Switzerland is a favorite place to train for our good friend Mary Beth Ellis, current ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Champion. On Sunday she’ll take on the beautiful city of Zurich in this year’s Ironman Switzerland.
As an eight-time Ironman Champion, Mary Beth is no stranger to this course. Having trained extensively with Brett Sutton, who is based out of Switzerland, Mary Beth is at home in this hilly landscape.
On the day of the race, after a 3.8 km swim in the crystal waters of Lake Zurich, Mary Beth will bike through Zurich’s beautiful city center along the lakeshore and out into the rolling hills of the countryside for 180.2 km, before taking to the four-loop run course that winds through the parks of the city and back along the lakeshore.
This is the race that will qualify Mary Beth to go onto the 2015 Ironman World Championship in Hawaii:
“My season has been focused on two world championships. The first was the ITU Long Distance World Championships on June 27, where I was able to win and take the world title. The second focus is the Ironman World Championships in October.”
“It is perfect for race morning. Not only is it comfortable, but it fits everything I need for a long day of swimming, biking and running.”
When we heard of her injury back in 2013, we knew her perseverance and strength would pull her through. They don’t call her the Honey Badger for nothing!
“The shoulder injury was operated on in September 2013 with a plate inserted into my collarbone and an AC ligament reconstruction. In the first six months after surgery, I had some ongoing issues, but since that period of adjustment the injury has not affected my training at all.”
Since Mary Beth’s title victory at the ITU in June not even three weeks ago, she reportedly took five days off to recover and has been under the watchful eye of coach Brett Sutton and “some very difficult training in St. Moritz.” When we asked her about her training and running programs, she said:
“I am a full-time professional athlete so I have plenty of time to train and recover. However, for the working athlete with a family, I think it is important to fit the training around your busy life. Having a balanced approach is key and will allow you to absorb and get the most from your training. Don’t worry about training 40 hours a week instead focus on 10-15 hours of quality work.”
When it comes to race day, Mary Beth is all about “enjoying the scenic course” and pushing herself as hard as she can. What kind of nutrition does it take an athlete at this level to get through a race like Ironman?
“Approximately three hours before the race, I have a croissant or toast with eggs and cheese with a latte and electrolyte drink. During the race, I don’t consume anything during the swim. On the bike, I have 2 bottles each hour as well as solid calories throughout the ride. I try to consume about 200-300 calories an hour. On the run, I take in only fluid calories and energy gels. Unlike the bike, the amount of calories that can be consumed once running is lower, closer to only 150-200 calories an hour.”
Mary Beth is known for her ability to win and for overcoming steep odds. She truly is a “symbol of strength and perseverance in the sport of triathlon.”
We’ll be following Mary Beth and all the action online at Ironman.com
Make sure you tune in too – Sunday, July 19, 6:30 a.m. local time!
Sport Your Lifestyle
The Fitmark Team