Non Stanford on Rio, training, and maintaining motivation…

GB triathlon star Non Stanford talks Olympics, travelling and why the swim offers her the greatest improvement opportunities...

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Rio

I have dreamt of taking part in the Olympics since I was nine years old. It’s been something that has been part of my life ever since and it’s taken me 18 years to make the start line of an Olympic Games so of course I am very excited and looking forward to being part of Team GB and part of the Olympic Games

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Training for Rio

We will do what we have always done in training because it works. I went out last year and podiumed [Non earned silver at the test event] so we know that what we have done in the past will work. There’s no point in doing anything new and radical in Olympic year because you run the risk of something going wrong – it’s definitely a tried and tested plan that will be used going forward.

On travelling and racing

In terms of Rio we will be in Brazil two weeks before the Games so that will give us plenty of time to adjust to the time difference. Generally when we are travelling we don’t always have quite as much time so I will try and adjust as soon as i get on a plane; sleeping and eating in line with the new time zones and trying to trick tyourself into the change. We have to account for this in training we have a lot of easy days around travelling.

Traveling never gets an easier, and every journey takes its toll. i think you only have so many big trips in you for one season and you have to use them wisely. Travelling is always very stressful on the body and I guess that is the not so glamorous side of what we do.

Favourite endurance run session

Every Saturday we go to a park and do a cross country-style session, which I think is great for endurance as you can run on different surfaces that are perhaps a bit muddy and hilly. The toughest session is probably 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 2 in terms of minutes with 90 seconds of recovery. I think it definitely makes you stronger. It’s general all round conditioning really.

Tip-wise if you can improve your running economy and efficiency you will improve your baseline – you will always revert to your baseline when you are tired so the better that is the easier the running is going to be .

The three disciplines

As a runner in my teenage years, running is my favourite phase and it is the easiest to do, as you just put on a pair of trainers and go out, but I absolutely love cycling. Cycling is a great way of exploring a new area. My swim is probably my weakest and the one I have been focussing on this winter.

Maintaining motivation on her weakest phase

The flip-side of that is the weakest phase has the most potential for improvement so for me its where I have made the most gains. because there was space for the gains to be made. With my running there was only so much improvement that can be gained.

Your weakest phase is the one you are going to get the most rewards from, and the most satisfaction that you are making strides forward. You should use that for motivation

Gym training

We do three one hour gym sessions a week and we also have an hour of run-fit drills. It’s a lot of general conditioning, but obviously lower limb conditioning is very important, it is important that we are functionally very strong. We do a lot of miles and the lower limb takes a lot of the impact so we a lot of exercises to keep them strong and working well.

Going long

For me going long doesn’t hold much appeal. For me I enjoy the faster, higher-paced drafting element of ITU and I don’t foresee myself going longer. If anything I might take up Xterra when I retire from ITU… Watch this space…

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Non was speaking  to us as part of a Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds promotional event. More info on the race, held from 11-12 June in Leeds, is athttp://leeds.triathlon.org/