Emma Pallant: triathlon as a way of life

Emma Pallant (27) is a former Team GB athlete, running qualifying times for both the Beijing and London Olympics on the athletics track. The British athlete only recently made the move to triathlon, bursting onto the scene in 2016. Pallant won IM70.3 UK, finished on the podium at 6 x IM70.3 distance events, extended her World Title Duathlon and won another 6 short distance triathlon events to make 2016 a real breakthrough year. In 2017 Emma Pallant went from strenght to strenght taking the Vice-World title IM70.3 in Chattanooga. Actually she is competing for BMC-Vifit Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace.

Now, we had the wonderful opportunity to make a little interview with her and discover her personal world:

You have a past as a Duathlon world champion athlete (2015 and 2016): a very special sport and, maybe, not so well known. At what age did you start practicing this sport? And how did you get passionate about it?

I did all sport when I was little, I loved just to be running around all the time but when I was 12 my running coach told me if I want to be good at one thing then I need to really concentrate on that and cant do anything. So I ran internationally up until the age of 18 when I had a serious knee operation and had to swim and bike to keep fit and that’s when I had my first go at triathlon

PH: James Mitchell

How come, despite the great successes, you switched to a difficult and challenging sport like triathlon? What made you make this decision?

The swim was always the hardest part for me and I loved the push of duathlon because it’s so hard on the legs and it’s all about the push, I’m definitely better at duathlon but it’s not a mainstream sport like triathlon so I just use it to compliment my triathlon races and make me tougher.

What advice would you give to a cyclist who wants to approach triathlon? We know that as soon as we see the water we are in crisis.

I think duathlons are a great way to help triathlon strength and also confidence if you move straight from cycling because it will be a smoother switch to triathlon and you can race it whilst you are learning to swim. But the swim is all about technique, I would definitely advise getting in a squad or investing in a coach straight away because you don’t want to drill in bad habits in the water, get the technique first and then the fitness is the easy bit.

PH: James Mitchell

How many kilometers of swimming, cycling and running do you cover, on average, during a whole year of training?

Wow, I don’t even know in a week, its so variable but in terms of hours I do around 6 hours of running, 19 hours cycling and 24 km swimming.

What is your typical day before an important race? And how important is nutrition in your preparation?

Nutrition is super key, especially for the long distance. I use my race nutrition in training so that my gut will respond well in a race. A typical day leading into a race though will be a rest from the run and a short bike and swim session with pick ups to sharpen up the body and get everything fired up and ready for the next day.

PH: James Mitchell

Which is the most beautiful Ironman 70.3 you have ever won? What emotions has it aroused and what memories do you always have with you?

I think probably Barcelona! I just love that race because the bike is a nice, hilly, honest course and I am not a good descender so I am always having to push hard uphill to then limit the loss downhill and then chase after the swim and on the run. I love the chase and the support in that race is amazing, the weather has always been good and a lovely beachfront finish. I think every race to win is so special though because it takes so much preparation and then you still need things to go well on the day and no bad luck! 

What are your next goals? Are you seriously aiming for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?

I am aiming for 70.3 racing! I love the long distance racing because it is non drafting and you really have to push hard from the start of the gun for a good 4 hours and go some really deep dark places in this time. I love it! 

Last question: can you describe with three adjectives the Emma outside the competition fields? What are your main hobbies besides triathlon?

Happy, energetic and likes to have a laugh! I like to think I don’t take life too seriously; I’m out to have fun and I love spending time with friends and family and keeping active in the sun: I never sit still for long! But any holiday sports I love! 

PH: James Mitchell

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