The road to the World Triathlon Series has been anything but simple for Aussie athlete, Tamsyn Moana-Veale. Beset by injuries in 2014 and 2015, she has struggled to maintain a consistent level of fitness & form at the elite level.
However, in 2016, Tamsyn emerged from injury with a bang, coming 6th in her first ITU European Cup for two years and then winning the Oceania Cup in Tahiti. Hoping to build on this impressive form, Tamsyn has been training hard in 2017 & is averaging an elite triathlon every month, most recently at the ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast race.
It is this form & fitness she hopes to take into the Commonwealth Games in 2017, and then on to Tokyo 2020. We got the chance to do a 5 minute question & answer session with Tamsyn while she was training, to understand better, what it is like to be competing at the elite level in the ITU World Series.
Tamsyn, thank you for taking 5 minutes to chat with us; what do you eat just before you compete, or do you tend to compete on an empty stomach?
"The meal just prior to the race is super simple- bread with jam. It feels light but is carb based and easy access energy just prior to a race. I’ll often also have a banana in the 90min-60min window before the race".
So, what do you eat, if anything, immediately after competing?
"Usually I like to refuel with protein powder or chocolate milk, and lots of water of course!"
That is interesting that you refuel using protein shakes; what are your thoughts on shakes, or protein bars or gels as a tool for refuelling?
"I prefer whole foods during training, like bananas, but I use gels when I race and protein powder post race. If you’ve never had gels, you’ll need to practise consuming them in training".
After a long day of training, what sort of meal or recipe do you rely on the most? What is your go-to recipe?
"Homemade pizza on pita bread base is always a good option! Tastes good and is easy to do when you’re tired".
If pizza is your go-to recipe, what is your cheat meal?
What do you eat/drink in the gym?
"Our gym sessions are super short - only 30mins, so I only have water during".
Does your diet change in & out of competition season?
"A lot of my snacks are based around feeling for and recovering from sessions, i.e. banana before, yoghurt after. So out of season I typically consume less snacks and smaller main meals".
How do you handle the pressure when competing? What keeps you calm on the start line?
"I focus on the processes I need to do in the race. I have plans in place and just worry about controlling what I can- you can’t control the uncontrollable".
What does a typical day/week of training look like?
"I train 3 times a day, plus gym 3-4 times a week. Except for Sunday, which is usually just a long run. Mostly we swim, bike & run everyday, but occasionally we’ll double run".
Are there any athletes, in any sport, that you admire?
"Mark Cavendish (The cyclist) has always been a sporting hero of mine".
Where is the best place to compete?
"The Netherlands! Always cool courses, great people and good food".
Top 3 work--out tracks at the moment?