 2:20:47
2nd overall female at Shropshire 2011, 2:11:53
3rd overall female at Vitruvian 2010, 4:41:00
1,500m swim 21:47mins
40km bike 66mins
10km run 39:30mins
Hannah’s training is mainly squeezed in before and after work with longer sets done at the weekend. In her own words she’s a “scientific person”, so likes to plan training to be progressive and logical. She’s self-coached, training alone some of the time and with fellow Mansfield Tri Club members at swim sets and for other key sessions.
She takes about one week in four relatively easy, and is keen to point out that she doesn’t hesitate to take days off if she is tired or very busy with work. She values recovery over and above racking up mega hours of training, but if she decides to do a session is stubborn and determined when it comes to completing it properly.
She’s a bit frustrated about her biking abilities (her weakest discipline) but is improving all the time and working on it is her priority.
When talking to Hannah, what comes across is her excellent (and rarely seen) attitude to rest and recovery alongside training. She knows her body very well, and intuitively understands that taking time off work if she has been busy or is tired is often far more productive than ploughing on regardless and risking overdoing it.
This takes a lot of self-confidence, which Hannah seems to have in abundance. On the other side of the coin, when she does train she commits 100% to her sessions, which enables her to get the biggest gains from the mileage she fits in.
This quality over quantity attitude is crucial for anyone with limited time for training, when carrying ‘junk mileage’ is just not a viable option.
With a challenging business to run, Hannah has to be very good at blocking out training time and making the most of it when she has the chance.
She also likes to get her training on a Sunday morning ticked off very early to give her a chance to get in the garden and do other non-triathlon activities that keep her lifestyle in perfect balance.
She also finds it relatively easy to switch off from training when she wants to. “I never take my running shoes on holiday!” she says, which is something she is very definite about.
Hannah seems to have found an excellent balance between work, home life and training. Each has its place and is important without one dominating all of the others. Finding other champion age-group triathletes who don’t take their running shoes on holiday would be quite a challenge, I reckon!
This relaxed attitude is probably what allows Hannah to get more out of her focused training time than many people who become overly obsessed with hours per week rather than the quality of what gets done in those hours.
“I’m a mad keen cook!” is how Hannah describes her relationship with food. She even takes her pre-race meal (fillet steak and pasta) with her wherever she goes to compete, even if that means cooking it on a camping stove in a field!
She grows her own veg at home, eats a good, high protein and vegetable-based diet and only uses sports nutrition products when doing races or very long/hard training sessions.
As food is so important to Hannah, she takes great care over both her day-to- day and training diets. This gives her a huge advantage over many of her competitors who don’t have the time, skills or inclination to get this crucial piece of the performance jigsaw in place.
The fact that she relies on fuelling with good, fresh produce most of the time and only supports that with manufactured sports nutrition products is to her credit and no doubt contributes to her success.
Hannah is now riding a pretty stealth-looking Planet X Exocet Carbon TT bike that she has only had this year, and only got one “because my husband was getting one so I thought that I would, too!”
It’s smartly equipped with Shimano Dura Ace and Planet X’s own deep-section carbon wheels but was a big step-up from her previous road bike. She swims in a mid-range Speedo wetsuit and uses a Polar heart rate monitor and foot pod to track some of her run sets.
HANNAH’S TRAINING PLAN
During the race season, Hannah follows this training programme…
Swim followed by a light run
Bike then a run with her club on the track
Bike followed by a swim with tri club
Bike followed by a long run
Run followed by a swim
Bike or brick set
Weekly training time: 9-13hrs