The journey of ‘Iron woman’

Having started racing in a triathlon at the age of 16, Holly Lawrence has won many titles in the past 14 years, especially IRONMAN 70.3.

The journey of ‘Iron woman’
Holly Lawrence

Holly Lawrence is a professional triathlete from the UK. Given Lawrence’s swimming and cross-country running background, she was targeted for development in pentathlon alongside her brother when she was young.

After she raced in a triathlon at the age of 16, she discovered a sport for herself. She raced on the British circuit and became a member of a French Grand Prix team while attending university.

In 2014, she was invited to join the British team in the European championships.

Lawrence moved up to the non-drafting IRONMAN 70.3 distance in 2015, which played better to her strength on the swim and bike. Her win at IRONMAN 70.3 Vineman in California in the U.S. and a second-place finish on the hilly IRONMAN 70.3 Mont Tremblant in Québec, Canada were indicators of her potential, which she has since made good on.

Lawrence’s win at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Mooloolaba, Australia was the high point of a breakthrough year that saw the Welsh triathlete win three titles over the half dis-tance.

Then, the IRONMAN 70.3 superstar has been using social media to connect with her local en-durance community and get more people out enjoying running together for her weekly Sunday long run. The idea came when Lawrence noticed lots of other runners frequenting her normal route, but all running solo. She put a call out on social media for anyone to join her on her long run, and was pleasantly surprised to find lots of interest.

The “Iron woman” came second at the IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside in California on April 7, 2018 although she fractured her ankle – discovered in the bike leg. It was eight long months of rehabilitation for Lawrence after the accident. She recently made her comeback, winning 70.3 in Dubai in December 2018 and Bahrain in February 2019.

“I’ll be travelling the day after the North American 70.3 Professional Championship in St. George in the U.S. on May 4 straight to Vietnam so it will be an interesting preparation week with travel and just trying to maximize recovery. But I’ll be going in relatively unprepared for the heat and humidity,” said Lawrence when being asked plans after the crown in Bahrain.

“I’m so excited to visit Vietnam,” she said. “I have never been and heard so many amazing things so it was a great excuse to have a vacation race and spend some days after the race here where I can’t wait to try all the local food and explore.”

Apart from racing, Lawrence is also eager to share her experience in healthcare as well as injury heal to amateur athletes, especially those in Vietnam.

“People should pay attention to nutrition before, during and after racing,” she said, explaining that runners do not try new things before the race and focus on good hydration. During racing, it is ideal to know how many grams an hour of carbs to get in as well as fluid amounts. Meanwhile, after racing, a good recovery meal and relaxing (lots of sleep and adequate protein intake) are important tips.

“Listen to your body is probably my biggest piece of advice,” Lawrence said about experience in handling injuries. “It’s when I’ve ignored those tell-tale signs in the past I’ve gotten in trouble.”


Bottom lines of Holly Lawrence

Q: What are your normal day and weekend?

A: My days revolve around training but I always factor in my favorite places for coffee stops or lunch post training to make it more of an enjoyable lifestyle instead of ‘getting it done’ like it’s a job.

Do you have a hobby outside of triathlon?

I’m pretty lazy when I’m not training so anything that doesn’t require too much energy sunbath-ing, hanging out with friends, eating and the occasional cocktail.

What is your favorite food?

Sweets - I have a massive sweet tooth.

What is your favorite race destination so far?

Mont Tremblant, Canada.

What is your motto in life?

Don’t take life too seriously.

Nhan Tam

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