As well as the triathletes that have been with our club for many years, it’s also interesting to find out more about the newcomers. We asked Emma Whyte, who races in the senior age category, to tell us about her love for the sport.
Emma, an accountant, has been doing triathlon for seven years and has been a member of GTC for three months.
She started her sporting career as a swimmer. Aged 10, she joined a local swimming club and then continued to swim throughout school, university, before joining a masters team after graduating.
It was the challenge of a new sport that attracted Emma to triathlon.
She says: “Having been a swimmer for a long time, when a couple of my cousins signed up for Edinburgh New Year’s Day Triathlon I decided that I would like to give it a go and try something different.
“I wasn’t hooked immediately – there was a full year between my first two races – but after that second outing that was me.”
Emma states that swimming is still her favourite sport of the three disciplines, although on the day it might also be cycling that she enjoys the most. She says: “If it is a lovely sunny day there is nothing better than being out on my bike with friends.”
When a training session is tough or she is racing, Emma thinks about how she will feel afterwards. She says: “It always feels amazing when you finish a painful session or a race. I like the thrill at the end.”
Having raced all distances of triathlon, from sprint to Ironman, Emma says that she doesn’t have a favourite. “I enjoys them all,” she says.
She is a successful competitor and has some great achievements to her name, including winning Escape from Alcatraz; third place at the Celtman!; and second place in her age group at Ironman Zurich.
Emma has a number of goals for the coming season.
She says: “I want to get better at mountain biking. I am very much a roadie but I would like to improve my skills off road. I love trail running and so if I get into mountain biking it will open up the possibility of racing some off-road triathlons.”
She also has a bucket list of races “to complete at some point”. Next year, Emma will compete in the Norseman. “That will be another race ticked off my list,” she says.
Emma’s three tips for new triathletes
Join a club because training is much more enjoyable with other people
Strength training is important. Over the years, I have learned that I need to do some strength training. When I drop this it is more often than not the time that I get injured.