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10 Q’s with a Pro: Laura Siddall

Today we check in with Great Britain's Laura Siddall.

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With zero racing action for the foreseeable future and our “Last Weekend Now” column on hiatus indefinitely, we’ll be checking in with a pro every week to see how they’re coping—and hopefully learn a couple of fun facts. This week, Great Britain’s Laura Siddall checks in from the small village Sutton-on-Trent, in Nottinghamshire, England. Here’s what the four-time Ironman champ had to say about life through the pandemic.

My first race of 2020 would have been…
This is a little tricky as I am still managing the recovery from a fractured collar bone, but in the “ideal” world it would have been Ironman Australia (May 3—the 35th-year anniversary), and then if I hadn’t made it for that, Challenge Roth in July.

I’m social distancing with…
My sister, Naomi and her family, Keith (her husband) and their two kids, Maisie (11) and Jack (9). I was in the USA when things started shutting down and didn’t have a visa to stay in the USA long term and wasn’t able to get back to New Zealand (where I’d left at that point thinking just for five weeks training in America), and with the situation thought it best to go back home to family and the UK. I’ve not lived in the UK since 2007, and probably not stayed in one place for this long in recent years, for as long as I’ve now been at my sister’s house. But they have been great in letting me live with their family.

My favorite indoor workout is…

This always makes me smile now as I was so anti-indoor workouts, but since breaking my collar bone last year and now COVID-19, I’m learning to love and embrace them! My favorite workout is one where I get to do a virtual training session with my coach Julie Dibens and the JD Crew athletes, as well as Matt Bottrill and his athletes in and around the world. We’ve been doing these every two weeks. The workout changes, but it just awesome to feel like you are connected with the awesome group that they are, and the banter sure flows!

If I wasn’t a pro triathlete I would be…
Pretty unhappy! Job wise, I’d assume I’d just be doing what I was doing before I turned pro—an engineer, project manager, business improvement manager, continuous improvement specialist. Although I’d like to think I’d have found the sport and, even as an age grouper, still have become very involved in sport, women’s sport, and triathlon in some way.

My favorite post-workout meal is…
Poached eggs and avocado on toast. Maybe some salmon too, and a fabulous macchiato. Although I have to say I don’t cook this myself, this is often my treat at my favorite cafe when I’m in Christchurch, New Zealand.

One change I’ve made that will probably stick is…
Haha! All the changes I’ve made I don’t really want to stick. I’m eating far too much chocolate, and drinking more wine and gin than I normally do. Don’t worry, I’m not turning alcoholic but it’s just nice to have a glass of wine or gin, without a race looming, and making the most of this time to be able to do that, as it probably won’t happen again (or at least I hope not from a world health and everyone’s life point of view).

The last thing I watched on TV…

“Spies in Disguise” with my niece and nephew!

I knew I could be good at triathlon when…
Still searching! I think coming second in my age group (just seven seconds off the win) at the World Championships (Sprint) in 2010 in Budapest, and doing it on a borrowed bike (mine having been stolen the day before), I think was the first time I thought I could maybe be OK and win a World Championships, but all still with being an age grouper. At this stage, being a professional had not entered my head. Probably the start of the turning point from age grouper to pro was winning Ironman 70.3 Honu overall female amateur and actually crossing the finish line second overall, just behind Belinda Granger (the pro winner), and then going on to win overall female amateur at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. That was when I thought maybe I could give this a crack.

It would surprise everyone to know that…
I’m a LEGO geek. I used to have a full room of LEGOs as a kid. I just unearthed it all in the loft at my Mum and Dad’s and started building again!

The last thing that made me laugh…
The fact that it actually took two engineering degrees and a computer science degree to change a light bulb today. It was like being a joke!

To be fair, it was a light bulb in an oven and the bulb did smash on removal and half get stuck in, and then we also did fuse the house (which upset the kids as it meant the internet was down). It was quite funny though, but maybe you had to be there and maybe lockdown in the UK is getting to us all.

Laura’s sponsors: Factor, Parcours, Hoka One One, Kask, Deboer, Koda, The Magic5, and a shout out to my coach Julie Dibens and the JD Crew.