Episode 98

Lucy Bartholomew: When ultra runner really met Ironman

Australian ultra runner Lucy Bartholomew hit the headlines as a teenager, for completing her first ultra marathon when she was just 15. Back in 2014, she was crowned World Junior Sky Running Champion, in 2018, she was 3rd female at the Western States 100. It's hard to believe she's still only in her mid-twenties. But as Covid hit, Lucy decided it was time for a new challenge. She is now training for her first Ironman as a total newbie to triathlon.

You'll hear:

09:15 The start of the interview with Lucy

11:12 How her training compares between ultra running and triathlon 'it's blowing my mind, it's been challenging. I have so much respect for anyone who does all of these sports. When I'm running, I go out for an hour and I'm done. I'm shocked at what the body can do.'

14:15 Lucy explains she has found the cycling 'terrifying'. 'It's really challenged me, it's a very different type of training. Half the time I feel like I'm stressing and white knuckling down the hills.'

18:00 Her thoughts on wanting to do something completely different and not box herself in. 'I want to be a strong athlete, a strong woman, but I don't just want to be Lucy the runner. I've done a lot in running and there is definitely more out there, but over the last few years, I realised I needed to switch it up to be that strong athlete for the rest of my life.'

20:40 Why she out-ran her love of running in 2019. 'The emotions within were were very much like 'I'm done with this. And I've always said I wanted to chase things that I was committed to and I feel like I've come full circle back to it too.'

26:45 Lucy talks about some of the mental struggles she has faced following the Covid outbreak.

30:00 Lucy says she is good at resting and she too has days thinking 'do I really want to be doing this? In lockdown without goals and need to be ready, I've decided to move forward with more rest.'

32:40 The question on anyone's mind training for an Ironman: When do you shower when you are training for these things?

34:25 What does running mean to Lucy? 'It's such a simple way for anyone to move their body. It's a way to explore the planet, meet people and you can go for a run and tell someone your life story because you are so vulnerable. Running brings that out in us. It brings us back to square one. It can be super hard, but it can be so rewarding, whether you are at the front or the back of the pack'

36:38 Lucy talks about her most heartbreaking moment in running, which was realising at the Western States 100 in 2019 that she had fallen out of love with running. But if I start something, I'm committed. There is a beauty in being able to suffer and I thought even if I don't meet people's expectations, at least I got there and if I got there in that bad a state, imagine what I could do with my head in a good place.

46:30 How to deal with an expectation of always doing well and winning. 'Something like Ironman will change that for me. It's one of those things where you have to expect I did the best I could on the day, in the conditions I had. There are things you can't control and it's really important to take a moment to reflect and look back.' I am working on being mentally stronger and believing that the best is yet to come'

49:15 Some absolute golden advice that Lucy gave to one of her athletes who was struggling with motivation. 'I don't care what you look like when you run, what I care about is you giving yourself this opportunity to get out the door. I wanted her to know that when she uploads her workout, I couldn't care about her splits. I wanted her to go back to what running is, to think this is me time, to help myself. In the ultra world, there can be a vibe of 'I don't get out of bed for less than 30km' but I just think that is affecting people coming into the sport and people can start to lose motivation.'

54:10 We have to realise that not everyone is trying to be the first person across the tape, most people are going there to put themselves out there and that's an intimidating thing to do.

58:50 Lucy's tips for a triathlon thinking of doing their first ultra 'your life just became a whole lot more simple. It's about getting your body used to impact and consistency. Do it with people, it's way more fun to get deep and meaningful out on the trails.

Find out more about this week's guests

Lucy Bartholomew Instagram

Lucy's e-cookbook Sustain your Ability

Friday November 12th 2021: MOVE Charity Ball tickets

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About the Podcast

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Inside Tri Show
Helen Murray brings you awesome interviews from triathlon and beyond

About your host

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Helen Murray

Helen has been working in triathlon for a decade as an athlete, coach and broadcaster.

Helen hosts the Inside Tri Show podcast bringing you awesome interviews from triathlon and beyond