Happy March.3! On my way home from my swim this morning, on the radio they said March 3 (03/03) was “Champagne Day”? What? What rock have I been hiding under? Immediately I decided this is a holiday I want to participate in- Then I remembered I have a bike session tonight, need to get up early tomorrow AND I think the radio is full of it- because I scoured the internet to find anything on this “holiday” and there was NOTHING on it! Anyone else hear about this “holiday?”
I have something for you even better than champagne!! March’s TTWM Of The Month! Her name? Shannon Coates. Her game? Triathlons!
I came across Shannon on the IRONMAN Website and thought- this girl is amazing! I was floored when she agreed to do this interview. Shannon has been running competitively since she was 11, then she went on to run for Florida State University…then…she stumbled into triathlons… READ ON;)
Thank you so much for doing this interview Shannon! Ok, so what inspired you to get into triathlons? I remember seeing a picture of the swim start of Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii and thought it was the most incredible image I had ever seen and wanted nothing more then to be a part of it. I saw this picture when I was 15 years old and just getting into my running. Years later during FSU cross country I got injured and started road biking on my brothers old bike to cross train during the season. I enjoyed the cycling a lot and from there planned on looking into my first triathlon in between running for FSU. My first triathlon I did I ended up winning the overall female spot which was shocking because I couldnt swim well at all. The win had nothing to do with how I felt about the sport after that race, it only piqued a curiousity in me to see how far I could progress in this foreign territory. I was overwhelmed at how much fun triathlons were though and wanted to do more!
I agree, I’ve done 1 Olympic Distance Tri and I just loved it. Such incredible energy in the air. My goal is just crossing the finish line! What are some of your goals in the triathlon world? I would like to do all the ironman races around the world. I would also like to obtain a pro license one day if I manage to build myself to that level one day.
I have no doubt you will turn pro, this is just the beginning for you! How many races will you do this year? Probably around 6 triathlons this season. 3 are set in stone. Ironman Louisville, Ironman Florida, ½ Ironman Florida. Hopefully I can qualify for ½ ironman world championship. I will also do a few shorter races for fun.
Cool! Do you train with a coach and how intense are your workouts? My coach is professional triathlete Zach Ruble. He gives me pro level workouts because he knows my goal to become pro one day.
That is fantastic! I love working with a coach, even at my recreational level;) Ok- tell me…. Do you ever miss days because you feel lazy or are just not into it? Always! If it is one thing I am trying to master is working full time and training full time. It does have a tendency to wear on you. My heart is always in it though. I make it up somewhere throughout the week, but other times I believe it is important to listen to your body. Sometimes it is better to take a day off rather then train and wear your body down further. You are actually doing more good resting.
Hearing that is like a breath of fresh air! Even pro’s sometimes want days off! You are human! haha…What are some of your nutrition tips for staying hydrated and fuelled during training? Staying hydrated all day long. I am never without a water bottle in hand. I also like to have snacks throughout the day to keep my blood sugar level so it never spikes and I stay energized throughout the day. I like powerbar proteinplus bites in oatmeal. They are so easy to snack on and super healthy!
Oohhh, I’ll have to try the power bites in my oats! What has been your absolute most favorite race? Ironman Hawaii world championship 2010 hands down. This has been my dream race and it was everything I imagined it to be. Swim was superb, the energy on the side lines before the cannon was incredible and there was so many fish! The bike was challenging with its winds and heat but I will never forget the turn around on the bike course in the town of Hawi. There were so many people cheering and waving! It was a burst of energy! The run could have been better for me because I ran into some nutrition problems and felt sick the last ½, but even though I wasnt having my best run out there it was so incredible the camaraderie out there. I met some wonderful people out on that run course! The finish line was nothing I had ever seen before. So much energy and love for every single athlete who crossed the line. Ironman world championship was truly incredible.
WOW. Just WOW! What are some “insider” tips you would give to someone just getting into triathlons? Race simulation is key for newbies in the sport. I remember my first triathlon I didnt know what to expect and panicked during the swim. Get some friends together and go for a mass swim in open water. This way you will know what to expect during the first leg of the race. It is usually quite chaotic during a mass start and if you are in a lake be prepared to sight often and practice doing that because it is horrible to find you have veered off course. Try some brick workouts too where you do a training ride and then immediately hop off your bike, throw on your shoes and run.
I know, the mass swims freak me out- good idea to do some practice before hand! Besides triathlons, what are some other things you enjoy doing? I enjoy yoga and healthy eating. I love cooking and putting together really healthy foods that taste really yummy. I also really appreciate beautiful photography. Modeling can be so artful if done right.
Well, you make a stunning model as well, What is your favourite beauty product? Del Sol nail polish. It changes color in the sun!!!!
Sweet! Ok…more serious, What is your biggest fear? disappointing myself. I am a passionate person and I put my whole heart into things. The last thing I want to feel is that I didnt give my all somewhere. It frustrates me to work so hard for something only to crack somewhere. That would be a disappointment for me, the fact I couldnt mentally get past something and I fear that feeling.
I think you need that fire in order to be such an elite athlete, in Ironman’s no less! What is your favourite quote? To give anything less then your best is to sacrifce the gift -Prefontaine
I’m writing that down! Ok, what’s your greatest achievement? 4th place 20-24 age group at Ironman World championship!!
That’s HUGE! If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be? Craig Alexander- he is kind of amazing..just a little bit (sense sarcasm?)
Hee, hee, can I come? Who do you admire? Anyone who gives everyday their all. Someone who is gracious and humble. Someone who wakes up every morning loving themselves and everyone around them and wants to share that love through a positive attitude day in and day out.
Very well said. What is something about yourself people may not know? I have always wanted to become a doctor because I have always admired the human body for its vast capabilities. I know I can spend a lifetime learning about it and never get bored and always remain fascinated.
Cool! What is something that makes you smile? A sleeping puppy curled up in a little ball.
Awww.. k, last question…..what do you do to RELAX? I like going to the dog park with my little maltese and watch her run around and play with the other dogs.
Thank you so much Shannon for taking the time to talk with us! You are such a huge inspiration and talent. When you get 1st in the Ironman I am going to be yelling- “I interviewed her! I interviewed her!”
I wish you all the best! Follow Shannon’s Blog here. Her website is here!
It’s days like this when I am so happy I started this blog! To have the opportunity to talk with such amazing women. My work is DONE! (for the day? maybe for the week? It’s already Thursday…Is champagne day for real??)