1. STAY MENTALLY FRESH
I do one mountain bike ride a week on a Sunday afternoon, which is my ‘forget about numbers and heart rate’ and just ride for the pure joy of escaping into the mountains. Having sessions like this really helps keep you mentally fresh. And, of course, staying on top of the important and seemingly endless details such as recovery, nutrition, massage, etc. A lot of my success is due to me mentally buying into the process and enjoying building fitness and taking on challenges.
2. MAINTAIN FOCUS
Looking back now, I’ve no idea how I managed to stay focused for a whole season. The main goals at the start of the year were the Olympics and the ITU World Triathlon Series so, once those two were over, a lot of pressure and expectation were removed. It actually made preparing for the Xterra and ITU Cross World Champs seem fairly relaxed. I have a great team of people behind me helping with any meltdowns (yes, they happen, even during a near-perfect season!).
3. BE CONSISTENT
My main goal for 2016 was to be consistent in both training and racing all year long. Being able to perform well was in large part thanks to my coach, Neal Henderson, and my support team for carefully managing my training load. Pushing me all year but never quite putting me over the edge: it’s a fine balance.
4. BOUNCE BACK
I left Rio disappointed and frustrated that I didn’t produce the race I was capable of [Flora finished eighth]. But instead of dwelling on that, I realised I still had this amazing opportunity to win three world titles in one year. The ITU WTS title was a big goal and motivation so to stay focused leading into the final race in Cozumel was easy. After preparing for an Olympics, everything feels a lot more simple.
5. KEEP THINGS FUN
Winning in Cozumel was big for me, like a monumental life goal was achieved, so getting back into training after that was hard. I kept asking myself ‘What am I doing?’, especially during the 6km swim sets! Thankfully, riding my mountain bike keeps things fun and interesting.