Hello Katerina, welcome to the team! Can you tell us all a bit more about yourself?
I’m 40 years old and I come from Corfu in Greece, but have lived in London for around 15 years now. I have two kids under the age of 10 and run a website called racecheck which launched recently. I compete mostly in middle distance triathlon and train around 13-15 hours per week.
How did you get into triathlon?
In 2001 I had a friend in Greece who had done an Ironman – triathlon really wasn’t very common in Greece at the time! It sounded interesting and I’m always up for a challenge, so decided to sign up with the Greek triathlon champion at the time, who coached me for about 9 months. I did my first race at the Greek National Triathlon Championships in 2001 and came 3rd!
However, the next year I moved to the UK to do a masters in finance which didn’t leave me enough time to train, so I put triathlon on hold. It wasn’t until 2011 when I went to watch my brother compete at Challenge Roth that the spark came back. After seeing him race and being in the triathlon world again, it inspired me to re-engage with the sport. My brother and my husband encouraged me, and I ended up getting a TT bike for Xmas so it would have been rude not to!
In 2013 I did the ITU World Olympic Distance Championships, representing Greece. But I realised I didn’t really enjoy sprint or Olympic; it felt like I had just started warming up when it was all over, and soon realised I wanted to go longer. I wanted a bigger challenge, so I signed up for Vineman 70.3 in the USA and loved it.
That’s some story! When did you start using Elivar products?
I found out about Elivar on Twitter as I saw that some other (quite good!) athletes used their products, and also the fact that they are for over 35 year olds appealed to me. I fit the age category, so I thought why not get something specifically for the needs of your body as you get older? I ordered the products about a year ago and really like the taste, especially the Recover products.
I’m really bad at refuelling myself after sessions so having something easy to prepare with all the right ingredients and nutritional requirements was super convenient! This encouraged me to have something after sessions (I’m too busy to prepare food a lot of the time!) and has definitely helped improve my recovery and performance, so I just stuck with them!
Which Elivar products do you use, and how do they differ from other nutritional products on the market?
I use Recover, Endure and Prepare. The reason I like them is that they are the only products on the market which are specifically tailored to people my age, fulfilling certain needs which are required as the body ages. The individual sachets are perfect for taking to races or when travelling which is really handy. Also the taste is great.
I have to say, I also love the frog on the packaging – it is so cool!
Of course, we are proud of our frog! How important is nutrition in an endurance sport like triathlon then?
It’s VITAL! That’s how important it is! If you don’t fuel properly you’ll never perform to your abilities. You can have the best coach or training programme in the world but if you have a nutritional shortfall you will never achieve what you’re capable of.
What are your race plans for this season?
I am competing at Ironman 70.3 Zell-am-See in Austria in August, Ironman 70.3 Turkey in October, and am hoping to qualify to compete at the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Australia!
Exciting! So what’s the best thing about triathlon in your opinion?
I love that it’s challenging. There are also three disciplines so you never get bored! Also, I love being part of a community of like-minded people.
And the worst?
It’s time consuming! It makes it hard to balance everything. It’s also quite costly, especially if you like to race abroad like me!
What would you be doing if you weren’t into triathlon?
Oh probably ultrarunning or something! I’d love to do an ultramarathon one day, something crazy like the Marathon des Sables or the Ultra Trail de Mont Blanc. I’d just pick another extreme challenge in the sports world because that’s what I am addicted to!
And finally… if you had one ‘last supper’, who would you want to share it with?
You know what, someone from ancient Greek history like Alexander the Great. I admire what he did, leading an army and conquering vast lands, spreading civilisation, building an empire. He was a man with a dream and I can relate to that!
ABOUT ELIVAR FEATURED ATHLETES PROGRAMME
Elivar’s Featured Athletes are everyday people – aged 35 and over – who manage to balance busy working and family lives, yet still find a way to push themselves in their chosen sport. Some of them are Age Group World Champions, some are unsung heroes who put the miles in for their chosen charities. They are Triathletes, Swimmers, Long-distance Runners, Cyclists – one thing they all have in common is that sport is an important part of their lives. Elivar fuels their passion.
View the team here