On the weekend, Team USANA Triathlete and ultimate legend Katy Duffield competed at the toughest ever daylight triathlon – the Australian Alpine Ascent; and I am happy to report not only did Katy Duffield WIN this event, the professional athlete set a new course record (female) in a time of 8 hours and 18 minutes. Katy’s overall scores saw her being number 1 female and 4th overall (against males). Katy Said “it was a hard day, but I loved it. I was totally in my element and felt comfortably uncomfortable from start to finish. I was really happy with how my body and mind performed on the day.”
The Australian Alpine Ascent (AAA) Triathlon Festival is specifically generated to be the “world’s most gruelling set of single day challenges held within daylight hours”. It started off with a swim across Lake Jindabyne followed by 128km bike ride where you will reach heights up to 1964m and finishing off with a combination road and trail track run of 28km. The participants went through Dead Horse Gap, Perisher, Charlotte Pass and the Thredbo Village Green. Its known to be a brutal but beautiful course. Click here for more information on the AAA: https://www.facebook.com/EliteEnergy/videos/1082109361858796/
We asked Katy Duffield all about the gruelling event and how she prepared. And these were her answers:
It was put on my radar last year when the event was first launched. Unfortunately, I was unable to get there due to other commitments, however I was determined to make it there this year. I am always looking for ways to test my body and mind. This event was definitely going to push my limits which is why I signed up! It was also located in one of the most spectacular parts of Australia, the Kosciuszko National Park, so I couldn’t resist.
2) How did you prepare for the event?
A lot of training and hard work goes into competing in an event like this. Months of training across all three disciplines (swim/ bike/ run) is required in order to prepare your body for the ultimate test in not only endurance but strength as well. Most weeks consisted of over 20 hours of training. I also increased my strength training to help me prepare for the climbing involved in this particular race. Once all of the training had been done I went down to the Snowy Mountains in order to spend some time at the higher altitude. Getting your body use to having less oxygen to work with is very important. It takes time to allow the proper adaptations to be made so you can really get the most out of yourself on race day.
3) What did the race consist of? What were your results?
3km swim in Lake Jindabyne/ 128km ride (over 300m of vertical climbing)/ 28km run to the highest peak in Australia (Mt Kosciuszko). I finished in 8 hours and 18min and set the female course record. This saw me cross the line as the first female and fourth athlete overall (including the men).
I was horrified to see so many athletes fuelling their bodies purely on simple sugars. This is a BIG mistake. When you are pushing your body for over eight hours it requires so much more than sugar to keep the engine burning. I am a big believer in keeping your hydration and nutrition separate and I often witnessed athletes consuming sports drink and soft drink to hydrate and refuel. Needless to say they were nowhere to be seen toward the later stages of the race.
5) What are your top 3 tips to finish the Australian Alpine Ascent?
1) Get in lots of strength work on the bike. That means climbing every hill you can find (several times) in order to build up those climbing muscles.
2) The AAA is definitely a test of endurance, so less speed work is required with more time spent in the saddle and running at less intensity.
3) Try and get up into the altitude, or simulate altitude (tent or mask) in the final days before the race. Your body will need to adjust to the lower oxygen levels before race day.
Fortunately Katy has USANA supplements to keep her going. “I have trusted their products for many years to help keep my body in peak physical condition,” she said. “The training demands of being a full time professional triathlete can put a massive strain on the body, which is why I trust USANA to help keep me healthy. The USANA products help with my daily energy levels and aid the recovery process. I wouldn’t have anyone else on my team. I am always looking to get an edge over my competitors and there are so many big gains to be made simply by making the right lifestyle choices,” she said.