Q&A with GB triathlete Jodie Stimpson

28 June 2017 by
First published: 28 June 2017

WHL took five for a Q&A with GB triathlete Jodie Stimpson

Jodie Stimpson isn’t your average 28 year-old. Training in three sporting disciplines 25-30 hours a week, and with a double Commonwealth gold firmly notched on her belt, the GB triathlete is the swimming, cycling, and running epitome of determination and talent. Jodie’s sporting strength is incredible – a recent comeback race in February saw her clinch silver, the previous seven months out of training due to injury almost forgotten – but it’s her unshakably tenacious outlook that makes this superwoman quite so super. We recently caught up with the star to chat proud moments, positivity and intense training schedules…

Walk us through your journey to becoming a GB triathlete. What is it about triathlons that you love and enjoy so much?

My Dad taught me to swim when I was four and my Dad and Uncle took me to my first triathlon when I was eight, which I won, and from then on I have never wanted to do anything else – I am totally driven to make the Olympics and be the best in the world.

Triathlon is a fantastic sport and one of the best things about it is the three disciplines that you train for, swimming, cycling and running, which means training is always kept fresh mixing between the three. It’s always a balancing act to get the best out of yourself in all three.

With three different disciplines to consider, what does your training look like? Talk us through your current training week.

Every day is different but a standard week would look like this:

Monday starts with a morning run, followed by a bike session and a gym session in the evening.

Tuesday is a swim which will include speed and aerobic work, then in the evening I’ll do a run speed track session.

Wednesday is a long swim session up to 6km, then out on the bike for about two and a half hours, which is where we usually pick a hilly route and then an evening gym session.

Thursday is a speed swim session up first, followed by a run during the day and then another gentle swim for me to work on my technique.

Friday is a longer run session, followed by an afternoon swim, which is usually easier but can feel like more of a struggle after the longer run session!

Saturday is a morning run before the long bike which will be around three and a half to four hours then another evening gym session.

Sunday is a long run, which is my favourite session, which is followed by a tough swim in the afternoon.

Swimming, cycling, and running: what’s your favourite and least favourite?

Running is my favourite for sure – there is nothing like a long run or a hard track session! My least favourite is the swim just because it’s my weakest discipline.

What’s the proudest moment of your sporting career so far?

Definitely winning double gold at Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014.

How did that feel?

It’s hard to put into words, that feeling of crossing the line and embracing my family at the finish – it’s so special and it’s the feeling that keeps me focused and training hard to achieve my goals.

You were unfortunately plagued by injury last year and spent seven months out of racing – were there ways in which you could train to keep a base level of strength and fitness up?

No – I’m afraid not. When I was told that I had a 5 centimetre tear in my Achilles, I was in a boot and was told no swimming, cycling, running or anything. I was not a nice person at this time as you can imagine!

How did you maintain motivation over these testing times?

I love triathlon, I love training and I love racing, so it’s really heart breaking when you can’t do it. It was more about holding me back than trying to staying motivated!

What would you say is the most challenging aspect of dealing with an injury in sport?

For me, it’s that you can’t do what you love doing for fear of doing more damage – when you train 25-30 hours a week and are then told you can’t do it, that’s a long time to try and pull your mind away and distract yourself.

Your first race back after seven months out culminated in a sprint finish and a spectacular second place. How did you achieve such a comeback? Was it expected?

I was definitely not expecting to be in that position at all! I was very proud of that race and getting the best out of myself after a long time away from racing and changing up my training regime in the lead up to the race.

What are your goals for the next year?

Currently my main goal is trying to qualify for the 2018 commonwealth games in Australia, but I am also focusing on getting back into racing, getting stronger and keeping consistent.

With such an intense training regime, how do you like to wind down?

I am a movie person, for sure – I like to watch movies to wind down or a series when I’m out of the UK.

You’ve been vocal on your blog about the struggles you’ve faced in your sport, from injury to Olympic set-backs. How do you ultimately stay so positive, and what advice would you give to someone struggling to do so?

Staying positive is a tricky one to be honest, it’s easy when things are going well, but when things are not, it’s really tough and I personally rely a lot on my family and the team I have around me, which is one of kind. The best advice I can give about staying positive or getting out of a rut is to try and surround yourself with positive people and people who love and support you! You will soon get picked up and will come back fighting!