Dr Hannah Wells, PhD in Biotech Engineering, off-road Xterra triathlete, Pro Ironman Triathlete, Marathon runner and Myovolt ambassador. With a high output performance following her move into a professional athlete role in 2019 we took some time to find out more about the athlete and her love of sport.
Q. Hannah, what was your sporting background growing up? And how did this contribute to you taking up triathlon?
A. "I played a lot of sport growing up. Weirdly though, no swimming, biking or running (specifically). I was more of a team sports person through high school and University, playing for both the Massey Uni A netball and volleyball team. It was late in 2012 when I stumbled across the local triathlon club at the pool, I was there trying to keep fit while nursing with a foot injury from netball. I joined in on the clubs swim squad session (badly) and from there fell in love with the challenge of the sport and never looked back."
Q. What was it about endurance sports that led you into a full-time commitment?
A. "What lured me into going full time was wanting to see how far I could go if I put all my energy and effort into being the best I can be in endurance sport. I love just training, and racing is the icing on the cake, so to be able to do this as my job is a dream come true".
Q. Out of the three sports in triathlon, which one is the most challenging for you and which one do you enjoy the most?
A. "I love them all and at same time I find all three very challenging. I go through phases of finding each of the three more difficult than the others, depending on what my training focus has been. Although if I had to pick I would probably say that I still find swimming the most challenging, since I didn’t swim when I was younger. Running is probably my favourite over biking, but only just."
Q. What does a typical day of training look like to you, say if you were in the middle of race prep?
A. "It could be anywhere between 2 to 6 hours of training. But a pretty typical day may look something like a 4 to 5 km swim (1.5 hours), a 1.5 to 3 hour bike ride with a 30 to 60 minute run off the bike.
Q. With international and local competitions being cancelled this year, what’s motivating you to keep training and pushing your performance?
A. "I love to train anyway, so the motivation to keep training isn’t too hard. What I am finding harder is planning my training, dealing with the disappointments of race cancellations and keeping focus on the big picture. Plans are forever changing with race cancellations and unknowns, so it is making it pretty hard to put together a well periodised plan."
Q. What’s your typical recovery regime after training, is it the same for each sport or does it differ depending on what you have been working on?
A. "Recovery is just as important as training. In between sessions or after sessions I firstly prep some good recovery food (like a smoothie) and then I spend a bit of time off my feet, resting on the couch using my Myovolt on any particularly tight areas. I also meditate and try to do a bit of stretching and mobility most days."
Q. How much time during a typical training day do you dedicate to recovery?
A "At least an hour per day. But with Myovolt I am able to extend that a bit longer since I can put it on while also doing other things."
Q. How does Myovolt fit into or complement the other parts of your recovery schedule?
A. "Myovolt is great because not only can I use it while resting on the couch, but I can also leave it on while doing other things such as house chores, answering emails, or while in the car on my way to the next session."
Q. Have you been managing any injuries this year?
A. "Yes, unfortunately I pulled a muscle in my lower back earlier this year. It has cleared up now but had me out from running for 6 weeks."
Q. Are there any endurance events in New Zealand that you are thinking of attending, Covid dependent?
A. "Yes, the Auckland and Queenstown Marathons. Perhaps also a couple of local multisport events during our early spring and then our summer NZ triathlon season will start including a number of long course triathlons which I will attend."
Q. Do you have any advice for anyone out there to stay motivated during these challenging times?
A. "Move for enjoyment and health. There’s no need to be smashing exercise and training all the time, but now is probably a great time to make the most of just enjoying getting outside and exercising with no pressure to be at your fittest and fastest."
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Hannah, the Myovolt team wish you all the best for the rest of 2020 and into 2021. We'll hope to see you at some of the events in NZ in the next couple of months.
Photo Credit: Jemma Wells Photography