As I write this, my bestest training buddy (sorry, Kylie) is driving back home to Bath. Freyja, a (stoopendous) modern pentathlete, lives and trains down there with fellow superstars in her sport. She is the one who got me up in the mornings when I started swimming again, I shared a lane with her, and she even met me for my lunchtime runs (slowing down to my speed of course!). On top of that, she also makes THE BEST brownies I have had in this country!
Not only is she super talented (she qualified for the Olympics in 2012 for it only to be taken away from her last minute 😦 on the plus side, she got to keep the kit!), but she is the sweetest, sportiest, and encouraging girl I know… with the best bod! I want her legs! #girlcrush!
As you will see from the following interview I
forced her to do for me before she left asked her to do, she also LOVES an exclamation mark and capital letter. So basically we are soulmates (again, sorry Kyle!):
What are you currently training for?
The start of the 2015 World Cup season (and trying to learn how to swim!).
What are your goals this year?
A top 8 finish at the European Championships this August (the first Olympic qualifier) and a top 6 finish at a World Cup. Try and make some amazing memories… hopefully in some gorgeous countries!
What are your ultimate goals?
To make it to Rio next year
Favourite sporting moment? Meeting Debbie, perhaps?
That is definitely high up my list!!! Emmmm my favourite moment is hopefully still to come
Favourite destination training camp/race?
Definitely Font Romeu. We go there every year in summer and winter for our altitude camps. It is always a horrendously tough camp but it is always SO beautiful and its become like a second home (with AMAZING crepes!).
What is a day in the life of Freyja?
BUSY! I will do at least 3 disciplines a day with the addition of gym three times a week. I also include physio once a week and mandatory lunch dates with friends to try and remain some social life!
What is your preferred discipline?
Definitely riding. Unfortunately I train the least for this discipline as i grew up riding when I was younger so it is almost second nature to me. I find it a way to relax in training as well as on the day of a competition.
What is your least favoured discipline?
HA Funny!! like you have to ask this one!! Attempting to swim!! (edit by Deb: haha! I OBVIOUSLY knew this one, however, she is a phenomenal swimmer! As long as she doesn’t buy a bike I’m safe)
How does a competition go?
Starts early doors with fencing – you fence every opponent for 1 min (or one touch). This gives you a score.
Next is swimming where you race 200m freestyle, the faster the time the higher the points. These points get added to your fence score.
You then move onto the ride where you are given a strange horse, 20mins to warm it up and get used to it, with 4 practice obstacles. Then you have to clear a course of 12 jumps (of 1.20m), with each fault/knock down/fall or second outside of the optimum time deducting points from the maximum score of 300pts.
The accumulation of all your points are totalled up to give you your score after three events. This provides a handicap for the final event, The combined Run-Shoot. The leader after three events starts first with each point equating to one second. You run to the range and have to shoot five targets, then run 800m. This is repeated a further 3 times with the first person to cross the finish line being the winner.
If you were to give 3 pieces of advice to newbies, what would they be?
Focus on the small steps, sometimes people get overwhelmed when looking at a goal or a target. Break it down and focus on the little things that will get you there.
Make sure you try and have fun along the way. You will always perform better if you are enjoying what you do (at least some of the time!)
Never give up! If one discipline isn’t going your way, move on and focus on the next. Don’t let one event hinder the next.
If you weren’t a super talented amazing athlete, what do you think you would be doing?
Probably working as an architect (hopefully abroad somewhere) as I was very keen to study this and was accepted into Edinburgh University. But to choose pentathlon meant I had to move to Bath and it wouldn’t have been feasible to study such a time consuming course and train for five disciplines… so i decided on Biology instead!
Do you get time for a social life? Favourite thing to do outside of training?
Ha occasionally… when I’m not too exhausted and in bed by 9pm! I love going out for lunch or coffee with friends. I also love going to the cinema (especially watching the trailers!!) (edit by Deb: I can agree with this. During “Gone Girl”, because the “Foxcatcher” ad was on beforehand, that’s all we could think about watching) and discovering new music.
Race day routine/superstitions?
I don’t really have a routine on the day as it is usually so busy you don’t really have time! My only superstition is if I do badly in a semifinal I change all my outfits so in the final I don’t wear any of that bad luck!!
What about the few days before a big meet?
My favourite time!! the taper… which means time to rest and EAT!! make sure I’m eating right and allow a bit of extra recharging!! In terms of comp prep I just make sure all my equipment is working and try not to overthink it (TRY not to stress out!!)
Will you miss the big D.E.B. when you go back down the road, and will you be inviting her down for a bath in Bath?
There will be a hole in my life…. I feel i might have to some how fit you into my car and take you south with me!! And YES definitely… we can have a spa weekend – amazing!!
Freyja I WILL MISS YOOOOOOOOU!!! You have motivated me since I started this whole triathlon thing and I KNOW you will make Rio 2016!!! You are such a hard worker, have an inspiring mindset and have the talent to do whatever you want to do!
But, back to me (as always)…I will find it a lot harder to train without you!
(post-parkrun on Christmas day!)
(her famous raspberry and white chocolate brownies…heart attack in a tupperware box!)