TriRadar speaks with elite triathlete and world sprint triathlon champion Alice Hector, the brand ambassador for Nutrition X.
What’s your training schedule like when preparing for a race?
We build for a few weeks with some really hard training, maxing for me around 25 hours a week, with lots of intensity. 2-3 weeks before a big race, I will start to wind down. As fatigue seems to affect me more than others, I need to make sure I take a lot of recovery time, or I will be very bad! I’ve got it wrong a few times now and gone into races with my best efforts left on a back road somewhere in France. Taking that time to repair and rebuild is vital.
What’s your usual diet like? Have you changed it since getting involved with Nutrition?
I used to be a sugar-monster and thought nothing in devouring packets of biscuits and sweeties. I was not an elite athlete for a few years so thought it didn’t matter, but health should always be important, no matter your athletic status. I have since been educated on the problems associated with a poor diet. I eat much better now but am always learning. Nutrition X have put me in touch with experts in the field who have given me simple advice that I can easily incorporate
Tell us a bit about Nutrition X? How do you incorporate it into your workout?
It’s confusing to know which nutrition companies to choose from, when there seems to be so many on the market.
But for me, Nutrition X were stand-out. Their products are science-based (without any jargon!), extremely palatable and most importantly, batch-tested, which means every product has been screened for contaminates; essentially a ‘drug free guarantee’. This is great to know, especially given the recent outpourings of drug cheats and corruption across many sports.
What’s your favourite discipline?
Running, without doubt. Unfortunately it can be the most frustrating due to the niggle-factor that comes with a high-impact sport.
Swimming is also becoming more enjoyable as it seems I just get better with every race during the season. Cycling needs to catch up soon, so we are working hard on this.
Do you have any plans to race Kona one year?
Yes. One year! The time and the finances have to be right.
What are your plans for the future?
Just keep building my race portfolio and my brand. I am desperate to win a branded 70.3 or Ironman (WTC have that hold on all of us I think!) and having reached the podium in both already, I believe this will happen soon. Win or otherwise, podium places are to be cherished and I can’t wait to get some more results.
I also believe the business-side of things is often neglected by pro triathletes and it needs a similar focus as the training, to build something sustainable and that supports you, even when the race results are hard to come by. I will continue to work hard at this, but it’s also really fun and I have a great team of people around me.
How do you think the UK will do at Rio?
In triathlon, I’m going to bet on 3 medals.
How well do you keep the balance between everyday life?
I was a pro before in 2006/07. I had no balance and it was all about triathlon. And that was my demise. Luckily, I got the chance to come back to triathlon in 2013, winning the Amateur World champs within 5 months of dusting off my bike, which had laid dormant for 6 years.
From there, I decided to go pro again, but this time, to do it my way! My days are now busy with training, copywriting work and maintaining my own sponsorship relationships. Before, in a federation, we didn’t have to do a lot other than train, and were gifted bikes and support.
I want to earn my bikes now! With the birth of social media, it is possible to create your own successful identity and give back to people who help you. It’s a lot more fun and as a result, I am carving myself a way to stay in professional triathlon, until age gets in my way!
What would you say are your top tips for the average person getting involved in Triathlon?
- Join a club. Experiences are far better when shared with friends, and you’ll learn a lot too.
- Triathlon has so many facets to it that it can easily become obsessive. It’s important to maintain friendships and relationships outside of the sport and not become one-dimensional and boring.
- There will be good days and bad. Try not to get too high when it goes well and too low when it doesn’t. The nature of sport is that it’s unpredictable, so go with the flow, and try and learn from every experience.
- Stick at it! You’ll be amazed how far you come but it takes a bit of time. A lot of coaches say never to look back, just look forward. For me, remembering from whence I came is a vital part of keeping my motivation intact.