A very entertaining, enlightening and humorous questionnaire from F4L Triathlon Team athlete, Svetlana. To put it into perspective: Sveta is a mother of two, wife of Mark, has a job and still manages to train with enthusiasm. I love coaching her.
What’s the first thing to enter your mind when you wake up on a training day?
Lunch boxes.. all four of them, what day is it, work text messages, likely whereabouts of Lewis’s socks, could we miss the school bus, what if I work today, what if I don’t work today, what else do I need to fit in around my training session today? As for any other relief teacher out there, the usual work day mornings are pretty stressful. As you can see getting up early to train on a weekend is not really a problem for me.
Tell me your favourite F4L Team story.
Don’t really have any stories. My whole experience consists of moments I particularly enjoy and remember, like
rolling down the Zig Zag on a warm spring morning, a cloud hanging over Helena Valley, trail runs after the rain, early Saturday morning group swims at the Lake Leschenaultia, wetsuits with pockets for tea-bags, overtaking the Coach riding up Araluen (hmm.. did it really happen?), pre-race group photos and post-race text messages, high-fives. Oh and watching two middle aged men helping each other tighten up wetsuits whilst floating in the middle of the Lake Leschenaultia. I still laugh thinking about it.
Who trains and who complains the hardest within the team?
I think it is safe to say that we have all taken our turn to whinge like hell when we don’t get tagged on Facebook post a training session! This is normally followed by some increased training efforts by the upset person. I recon the Coach should use this as a performance management tool. Slightly dangerous, but it works!
What’s your favourite / least favourite type of training?
My favourite type of training tends to change a bit with the seasons. I love group rides in spring, trail running in winter, open water swimming in summer.
The first place on the list of the least enjoyable is comfortably occupied by 6x400 pool swim efforts. This is followed by pool time trials of any length and brick sessions alone in a very close third positon.
If you could have any superpower – what would it be?
Using magic spells to do your chores would be pretty awesome.
What’s your typical meal and snack line up on a training day?
Cereal, toast with lots of jam and a cup of tea in the morning. Toasted banana bread and a coffee is my favourite “on the go” snack during a week. I eat what I want pretty much, with lots of meat, fruit and veg as they are the easiest to cook for the family with. I do try to cook from scratch most of the time.
What’s your usual pre-race routine?
Pack everything a night before, have a “discussion” of what everyone else in the family should be doing during MY race day, make excuses for an early night and switch off to the outside world completely at about 9pm. Wake up early, ignore everyone if I can, force full breakfast in and then watch the clock on the way to the race venue to make sure that I eat my snack and drink to keep myself topped up on carbs and hydrated. Still ignore everyone until I am fully set up and have visualised every detail of each transition for the race ahead. Only when this is done, I tend to relax a bit and join the team for some last minute pre-race laughs. So if you see me there skulking around before the next race, not talking to anyone… don’t take it personally… I will come round when I am ready.
Describe the perfect 2016/17 for you.
Below, I would like to share my “ideal” scenario for this coming season… sadly those who know me, are aware that not everything (or nothing really) has gone to plan so far and most things I talk about would probably never happen. But still…you live and you hope.
I train like a woman possessed through the off season, taking part in all trail half-marathon races, getting a few podium places along the way (i.e. I am especially proud of my third place in the Truth & Consequences 25 km hilly trail run event!). I then enter all three Pickering Brook cycling racing events and after managing to sit comfortably at the back of the grade D leading group, put in a blistering sprint and get a third place! I ace pool time trials, shaving 5 seconds off each month. In the meantime, with the tri season getting closer, I already have a line-up of various events which I could take part alongside my husband Mark, who is supported by his work company FDC. Hell of the North (140km cycling event, Blackwood marathon in Margaret river, Rottnest island swim, etc., are amongst some of my choices.
I begin the tri season by winning $6000 with a scratch card I buy at the Kalamunda newsagents! Surprisingly, this is exactly the amount I need to take my family on a week’s holiday in the Mt Buffalo mountain area on the East Coast in January. Result!!!
In the meantime, I kick out at a few local tri races and find that my form is absolutely awesome. Facebook is full of my photos and I give a couple of radio interviews.
January is here and the whole family travels to Melbourne where my husband and I take part in an iconic Alpine classic cycling race (a podium finish for him and a respectable top ten for me). When we get back, I find a big brown envelope waiting for me in the mail box. L’Occitane – a leading French natural anti-ageing products company have followed my progress on Facebook and would like to offer me an opportunity to compete in a half-ironman event in the French Alps in July 2017! They will provide travel and accommodation for the whole family and a life-time supply of Immortelle Biologique for myself (I have an option of adding some teeth implants should I require them in the future). I gracefully accept and take my training to the new high.
I will leave the rest to your imagination here…
Quick fire round:
Favourite training music?
I don’t tend to listen to music when I train (sadly). This is something I would like to find time to work on this season. I guess buying an iPod would be a good first step towards it.
Favourite chocolate bar? (If you have one!)
Dark chocolate is the best and the only real chocolate out there.
Favourite film and why?
I love movies too much to choose a favourite one. But normally a good British comedy would do it.
Oh.. that’s a tough one… hmm.. Taylor Swift??? with her “never give up trying and you can always start over” kind of thing attitude to life.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever received (that you’re able to share!)?
My pistol shooting coach told me this many many years ago. I thought then that it was a brilliant piece of advice where modern pentathlon pistol shooting was concerned. Surprisingly I have gone back to what he said many times since and found it useful in all areas of life.
“When you are given 5 shots at a target to get the best score, you yourself expect to get all of them shot into 10 (bullseye), so when something doesn’t go to plan and you shoot a 6, you tend to go to pieces and mess up the rest of your four remaining attempts. In reality though, four tens and one six will give you 46 points out of 50, which is higher than shooting a nine five times (45). Therefore, don’t give everything up if you have made one mistake. Stay focused, work through what you have got... and the result will be a good one”.