Pro Triathlete Lucy Charles is participating in our 'Personal Best Challenge' on Strava, with the goal of reaching her own personal peaks. If you have goals to hit a PR this season, or you're competing in the challenge as well, keep reading to learn how Lucy discovers her own limitless potential.
Haven't signed up for the challenge yet? You have plenty of time! Register here before May 16th.
How are you competing in the 'Personal Best Challenge' on Strava?
I am going to do an “Hour of Power” for each of the three triathlon disciplines: One run session, one bike session and one swim session. I want them to be really hard sessions so I will see what the coach has planned for me and post the workout for you all follow. Keep an eye on @lucycharles93 and @amphuman for this!
What does it mean to you to 'unlock your personal best'?
I am always striving to unlock my best. I know the harder I push in training the deeper I can go on race day, so its important for me always push those key sessions leading up.
What are your top tips for other athletes trying to hit a PR?
1. Preparation is key. Know your goal or workout plan really well and make sure everything you will need is ready and your body is prepared- its your biggest weapon.
2. Make sure you are fueled and have any extra fuel you will need ready and at hand during your challenge.
3. Have a strong mental focus on what you are aiming to achieve during the season and what it will or could lead to.
What is your routine the night before going for a big goal like this one? The morning of?
I try to clear my mind and get a full night's sleep. To do this I make sure the plan is clear and any support I need is set up and ready to go. Having a good breakfast is key, as is working to get a very single-minded focus about the goal I am aiming for, the plan to achieve it and how it fits into the bigger picture. I hate to lose so setting a challenge is great for my focus. Once I do all these preparations I know that if I give it my all then I can't fail. Even if I don’t achieve my ultimate goal I will be a lot closer to achieving it the next time having gone through the mental and physical process of this workout.
Hitting a PR is very different than racing against other athletes. What inspires you to hit a PR?
The nice thing about a PR is it's very internal and for me its all about building towards my bigger goal. If I can run faster or bike faster or swim faster then I can finish faster at my next race so I just keep pushing and keep building.
How do you overcome and push through the mental blocks telling you to stop or to slow down?
A lot of the sessions I do are long and hard so I always think that by the time it's really hard and painful then most of the hard work is done already. I am right at the end and that’s always where I want to be. The more I can push at my breaking point, the more I will improve.
How will you celebrate when you accomplish your personal goal?
Usually its followed but either another much lighter session, or loads of food. It’s a great feeling to know you have achieved something for the first time or the first time in a long while so enjoy that feeling, refuel and get excited about what else you could achieve the next time you try.
How often do you use PR Lotion? For what kind of training or competition?
I use it most days- either to help my body recover from hard sessions and soreness the day before or to push through those breaking points in training.
How do you apply it? Do you have a specific routine with PR Lotion?
It's the same as choosing the right kit to wear and listening to the right music. I know it makes the difference to my sessions so it tends to be shorts on, PR lotion on, socks on, then shoes.
Anything unique people should know about using PR Lotion that might not be obvious?
The new formula soaks in so well so its much easier to apply. If you haven’t tried the new formula then definitely give it a try and you feel the benefit