Sophie Bubb was the European Long Distance Triathlon Amateur Champion in 2015, the Ironman UK Amateur Champion earlier this year and last weekend she bagged 2nd in her AG at the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Oklahoma. The Ironman UK result earned her a Kona slot and we caught up with her about her first trip to the Big Island before she left for Oklahoma...
Hi Sophie, where did you qualify and how did the race go?
It was at Ironman UK in Bolton in July. I was super happy to finish as first amateur female overall and to win my age category.
It was a tough battle, I won by 20 seconds and had a very sketchy start; on the way into transition I discovered the head unit on my race bike was cracked! Luckily I had my training bike with me and my husband was able to build that and get it race ready!
First Timer or Kona Veteran?
Podium or Just for Fun?
Just for fun...this time! But I always race my hardest.
That hat looks familiar Soph...
What are you looking forward to most?
The whole experience really. I’m looking forward to going and soaking up the atmosphere. When I first heard about the race and saw some clips on YouTube, I never really considered that one day I would qualify. I’m traveling with my family, I have 2 young kids, and I’m looking forward to seeing them there at the finish line.
Are you (will you be) doing any heat acclimation training?
I had big plans to do so and even got hold of a third hand sauna, but my race calendar in the lead up to Kona is just a little full. I returned yesterday from the ETU Middle Distance European Championships in Austria and leave to go to Oklahoma in 10 days for the ITU Long Distance World Championships*. From there I fly straight to Kona. I arrive in Kona 12 days before the race, so hopefully that will be long enough to help me acclimatise...
* As we mentioned above, Sophie smashed it in Oklahoma, coming 2nd in her category.
How else are you adapting your training in these final weeks before the race?
I’m mainly focusing on my recovery between all of those events!
How will you be managing your taper?
Kona is exactly two weeks after the ITU Long Distance World Championships, so I will be more focused on recovery and concentrating on sleep, nutrition, hydration, stretching and generally looking after myself.
What’s your Kona hydration strategy? What do you do differently to hydrate in hot climates?
I've been working with Andy (from Precision Hydration) and we have come up with a personalised hydration plan. I now know that to optimise my performance my body requires approximately 1003mg for every litre of sweat that I lose. I now pre-load my sodium levels before any event, then during competition I drop the concentration down a little. For Kona I will also use your SweatSalt capsules for the first time.
How will you fuel up before and during the race?
I am always careful with what I eat. Two days before an event I try to ensure I stay hydrated and I stick to high protein, medium fat and medium carb meals. Then the day before I start to increase the amount of carbs I eat and focus on drinking plenty.
24 hours before an event I always eat the same meals; my set pre-race evening meal is Supergreens Risotto.
Do you have any pre race superstitions that you’ll be maintaining on the Big Island?
Nope, I try not to be superstitious, but have been on the look out for a four leaf clover!
Thanks Sophie, Pomaikaʻi! Maikaʻi Pomaikaʻi!