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Triathlete talks with F-Teamers

23 February 2021

Mia Meydrich
Mia Meydrich wears the Strapped In One Piece in Point Break

A new year is well underway and many athletes are hoping that 2021 will see more opportunities, competitions and successes than 2020. Last year, as countries locked down and pools closed, many were forced to hit the open water, but for some this was just a daily training routine. We caught up with triathletes Mia Meydrich and Ainsley Thorpe to get an insight into their life as triathletes.

How did you get into triathlons and when did you start?

Ainsley - I always swam from a young age and enjoyed running growing up through school and athletics. I was talent scouted when I was 15 through my swimming and running ability alongside my older brother. I never did any training for running as my swimming fitness, due to 16 hours of training a week, did most of the hard yards for me. I was teamed up with a coach when I was 16 and started cycling and running and did my first triathlon.

Mia - I ran cross country and track in college at Mississippi State University. I had some success there but had a few weaknesses which required cross training. That's where swimming and cycling came into the picture. I had heard about the USA Collegiate Recruitment Program in 2018 from a friend and reached out to the head of the program expressing my interest. Right after I graduated college in 2019, I was invited by a coach of professional triathlon team JP Elite. I joined the squad in October 2019, and that's when my journey began!

When did you go pro?

Ainsley - I would say I went pro when I did my first WTS at the start of 2018 as that was when I started to get results and earn a little bit of money.

Mia - I competed in my first triathlon in February 2020 and earned my pro card as a registered professional athlete. Having recently taken this opportunity, I will be racing my first year as a pro in 2021.

Ainsley Thorpe
Ainsley Thorpe was talent scouted when she was 15 and hasn't looked back since

What is your typical training week like?

Ainsley - A typical training week is around 25km of swimming, 250km of cycling and 55km of running plus three 1-hour gym sessions.

Mia - Currently I am sitting at around 20-22 hours a week. Tuesdays is our hardest swimming and running day, Thursdays for bike, Saturday's for a long run and Sunday is an endurance ride. All other sessions are either recovery or steady efforts to fit around the schedule.

Which is your favourite leg and why?

Ainsley - My favourite leg is the run if I am feeling good as you are so close to the end!

Mia - I love the run. I am naturally really disciplined and find myself enjoying the process of a hard run.

Which is your least favourite leg and why?

Ainsley - The swim because it can be brutal on the start when there are so many people in the race.

Mia - I wouldn't say I dislike swimming, but it is definitely the toughest for me. I have little background in swimming, so I am basically playing catch up with my other competitors. It's extremely challenging to learn how to properly swim but the results are incredibly rewarding!

Mia Meydrich
Mia only competed in her first triathlon in February 2020!

What is your best memory from triathlons?

Ainsley - My best memory was when I achieved my first World Cup podium as it was out of the blue and my cousins were in Europe watching me.

Mia - Since I've raced so few times, I am still chasing my career highlight and best memory. However, the most vivid memory I have is crashing for the first time and getting some gnarly road rash. I managed to still finish the race though and have a lovely new scar to proudly show off in my Funkita suits!

What do you love about triathlons?

Ainsley - I love that we get to travel around the world and race as well as spend time at home with our families throughout the New Zealand summer.

Mia - I love that each leg gives you a chance to start anew. If you have a bad swim, you get to reset, and have a chance at a killer bike leg. You really learn to not give up on yourself.

What is your dream race destination?

Ainsley - I have always wanted to race in Italy as it looks beautiful.

Mia - I love Europe, so racing along the coast of Italy or somewhere in Spain.

What is your triathlon goal?

Ainsley - My Triathlon goal is to progress to consistently medal on the world stage as well as medal at the Paris Games and Commonwealth Games 2022.

Mia - To race in the WTS circuit in the next few years.

What advice do you wish someone had told you when you first started tris?

Ainsley - Be super careful with running when coming from a swimming background because your bones are not use to a weight bearing sport. I struggled a lot with stress fractures when I first started.

Mia - You only need a small amount of "chammy cream" when getting ready for your bike ride.

What are your top 3 tips for someone heading into race season?

Ainsley - 1. Believe in yourself
2. Trust that you have done the hard work
3. Go into a race with purpose, focus on a goal rather than an outcome

Mia - 1. Get lots of sleep
2. Clean your bike
3. Do a few strides after some easy runs

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