For the Women on Wheels with ELITE by BKOOL competition, we have organised a series of interviews with successful women in sport so they can tell us about their careers and we can get to know them a little better. Christine Warren is the first to join this round of interviews via Instagram Live.
From BKOOL’s official Instagram account many Bkoolers had the opportunity to see this triathlete live and ask her their own questions. The interview is saved on BKOOL’s Instagram and can be viewed whenever you want.
Christine Warren is an American triathlete with a passion for nutrition, which she talks to us about during this interview. She participated in her first triathlon, the Long Beach Sprint Triathlon in Long Beach, in 2017 and came fifth overall, qualifying for nationals in her age group. Since then, Christine hasn’t stopped competing and conquering new goals, with this interview we have no doubt that she will also conquer all Bkoolers with her approachability.
How did you get started in triathlon Christine?
Christine Warren: Back in 2016 I broke both of my ankles in a horse riding accident, before that I was not into fitness or sports at all. While sitting around with my broken ankles and kind of feeling sorry for myself I kept asking myself what I was going to do when I could walk again. So I realised that I wanted to get fit, this is how I started running and I loved it inmediatly. After a while I realised that I wanted something more challenging, and as I always loved swimming as a child I decided to give it another go. Having done both sports separately I thought about how I could bring them together, and learning to ride a bike sounded pretty cool.
What are your tips for those who are just getting started in triathlon? Having started after an injury I’m sure you have some great tips to share with us.
CW: In my opinion, coaches are great and they are a very good option to start practising any sport, but if they are not what you are looking for, my recommendation is to join a club or look for people around you to train with. It’s really important to train with people who can guide you, because it’s not just one sport, but three. For me, joining a club was very helpful as there is a lot to learn and having people to guide me and help me was great. It’s also important to take it easy, a lot of people try to do what others do and don’t realise that it takes a long time to balance all three sports and progress in all of them.
Of the three sports you practice, which is the hardest when it comes to preparing for competition?
CW: This has changed over the years, when I started, I had a background in swimming because I swam as a child and I felt more comfortable with swimming. The running was what I liked the most and I was naturally good at it, so that’s what I mostly did. Cycling, on the other hand, was very difficult for me because I’m a small woman and I didn’t have the legs for cycling yet. So at the beginning the most frustrating thing for me was cycling, because I had to work very hard at it.
Now things have changed, cycling is really good for me because I have been focusing on it. Swimming is the one that unfortunately I’ve put on the back burner, because that’s what happens when you focus too much on one thing, everything else falls back. You have to go little by little and always remember that there is three of this!
What are your goals in triathlon? Let’s talk about your future goals because with the current situation it is difficult to know when you are going to compete again.
CW: Very good question, I would like to win my age category. On the other hand, I was lucky enough to qualify for the 2019 world championships and it was an amazing experience. I qualified in the middle of the pack, next time I would like to get to the top but I would settle for a top ten position.
Go for it! I think you could get to number one if you put your mind to it. So my next question is who has inspired you the most?
CW: I think there are a lot of people who are important to me, like my husband and my family. They have sacrificed a lot for me to be where I am and they have always supported me, I always want to achieve the best possible result for them. I also follow many other athletes on Instagram who inspire me to do my best on a daily basis. I love watching them work hard and being reminded that we are all in this together. And I can’t forget to mention my coach, I have an amazing relationship with him, he invests a lot in me and my progress, which is a good motivation for me to do my best for him and my team.
What is the most difficult thing for you when preparing for a competition?
CW: For me, besides nutrition, recovery and rest, the hardest thing is training on my own. I’ve always enjoyed training with people, but it’s important to focus on yourself while preparing for a competition.
Now you are focusing on nutrition coaching, do you think it is really necessary to have a nutrition plan to achieve your goals or is having a healthy diet enough?
CW: As long as you have knowledge of what it takes to fuel your body for your workouts and a healthy diet in general, it can be enough. You need to understand about hydration, carbs, protein… this is something I find a lot of people get wrong. You may not need a plan, but you need to have a general understanding of what is going on in your body. In sport everything goes together, so nutrition is very important to reach your goals.
Even being a nutrition coach and always trying to read and learn more, sometimes I get it wrong. It’s definitely a changing process, your body is constantly changing, so your nutrition has to adapt to it. For me the most important thing is to listen to your body. This is like training five different sports: running, cycling, swimming, nutrition and recovery.
Any nutrition advice for someone who has never been on a nutritional plan?
CW: The most important thing to remember is that what you put into your body is the fuel for your body and your life. For me it’s important to cut out junk food and eat healthy. Keep in mind that the more you train, the more carbs you will need, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated and eat vegetables!
When is your next competition and how much time do you have to prepare for it?
CW: Saint George North American Championship is my next big race, which will take place on May 1st. I’ve had a season off and then I’ve been building the base. My next race is in May, but I don’t want to be at my best in May, I want to be at my best in September, so all this training is leading up to it. My training for this race started five weeks ago.
Do you think tools like BKOOL are useful for cycling?
CW: Without a doubt, Covid has shown how this type of tool is very helpful when it comes to training without going outside. During the months of quarantine being able to have such a realistic cycling simulator and being able to train in my own home was amazing.
How important is indoor training for your training plan?
CW: It’s essential, I couldn’t do all my training without it. I have my ELITE bike and with the BKOOL simulator I can complete all my training sessions. My indoor cycling workouts vary depending on the day. I usually do them on the computer and I do two days a week of aerobic cycling and two days of big intervals.
And in order to end this interview, what do you like most about BKOOL?
CW: It’s so realistic, I love how you can get inside your head and pretend you’re outdoors. It’s good for the mind, I’ll be joining all the Bkoolers next Thursday to ride!
From BKOOL’s Instagram there will be more interviews like this one happening in our Instagram, remember to follow us to keep up to date.