Interview: Windsor legend Emma Pallant takes on 2020   

Ahead of the 30th Edition of the Royal Windsor Triathlon, we spoke with world champ and Windsor legend Emma Pallant on her goals for 2020, why she keeps coming back to Windsor and her tips for newbies. Here’s what she had to say.

You started your 2020 season with your third Ironman 70.3 South Africa podium finish in 3 years – congratulations! You lost your nutrition bottle on the bike – how do you keep your cool when things don’t go to plan?

I am very much an ‘in-the-zone’ racer. I don’t hear much around me and just have my head down. When I lost the bottle, I just muscled through – but I definitely do not recommend racing on such little nutrition! I recommend taking a breath, thinking things through as calmly as possible and making the best of the situation you are in.

What are your main goals for 2020?

This year, I am focussed on the Ironman 70.3 World Championship which will be in November in New Zealand. This is a little later in the year than usual which gives me the chance to compete at the ITU Duathlon World Championship in September.

You have won the Royal Windsor Triathlon an incredible 6 times; what do you like about this event?

It is a great warm-up race for me and I am looking forward to coming back. The distance gives me the opportunity to sharpen up my speed and the elite wave is a good size which spurs you on!
It is also my proper local. When I am in the UK, I live and train in south west London and so it is really fun to get everyone together around the race and show people Windsor.

What lessons did you learn in 2019 that you want to apply to this year?

Last year, I raced all distances up to full Ironman and I struggled a little with getting the nutrition right. This year we have chosen to focus in on the middle 70.3 distance so we can really dial in my training, nutrition and race plans.

What would be your top piece of advice for beginner triathletes coming in through The Macmillan Beginners wave?

Train smartly in all the disciplines. Don’t be scared to get your heart rate up – but also keep your easy sessions easy. Combine multisport sessions when you can. It doesn’t have to be intense but gets you used to moving from the swim to the bike and the bike to the run.

You often celebrate the positive power of sport; what does triathlon mean to you and what keeps you showing up day after day?

It is a community and I love that everyone can race together. Triathlon combines a number of strengths and weaknesses – your strengths will be the next person’s weakness and vice versa which keeps it really interesting. Also, I grew up a track runner and whilst I loved that, triathlon gives you so many opportunities to explore, see beautiful places on the bike and interact with all types of people.
We can’t wait to back Emma at the 2020 Royal Windsor Triathlon – will you be lining up beside her The Windsor Classic Sub 2hr30 wave?
If you are a beginner, check out the Macmillan Beginners Wave. Our beginner training articles will set you off in the right direction!