This week we meet Louise who competed last year in her first long-distance triathlon at Ironman Barcelona with her husband and alongside friends and even her boss ! Louise lives near Geneva and is the proud mother of a an 18 months old boy. I started coaching Louise four months before the race and her goal was simply to finish the race, and make through the different cut off times. She worked incredibly hard and put on an amazing performance in Barcelona. She deserves full credit, here is her story !

Tell us about yourself

I am 42 yrs old, married to Jamie (also coached by Thierry). I work as a PA for a family in Geneva area. Live between Mies & Passy as we have a chalet in Passy (we like to spend as much time in the mountains as possible). I was born and raised in Scotland and my hobbies include walking my dog Bruno, cooking, skiing, telemark, nature and bird watching.

How did you get into triathlon ?

I was slightly pushed into triathlon by my boss !  I already biked and ran but could not swim anything but breaststroke.  He insisted that swimming was the easy part.  Not sure that is true… but I can now swim crawl, albeit very slowly.  Started with Nyon sprint and took it from there, built up to the longer distances.  Have been taking part in Triathlon for 6 years now but still feel like a novice.

What is your greatest sporting achievement to date, and what are you currently training for ?

In running it was the Everest Marathon.

On the bike L’Etape du Tour.

In triathlon it was my first Ironman in 2019 in Barcelona.

I am now currently training for Ironman Italy in 2020. We are also hopefully having another baby!

What are the biggest challenges you face when training or racing ?

TIME!  Demanding job, 16 month old son, 2 houses to run (no cleaner/nanny) therefore often train at night.  I even fell asleep on the turbo once!  I am not very good at working hard, so when it gets painful I have to give myself a kick occasionally.

I found training with Thierry helped massively with this as I always knew he was watching and got a buzz from hitting the targets.

I find the open water swimming scary on my own, I used to swim with my husband but now one of us will always be with our son.  The long swims in the lake were a bit depressing when visibility was bad.

The long distance training is lonely but at least I had my dog Bruno for all my runs, great company!  Pushing the buggy with two dogs on leads for training runs was also a challenge.

Where do you love training?

In France Passy / Plane Joux the hill from the door of our chalet, short and sharp with beautiful views.  We are very lucky to have some iconic cycle routes on our doorstep, love the Joux Plane (sometimes I hate it) and Col de la Colombière loop.  In Switzerland the orchards at the back of Mies.  Where else could you run 30km pushing a buggy and a dog and hardly go on a main road.  Very convenient and beautiful!

What is your favourite race/event ?

Sion Triathlon, Jungfrau Marathon, Grand Raid, not sure this runs any more but we stayed the night half way up the Grand Motte glacier in Tignes then got the cable car up at first light to the summit.  Then it was a mass start, ski down until the snow ran out, run to the lake, paddle across the lake, mountain bike, abseil, mountain bike, run attached to husky dogs, mountain bike and white water raft.  Quite simply the maddest event ever!

What is your pre-race breakfast/food and post-race recovery food ?

Porridge with soya milk and banana.  For recovery drinks I use Maiday Recovery or Torq (mint)

Where do you get your motivation from ?

Proving people wrong!

Many people said I was crazy to do my first Ironman with my son newly born when training started but it helped me to regain my body, self confidence and sanity after giving birth for the first time at 41yrs.

I trained with my son as much as possible and didn’t enjoy being away from him but feel it made me focus that time to train properly and make every minute count.  During the Ironman I thought of Archie (my son) a lot so he is a huge motivation.

I want to be fit and healthy for him and hopefully to inspire him to be an adventurous guy.

Louise completed her Ironman in 14 hours and 10 minutes, exceeding all expectations ! She swam the 3.8km in 1h39min, rode the 180km bike course in 6h42, and finally ran the marathon in 5h25min. A very solid performance that she can be very proud of.

Up next is Ironman Italy in September 2020, with her husband and of course her… boss !  Keep going Louise, we’re all very proud of you !