It’s not often that you get the chance to ask an Olympic triathlon champion some questions, but some of Flora Duffy’s followers got lucky yesterday during an Instagram Q&A session. Bermuda’s star athlete answered eleven questions about planning, racing, training, eating and more.
If you just showed how talented you are on the short distance, it may seem like a strange question: ‘Do you plan to shift to long-distance racing?’ Yet, many athletes make the transition after an Olympic year, just like Kristian Blummenfelt is exploring the long distance. “Exploring” is even an understatement, because the Norwegian managed to break the Ironman “world record” in the same year that he won Olympic gold. While Blummenfelt now has his eyes set on the Ironman World Championship, Duffy continues to focus on the short distance. “No plans to race an Ironman anytime soon”, she states. “I was invited to race the Ironman World Championship, but I declined my slot.”
Probably no Long Distance for Duffy in 2022, but she does expect to enjoy some middle-distance racing this year. That’s nothing new for Duffy, because she did so in 2020 too. Successfully, because she won Ironman 70.3 East London, South Africa.
Swim, bike or run?
Duffy may have a clear preference for the short distance, she has no outspoken preference for one of the three triathlon disciplines. But if she had to choose one, it would be cycling. “Tough choice between running and cycling, but I’d say cycling. Many different bikes to ride and places to explore.”
And if she then had to pick her favorite bike, it would be the “normal” road bike. “I love mountain biking”, the 2022 Xterra world champion says. “But I prefer road, specially because I get to ride bikes like this”, she wrote under the following photo.Text continues below picture
An interesting question for an athlete who seems to turn everything into gold at the moment: ‘How much do you train every week?’ “I swim six times per week, bike five to six times per week, run four times per week and go to the gym twice a week”, Duffy answered the question.
Monday and Friday are relative rest days, she explains in another comment. “My training week has a mix of both”, she answered the question ‘how often do you do easy sets and how often do you do hard sets?’. “Monday and Friday are always easy days. Other days of the week have varying levels of intensity.”
“I worked with a sport psychologist”
Not only must Duffy physically be in the best shape, also mentally everything needs to be right. And she’s not afraid to ask for some help with that. “This past year I worked with a sport psychologist, which helped a lot”, Duffy comments on the question ‘how do you deal with the pressure?’. “Plus, I always try to turn the pressure and expectation into a positive”, she continues. “But it has taken a lot of work to get comfortable in that space.”
“I don’t have one”, Duffy gives a clear answer when asked for her 5K run PB. “I rarely do stand-alone run races, and typically I run faster off the bike.”
‘Are you on any specific diet plan?’ “No, I don’t follow a specific diet plan, although I don’t eat much meat. I just try to eat healthy and make sure that I am getting enough calories in. Must fuel well to go fast!”
Duffy concludes her Q&A saying she will kick off the 2022 season with the World Triathlon Championship Series in Yokohama (May 14-15). And on the question what part of the Olympic course she liked most, she answers with a photo of the finish line. “This part”, she jokes. “Actually, I really liked the entire course.”