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Going Pro

3 July 2017

Emma Deary

We caught up with F-Teamer and GBR Triathlete Emma Deary to discuss going pro, her top tips and Tokyo 2020.

Emma, 29, hasn't always been a triathlete. In fact, Emma used to captain the local hockey team until 4 years ago. During her off-season, she decided she wanted to give Triathlon a go. Having not swum in over 10 years she was dreading the swimming discipline the most. Although Emma's first triathlon attempt didn't go quite to plan as a small tumble resulted in a broken collarbone, she didn't let the injury knock her spirits.

One day she woke up and decided to set herself a huge target - to represent Team GB at Tokyo 2020 in a sport she had barely any experience in. Emma's goal of reaching Tokyo 2020 is certainly ambitious, however her recent results have already proven she's not as crazy as some people may think.

In September last year, as an amateur, Emma competed in the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Cozumel: 25-29 age group. Competing against 60 athletes from across the world Emma crossed the line in first place to claim Gold and finish miles ahead of the rest of her field. Her progress since then has been nothing short of incredible. Just last week she inched a little closer to her goal when she received her Pro Licence for long distance Triathlons. This means that Emma can now compete against the best in the world and is officially no longer classed as an amateur.

"I am over the moon with excitement as it was a big goal I had set myself, being new to the longer distance this year as well as still working full time. In previous seasons I have been racing standard distance triathlons (1500m swim, 40km bike and a 10km run) so to step up to the longer distance (1900m swim, 90km bike and 21km run) and achieve my Pro status so quickly was a huge shock. I can't wait to start this new chapter of my triathlon career with the support of Funkita," Emma says.

We asked Emma how she sets goals and works towards Race Pace for a 1500m or 1900m swim, followed by a lengthy bike and run. Here are her top tips:

1. Endurance is a huge part of the swim so I am always working on this. Plenty of sessions in a lake make sure I'm used to the high demands of rough and tiring swimming, as swimming in a pool is a little easier.

2. Don't ignore the need for speed. No matter what distance the swim, there is always a sprint finish to try and get the best place possible ahead of the bike. The easiest way to work on this is the pool. 25m sprints on short rest really prepare me for this.

3. Make sure you practice your race starts. I imagine pool swimmers do exactly the same, working on hitting their initial pace for the first part of the race. It's exactly the same in Triathlon. It's really important to practice the technique, whether it's a deep-water start from a pontoon, or a shallow run and dive start. If you mess this up you can throw your entire race off pace.

4. It also helps to practice swimming without your wetsuit if it's not too cold. This means you can swim faster than pace and rehearse what it feels like, even when you're tired in training.

We wish Emma all the best on her journey to Tokyo!

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