Inside Sport speaks to Ashleigh Gentle about training for triathlons, how she decides on her equipment and the importance of nutrition
“I’ve been interested in nutrition for a while. I love to cook and bake and it converts nicely to what I do. It is so important triathletes have enough fuel to enhance their training. If you go in underfed it is really hard to get the best out of yourself. It is intense work, so there isn’t much point in restricting yourself in training. Again, it is very individually based. If you look at a sample size of triathletes, we all look very different. We have our own nutrition plans.”
“I keep my diet really balanced and don’t count calories. I don’t have anything too specific or scientific with my diet. I value eating healthily anyway. I don’t shy away from having the treats and things which keep it all in balance. I would front-load my carbohydrates at the start of a day. Breakfast and lunch are very important to get through the day. It’s important to have carbohydrates available and enough protein to recover too.”
The right equipment
“We carry a lot of gear. With swimming, it is either bathers or wetsuits (the latter if lower than 20 degrees). The bike is pretty important. I use a Felt bike. The last thing you want is to train hard and then for something mechanically to go wrong.
“You want to be able to control what you can by looking after your gear. With the run, and your shoes, you try to have the fastest possible transition (into the next discipline) to eliminate any wasted time.
“I think it all comes down to being consistent and trying to stay healthy and injury-free. There was a period a few years ago where I experienced a spell of injuries. Being consistent day-in and day-out will reward you in the long run. That is what I’ve been striving to succeed for over the last few years.”
“In terms of training, it’s no point in trying to over-do things and put yourself back a few weeks by getting sick or injuring yourself. It’s about striking a balance, keeping the things that work for you and not going too over the top.”
“Surrounding yourself with the right training partners and finding a coach is a massive thing too. Finding that person who you trust 100 percent is so important.”