We caught up with our Community Ambassador, Rhianna Parkinson to find out about what the races she is planning to target for 2019. Rhianna is a very inspirational athlete who has gone from sitting on the couch, doing little exercise to competing at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in less than three years.
I absolutely love competing and training for races so I just couldn’t wait to start planning my 2019 season as soon as possible. South Africa really did inspire me to travel more with races and it was actually a lot easier and stress-free than I thought it would be.
I thought about my goal for next year which is to qualify and compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships 2019 in Nice, France and realised I wanted to qualify early to give me lots of time to prepare. I wanted a course that suited my strengths and I also wanted to explore a country / place which I’d never been to before. I scoured all of the Ironman events around the world and decided on Ironman 70.3 Dubai – an early season race, which has a fast course in warm but not overwhelming conditions.
Next, I analysed my performances over this season and compared them to last season. I realised that whilst I had PB’d in a lot of events this year, and my aim for the 70.3 World Championships was just to soak up and enjoy the experience, I had hit a plateau with my pace and times. Although many people had previously recommended me getting a coach, I wanted to make sure I had done everything within my control to reach my best before seeking professional assistance.
I have since enrolled on a coaching package and I’m currently nine weeks into the plan. The training has been a big shake up from what I’m used to as it is not focused on long training hours and keeping a steady pace, but making sure sessions are either extremely easy or extremely hard, alternating so I’m always rested well to give it my all in the hard sessions. I’ve also become more involved in my triathlon club, making sure I’m consistently attending those early morning sessions (my top tip is packing your bag the night before – it took me forgetting my towel and my underwear a few times before I realised that was the way forward!)
I’ve also been making sure I’m regularly testing my pace and doing what I love most which is competing along side my friends and club mates at events such as Cross Country, the City of Preston 10km and the UK Fast City of Salford 10km – I even managed to get my brother in law and young niece involved!
I’m going to find some time to squeeze in my Christmas Shopping and I’m super excited to be taking part in the Jingle Bell Jog on 2nd December – which will be great to see all the Santas running through the streets of MediaCityUK!
We believe that sport is for everyone and our goal is to create the world’s largest active lifestyle community. Rhianna is part of our team of ambassadors who through hardwork and dedication to her sport has been inspiring others to participate in sport. Not only is she a talented athlete, she is a fantastic role model for all ages and a perfect example of what can be achieved with dedication and a positive attitude.