QA: Lotte Wilms – Making a splash in Triathlon
Lotte Wilms thought her Olympic dream was destined to be in the pool, but after missing out on the 2012 London Games in the 4x200m freestyle, the Dutchwomen has taken to the open waters and roads in the triathlon. At 33 years of age, Lotte is a late starter in the triathlon world. However, after recent success on the ITU circuit, she has now set her sights firmly on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
SYSSM – Hi Lotte, Welcome to Melbourne, What has been going on today in the life of a professional triathlete?
As a professional athlete I had a sleep in today (7 am) I had a big trainings day on Sunday so today it is a recovery day. I went to the Fysio first because I sprained my ankle in my last race in Mooloolaba. After I did core body and strength training at MSAC. I had an appointment with my coach to have a chat about my upcoming race in New Zealand. After I did a hard swim. I went home, did grocery shopping. Made myself lunch and had a sleep. Later this afternoon I will do some skill training: practising transitions
9th placing in the 2019 Devonport OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Championships, How do you feel about your result and current form leading into the ITU season?
I was very happy with my result because I got sick the week leading into the race and just felt a little bit better when I arrived in Devonport. I learned a lot during this race and can use this for my next ITU races.
You come from an elite Swimming background, how have you found the transition into the shoes and onto the bike?
I find the transitions the most difficult part of triathlon. When you go for a swim race everything is so clear: you got your lane and swim fast forwards and backwards. In triathlon so many things happen during your race. I learned to expect the unexpected. The women in de ITU are very fast in transition and it motivates me to be better every time. I practice daily to get in my run shoes fast and jump on my bike.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced making the transition?
The biggest challenge is to let go the feeling. In swimming you always talk about the feeling you got with the water. When you got that good feeling with the water you know you gonna have an amazing race. In triathlon nothing is about feelings, it is all about never give up till you cross that finish line. You try have your own race plan but you don’t have any influence what others do and so you need to switch quick. Sometimes you have a difficult start in the swim and you are behind the leader group on the bike. It doesn’t say anything for the rest of the race. Ones the leaders where not able to work together and the chase group who I was in catch the leaders easily.
With a strong swimming background, has this allowed you to spend less time on the bike in comparison to other triathletes?
I spend quality on bike and swim. The most hours I spend is running because I never really run before. I only started triathlon 19 months ago. To be honest I don’t really know what other athletes do. I like to focus on myself and so not get distracted by others.
What’s your favourite swimming/cycling/running
I love the cycling. All Dutch people do 😉
How do you structure your weekly training program during the base vs competition phase?
From December till February there are no ITU races. I tried to do as much as possible in this periods endurance training. Leading into the races I do more specific training and speed/ power work. During the race period it is a lot of recovery (sleep, massage, strength, fysio and core body) and try to stay fit and healthy.
How have you found the training environment in Melbourne?
It is amazing!! There is sport everywhere in Melbourne! It seems Melbourne got a high sports culture!
What’s next after your season schedule?
I go to Spain for a month and then back home the Netherlands. From there I have to see what my next races would be.
How often are you on the road away from home for training and racing?
A lot, 80% of my time
All the best Lotte
Lotte recently placed 25th in New Zealand and 18th at the Gold Coast OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup. Her next race will be at the 2019 Madrid ITU Triathlon World Cup. You can follow Lotte’s Road to Tokyo at www.instagram.com/lotte_wilms/
Richard is an energetic Remedial Massage Therapist, with a Bachelor of Exercise Science. His passion for massage stems from a back injury he sustained through AFL football.
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