The Half Ironman World Championships are being held again in Las Vegas, on 8 September 2013. A challenging hilly course in the hot desert heat makes for a tough race for some of the best Half Ironman Distance athletes in the World! Tri Alliances ‘Zoolander’ sits down with our athletes leading up to their big race.

First up is Ella Davies racing in the 20-24 age group, who is lucky enough to experience this race with her Dad who also qualified in his age group! Ella Davies4

So where did you both qualify for this race?
Shepparton 70.3 2012

How do you feel and how has your training been leading into the race?
I’ve already had an awesome race year and this is really ‘the icing on the cake’. My mentality for preparation was really “all or nothing.” I had a 12 week program that was built around my weaknesses and strengthening. I have been averaging around 400k on the bike each week, around 70k running and 16k swimming.  In contrast to Melbourne, Vegas’ temperature has been averaging the high 30’s – low 40’s, there’s really no saying what effect this will have on me come race day but there’s only one way to find out.

How much extra planning have you had to put into your preparation given you are racing overseas?
Inevitably I was going to finish Uni at the end of June but since knowing that I had a race to prepare for I took two summer school units to make my last semester of Uni stress free and to also free up my timetable to train and work. I joined Tri-Alliance to improve my swimming and train with a group of people to give me a bit or variation. I also continued to train with my Athletics club.  I’m eager to get out there and enjoy the experience alongside my Dad who is also racing.    Ella Davies2

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of what everyone else is doing, sometimes you can even feel left out, as the majority of the squad is in a different training phase, how have you coped with this and what have you done to compensate?
Stuck to the tasks on my personal program, I know exactly what I want and where I want to go. It makes all the difference when you train solo, every session is for a reason.

How has your motivation been training over winter and what’s motivated you?
I wake up wanting to run and ride every day, I don’t think that’s motivation- that’s my happiness. There are plenty of worse things to be dong than waking up at 5 to go for a bike ride. I’m especially excited when I run track and I can literally feel the improvement, I can recover quicker and go faster. Little things like making it to the end of the pool with a decreased stroke count. I have lots of really incredible and inspiring people around me that make me want to always strive for self-improvement.

How important has the support network of Coaches and other athletes been to you?
Very important, I feel that Sarah has been a very important mentor, it’s nice to have someone that’s been there and knows about the course and the race. I’ve met many interesting people along the way.

What has been your biggest challenge leading up to the race?
Turning quantity into quality and backing up sessions with minimal recovery.

What do you think your biggest challenge will be during the race?
Being smart with my hydration and taking the right peptides.  😉Ella Davies

Of course, making the team is one thing; you have to qualify, what advise do you have for those attempting to qualify for the Half Ironman World Championships next year?
Know what you’re getting into its big a commitment that requires a lot of sacrificing. Make sure you hang around for the roll out and have entry money ready on the day.

You are in Sin City – the Gambling Capital of the world, Vegas! So how will you celebrate post-race??!
Hoping to pop open a bottle of Dom Perignon by the pool & buy some new Prada.  Party TBC. 🙂

What are your race plans post World Championships?
Shepparton 70.3, Coolangatta Gold, Mark Webber Challenge.

Ella Davies5

One word association:
Swim – Wet
Bike – Crash
Run – Hurt
Gel  – Gag
Wax or Shave – Lazer
Vegas  – Elvis
Black or red – Pink
Pokies or tables – Tables


Thank you for taking the time in your busy schedule to sit down and share your experience and good luck for your big race!

Until next time, Coach Zoolander….

Coaches Ollie and Greg


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