December Athlete of the Month 2010 - Vanessa Dellow

Reddog AOTM, how do you feel about that?

I was very excited, but couldn’t believe it.  It took a while to get the smile off my face and stop bragging about it.  I’m usually quitting triathlons every 3 months so it’s good to be motivated at the moment.  Most people wouldn’t believe it as I’m normally quite lazy.

What attracted you to the sport of triathlon?

Well, this is a long story.  When I was 11, my teacher was a runner and she used make us run for 10 minutes every week and I couldn’t believe that anyone could run non-stop for that long.  But I did it, and I loved it.  So, when I was 12, she convinced me to run a Half Marathon.  I really enjoyed that too.  Then another teacher asked a few of us to do a triathlon in a team at Bribie in March 1988 (yes 1988, not 1998), I did the run.  My whole family came to watch and thought it was a great sport to get involved in and my father was ready for a change of sport from horses to bikes.

So, all 5 of us started doing triathlons.  Our car looked ridiculous with 3 bikes on the roof and 2 on the back.  My brother was 10 and is still doing triathlons professionally and my sister was 7 and still kicks butt in her age group and was formerly a professional.  My mother refers to me as a “social athlete”.  I do it for the awesome social life.  I’ve never really tried or trained that hard until Trent and Brett started pushing me more in the last few months (other than the 3 months training I did for Gold Coast 09).  My big training sessions were normally the race, I love racing, but they hurt so much when you don’t train well.

If you were Reddog coach for the week, what would you do differently?

Probably do more sessions slightly easier and focusing on technique.   I think sometimes if you slow down a bit and fix your technique you can go a lot faster with less effort, but it is very hard to fix while you’re pushing yourself so much.  I also think recovery is important.  I don’t think you could get as fast and fit as you can if you don’t spend time recovering and doing a lot of stretching.

Also, a lot of triathletes don’t use their glutes so I’d add a pilates session.

How much training do you do at the moment?

Hmm, this usually varies from week to week.  When I’m training, it could go from 2 sessions a week to 8.  However, last year I was getting a little bored with triathlons so I thought I’d do something different (crazy?) and enter an Ironman so I’m training for Port at the moment (I wanted to be the first Dellow to do one as I don’t think the 2nd will be too far away).  At 12 weeks to go I’m not doing too much more than Olympic distance training.  However, I’m still training 3 times more than I used to.

Least favourite session and why?

It used to be any bike riding but now I have a new bike I have to ride more now just to keep up with it.  At the moment, I don’t really have a least favourite session, just a least favourite time.  I am not a morning person and have trouble going to sleep before 11 pm so I really don’t like training when I’m tired.  I will skip a session rather than train when I’m really tired as I think it would do more harm than good.  I also don’t like training if I got bashed up by the Bundy Bear the night before.  I need to make sure I enjoy it when I’m training as it is quite hard staying motivated and into triathlons for so many years.

If you had one wish, what would it be?

I don’t really have a wish, if I want something I’d normally get/do it.  I’d just like to keep enjoying what I do, stay happy and continue to love life.

I suppose, in my imagination, I’d like more time in the day to have relaxation time and that money was no object (I stole that one, thanks, it’s a good one).  Oh, and that triathlons became an afternoon sport rather than a morning sport.

Favourite motivational quote?

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. [Theodore Roosevelt]

Racing adds days to training. [Me J]  (Some people say that you shouldn’t race too much because of all the time you spend tapering and recovering but I think that the best training for a triathlon race is doing a triathlon, so, it adds days to training rather than taking them away, haha)

What advice would you give to other Reddogs who would like to be AOTM?

Do what I say, not what I do? No, that’s right, I’m motivated at the moment.

Maybe just listen to your body.  Then you could avoid injury, recover well, and get faster and feel more motivated.

What are your goals?

Cross the line at Port well enough to make the after party the next day, not concerned about my time as long as it is under 17 hours.  Mooloolaba, as close to 2h 20m as possible is my main goal, it’s shorter term.

Who would be your ideal training partner?

I am currently training with my ideal training partners, people at Reddog are great and I love training with friends outside of Reddog.  It would be better if they all trained with Reddog so it would be easier to catch up with everyone.  I’d also like to train with my brother and sister more.  However, I think the only way I’d be able to stay beside them for more than 0.1 seconds would be if we were on wind trainers.