#THISISMYADVENTURE - Aimee Sennett
After picking up several injuries from the impact running had on her knees, Aimee took on the challenge of mastering two other disciplines and competing in triathlons. We catch up with her to find out more about the transition.
Coming from a background in athletics, Aimee always dreamt of being the next Kelly Homes, but lost this passion as a teenager. In need of a challenge during her uni years Aimee spontaneously booked a marathon and quickly got into it ‘Marathon training was tough for a girl who hadn’t put her trainers on for five years, but I soon felt the love I had for the sport in my younger years’.
Three years on and she now has a few marathons, lots of half marathons and a plethora of 5 and 10k’s under her belt! Naturally she start to look towards ultra marathon distance, but Aimee’s knees had other ideas and were crying out for a different discipline. Looking to increase race distance but while minimising the impact on her joints, Aimee shifted to triathlon - ‘One google search later, I booked a Half Ironman and never looked back’.
Unsurprisingly, with all the experience already under her belt, the run section is by far Aimee’s strongest point in triathlon. Having always enjoyed swimming too, she is naturally quick in this section of the race. Cycling on the other hand is by far her weakest discipline and as Aimee says, ‘this is incredibly disadvantageous as it’s the longest section of the triathlon and where most people make up their time’. However, she revels in this! ‘I like having to work hard on the bike to get the results I want’.
Training & Nutrition..
Aimee, who balances her sport alongside a full time job, will train for up to 2-3 hours a day on a working (an hour before and up to two hours after) and 3-4 hours at the weekend, in the run up to an event. She has a dedicated IronMan coach to plan her training sessions which include strength, yoga, cycling, swimming, running, and turbo training (the bike on a turbo-machine). Foam rolling and baths played a vital part also!
Aimee currently trains 1-2 hours each day and race most weekends.
Needless to say, this amount of training requires a solid diet behind it, and Aimee is primarily vegan, eating lots of fruit, vegetables and carbohydrates.
When training intensifies she’ll increase the intake of carbohydrate based meals and during events she’ll aim for a large meal the day before, and a small carbohydrate snack two hours before the start time. Whilst racing she’ll use energy gels and easy snacks on the bike section.
So what are her favourite moments so far?..
‘A highlight would have to be running toward the finish line in Chattanooga Tennessee with the crowd chanting my number “991, 991” after 1.2 miles swimming, 56 miles on the bike and 12 miles running I found the energy to sprint the last mile, and the crowd went wild; it was amazing! Another highlight would be at the Ullswater triathlon, I booked this triathlon when on holiday in the lake district for me and my partner Louis to compete in. After a gruelling event when everything appeared to go wrong (chain coming off, water bottle fell out the cage, no fuelling etc) I finished the race with my partner and his family watching. They had never seen a triathlon before, but decided that they were going to sign up for it next years! Ullswater Triathlon was my worst racing time but my most successful event because I helped inspire others to join the sport’.
Inspired? Book it..
There are many Go Tri events (mini triathlons) for people who would like to get into the sport. Aimee’s advice - ‘if you want to do something, book it. Find a race and book it immediately, it forces you to learn, grow and challenge your self. When I booked my first Marathon, and Half IronMan, both without any prior experience, people thought I was crazy. But I work best with a looming deadline and a big goal. So jump online and find your first race! If you have already competed in triathlons but want to get to the next level, find a coach or club and share this desire with them, they will get you there!’
So what’s next and where can you follow Aimee?
Racing most weekends, Aimee regularly posts on Instagram and also runs website Twenty odd, providing all kinds of info and inspo on traithlons, running and hiking.
Her next big challenge is the IronMan Lake Placid, in New York next year. Having just started the training program for it, ‘in a few weeks time the intensity will be extremely high and I am so ready!’