Get to know Lauren Weston...

Get to know Lauren Weston...

You will find yourself adopting the Lauren Weston catchphrase of 'Why Not Tri?' in your everyday life after reading the captivating intro to her Teamsports Blog series.

Lauren 'Why not Tri?' Weston has a long-standing relationship with Grays Teamsports. Lauren came to Teamsports as an ambassador in September 2021.
Lauren is a powerhouse as a female athlete, Director of Sport and role model. She has her own company amongst a number of other feathers in her cap. We are so excited about future projects with Lauren and can't wait for you to get to know her.

What got you into Triathlons?
Honestly, I fall inline with the 77% of women who take up sports to socialise. So I very much resonate with the motivations of teenage girls. I had always competed in Athletics at a County level (mostly 800m) where I performed very well and I swam at County level for a short stint as a breaststroke swimmer. At Birmingham University I played for the Water Polo team and we won BUCS twice so I always had a commitment to sport. Then when I moved to London to start my teaching career I thought “why not tri”? The only thing I could barely do was ride a bike, at least a road bike! You will laugh, but after I signed up for my first triathlon at Windsor castle I also signed up for council run cycling proficiency lessons in North London as I had absolutely no idea to cycle a road bike neither was I road savvy! Fast forward 6 months I finished 2nd female at Windsor triathlon despite losing my bike in transition for over 5 minutes

When did you first represent GB?
When I taught in Beijing, China, I also worked incredibly hard with an outstanding coach Phil Paterson, also a triathlete. He knew I had a huge drive to qualify to represent Great Britain and he helped me negotiate China in terms of getting equipment set up, building a plan around high levels of AQI (meaning you could only run outside a few days a week) and coached me to complete my first Ironman 70.3 in Los Angeles. Fast forward 6 months, I was back in the UK, and after being sponsored (and paid entrance and prize money) in Beijing to race all across the country I qualified for Great Britain after a very fast race in China. My first two races in Europe were cancelled due to Covid so my very first race for Great Britain was the World Championships (Sprint) in Canada, Montreal 2022.

Do you have a favourite out of the three disciplines, & if so, can you explain why?
Running has always been my true passion since a young child and when under pressure, with the right training, I can perform pretty well off the bike. But since getting the taste for road cycling, especially drafting cycling in packs with other outstanding athletes), I love the strategy, the technicality and enormous satisfaction of pushing so hard on the bike you feel at any moment you could be sick! Wrapped up with adrenaline and at times, racing with out GB athletes helping one another out, I am in a complete cycling convert! In fact, (keeping it hush currently), I would love too get into competitive cycling post baby! 


Which coach has inspired you most in your sporting journey?
That is incredibly difficult! I look back to my swimming coach aged 12/13 who screamed at me on pool side constantly pushed me and I can say I learnt a lot. I think of Phil, a previous coach who is an outstanding athlete himself with good conditioning knowledge and he taught me a lot. Now with my current coach, Paul Carter, who has trained over a dozen athletes to GB level and his calm yet incredibly knowledgeable approach suits me now. He will always encourage you to go out there and enjoy it, or have fun whilst secretly spying on your competitors and being totally confident and knowledgeable about all your pitfalls and strengths and I can honestly say this approach brings out the best in many athletes and young people.

How has training been now you are in 2nd/3rd trimester?
I have been unfortunate to struggle with hyperemesis gravidum (so I’ve had to work hard with medical professional to manage my symptoms and be incredibly realistic about what exercise I can and can’t do. Luckily I’ve managed to run the whole way through my pregnancy and just about got around a 10km race a few weeks ago with a fairly good time and I’ve been swimming most days - which is great for pregnancy and have recently started Dani Rowe’s (Olympic cyclist) pre natal Zwift programme. Yoga and meditation has become even more important to me which I practice every morning allowing me to develop kindness to the changes my body is making and awareness to the tightening of my pelvis and back as the baby grows.

What competition is next on the cards for you?
When I found out I was pregnant, I sat and cried and cried! Mostly in excitement but partially knowing my work, competitions and world was about to change (I guess that’s my competitive nature) I had qualified for the World and European championships this year and after finishing 7th in Europe last year I was aiming to podium and either the Europeans or worlds. Since becoming pregnant I have been pretty shocked to see that many sports / marathons do not allow you to defer your place as pregnancy is not seen as a justifiable reason to not race meaning you have to give up your place. I have spoken with British triathlon and some of the incredibly coaches managing the GB team to support an application to apply for discretionary places to the Worlds and Europeans in Istanbul in 2025 - so I am very much keeping my fingers crossed for a come back next season!

If you could play another sport what would it be and why?
Socially or competitively? In the last few years I have taken up Tennis at Putney Lawn Tennis club and I absolutely love it! If I had my childhood again I’d definitely love to have started playing earlier, especially doubles. I love the tactics, importance of technique and fast paced game.

What advice would you give any female athlete considering pregnancy in their sporting journey?

Don’t believe everything you read about pregnancy and the advice some people give about training. With the right approach you can make adaptations and still train throughout your pregnancy. You’ll have to get used to running 30% of your speed whilst being in Zone 4 but it’s totally possible! Be kind to yourself and remember you are growing a human being!

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