Triathlon experts all around the world agree that Emma Jackson will be next Olympic and World Champion. The question is when? In case that the Australian coaches/ selectors include her at 2012 Olympic Team then we consider her -next year she is expected to be further improved- as the biggest favorite for the gold medal. She is the biggest talent worldwide and she is the fourth great “Emma” coming from Down Under. She was born in Joyner (Brisbane, Queensland) in 1991. In 2009 she has won the silver medal at the Junior World Championships and in 2010 she won the gold medal at the World under 23 world championships.
At the sixth issue of our magazine and second of the English edition we present an exclusive interview of this Australian superstar. As at the next issue we will present some of the best coaches worldwide we will also have the honor to have an exclusive issue from Stephen Moss who is Emma’s coach.
- What are your goals for 2011, 2012 ? What are your longterm/ career goals and dreams?
At the start of 2011 my goals for the year were to finish in the top 15 in the World Championship Series ranking and to put myself in the best position possible to be selected in the Australian Olympic team for London 2012. I ended up finishing 4th in the series which was better than I had expected. For 2012 my goal is to make the Australian Olympic team and if I do then get a good result at the Olympic Games plus improve on this year’s ranking in the World Championship Series.
My long term goals and dreams are to win an Olympic and World Championship Gold Medal. Getting these two gold medals would be a dream come true! I want to keep competing in ITU style triathlon racing for as long as I can and then see what happens after that.
- What is a typical day for you ?
A typical day for me varies with what time of the year it is and what type of training block I am in. For example a typical day in an endurance type block in the off season back home would consist of 2 – 4 sessions a day. I swim most mornings, ride during the day and run in the afternoon. Usually I wake up, have something small to eat, do a training session, eat breakfast, do another training session, have lunch, sleep or relax until the afternoon training session, train, come home and have dinner, watch some tv and go to sleep. Most days I just train, eat, sleep!
I have also been completing a university degree part time so assignments and study are slotted in wherever time permits.
- Do you train alone or with a group? Do you prefer to train with female or male triathletes and why? Do you think that a female body can absorb the same training volumes as a male body?
When I am back home in the off season and also when I am overseas in Europe for the summer I always train with a group. I love training with a group especially in hard sessions as it is always great to have someone doing it with you and pushing you. Sometimes I may do a few sessions alone but these are normally the easier sessions.
I like training with females and males for different reasons. It is always great to train with other females of similar ability as you can push each other in sessions and help one another. A track session is a great example of a session I like doing with another female as running with someone always makes you go faster and get more out of the session. Training with males also has its benefits. The males in the group are normally faster which is good to have as there is always someone in front to try and catch or stay as close to or with for as long as possible. This too makes you go faster and improve. Not to mention it is always good to have guys to draft off when riding!
I don’t really know a lot about how much a female or male can take when it comes to training volumes as I am still young and learning. What I do know is that everybody is different so what suits one person may not suit the other. Not everyone can do exactly the same amount of training as somebody else and this is important to know and recognise. Each athlete should do what is best for them and not worry about other people.
- What are the hardest things about being a professional elite athlete? What are nicest things about your life?
The hardest thing about being a professional triathlete is missing out on some of the ‘normal’ things other people do. We can’t just go on a holiday when we want or go out whenever we want as we always have training! It is also hard to do simple things like going to university and getting a degree as it is hard to balance study with training. You want to put 100% into training and unfortunately that means missing out on some things you want to do.
There are definitely some nice things about being a professional athlete too. Doing what you love every single day and wanting to go out there and do your job (training) is great. Enjoying what you do makes life so much happier and easier. Plus travelling around the world, seeing and training at some amazing places is also nice. I would never have been able to see so much of the world if it wasn’t for triathlon so I am happy that I have the opportunity to do this also.
- Could you give some tips to age group triathletes for a fast improvements?
One easy way for any athlete to improve is through their transitions. Most people forget about what some call the ‘fourth leg’ of a triathlon. Valuable time during a race can be won and also lost through transition. I would advise athletes to practise both their transitions by simulating what would happen in an actual race. Practise running from the water, taking off your cap and goggles, putting on your helmet, running with your bike and mounting it. Do the same for transition two. Athletes will be surprised how much time they can make up if they get the little processes right and how much improvement they can make if they practise their transitions regularly.
- What is the philosophy of your nutrition plan?
I am one who has trouble saying no to food, especially when we travel to races and stay in hotels and get a buffet breakfast. The food is so tempting! But it is important to remember that you can treat yourself here and there as you work hard for it. I don’t follow any special diet but try to eat healthy and fuel my body according to what I am doing. If I am in a hard training block then I eat more than if I am on a break for example. If I feel like a treat then I will have one as I know it is important to have a balanced diet.
- What recovery methods are you using?
Recovery is very important for a triathlete due to the large amount of training we put our bodies through. I make sure I utilise the facilities available to me by having an ice bath after a hard session and getting a massage weekly. I also wear 2XU compression gear to aid my recover and make sure I eat properly prior to and post training, drink plenty to keep hydrated, use Endura nutrition products and get a good amount of sleep.