Our Fit to Teach feature for this week is Lottie Lucas; Aquatics Director at GEMS World Academy Dubai.
GYS caught up with the 26-year old PE Teacher to discover how Triathlon reignited her passion for Sport and Competition.
“I swam from a young age and won numerous County, Regional and (UK) National titles. My main event was actually the 400 IM, but 800m freestyle was one of my stronger one. Unfortunately, like many of my teammates, I ‘burnt out’ from over-training at a young age and I actually avoided swimming pools at all costs for around 5 years. I remained active and regularly went to the gym, but never raced or competed until the triathlon relay in Dubai.”
When and How did you get into triathlon?
“In September 2016, I was roped into doing the Swim leg of a friends relay triathlon team and my love for competing was reignited. I completed my first Sprint triathlon in 2017 and then the Dubai 70.3 Ironman in 2018. However, 2018/19 has been my first Season where I have had a coach guiding me and structuring my training programme (Fawz Concept Tailored Coaching), so I have seen a lot of progress.”
How has taking training more seriously impacted your times?
“In 2018, I completed the Dubai 70.3 in a time of 5:30.03. I managed to shave 50 minutes off this time in the 2019 race, as a result of my consistent training. I swam 2 minutes faster, took off some time in my transitions and saved over 20 minutes on both the bike and run sections. It will be impossible to make such a huge improvement next year, but I will do my best to ensure everything is moving in the right direction.”
What does your training schedule look like?
“In the build up to a main event, a typical week of training will include 3 swims, 3 cycles, 3 runs and 2 strength sessions. My sessions are usually after school, but I enjoy swimming in the early morning if I am not coaching the School Squads. I reduce my training when I am not in the build up to an event and it gives me more time to spend with friends and pursue my other interests.”
How do you find a balance between work and training?
“I do find it challenging, as my job can be physically demanding in the hotter months and when there are a lot of school competitions going on. However, I have to be incredibly disciplined and establish a structured routine in order to make it work. I do less training on the longer school days and take advantage of free time during the school holidays.”
What would you say is your greatest achievement?
“Without a doubt my greatest achievement was winning my Age Group at the Dubai 70.3 Ironman in a time of 4 hours 40 minutes. It felt like a dream had come true in front of so many familiar faces, both on the course and in the crowds. I recently also won my Age Group at the Asia Pacific Championships 70.3 in Vietnam. I was very happy here as the conditions were very hot (up to 40 degrees Celsius!) and my swim was faster than most of the Professional women.”
What are your plans and hopes for the future?
“At the moment, I don’t have a specific long term goal; I am just enjoying the journey and seeing how far I can go. There are a lot of improvements I can make on my bike and run, so I am focusing on working on those for now. Living a sustainable and injury-free lifestyle is also my priority in order to be successful in the long term.”
What advice would you give to kids looking to be a triathlete?
“It would have to be: don’t take it too seriously and just have fun. This comes from my own experiences of over training at a young age, compared with my partner who is a professional triathlete and didn’t race competitively until the age of 17. I also think it is important to prioritize swimming training, as this is the one discipline which you definitely need a strong background on at a young age.”
To continue following Lottie’s triathlon feats, check out https://fawzconcept.com/