The Oceanic Triathlon Series began in February 2016 at the Oceanic Hotel Resort and Spa, Khorfakkan.  Since then two races in the series have taken place.  We caught up with our inaugural women’s champion, Leyla Porteous.  We asked her a few questions about life, training and advice for aspiring triathletes.

                                  leyla_2leyla

Could you give us a bit of background information about yourself? 
Born and raised in Australia, I joined the Australian Navy when I turned 18 and was lucky enough to travel the world, that led to me ending up moving to the UAE in 2001. I met my husband in 2005 and my son was born in 2009.   I loved to run, and swim and bike (mountain biking mostly) but it wasn’t until early 2013 that I decided to tackle my first triathlon. I signed up for the TriYas sprint – and from the moment I crossed that finish line I was hooked! Since then I have completed in a large amount of sprint and Olympic distance events, represented Australia at the Age Group World Champs in Chicago, completed six 70.3 distance events and my first full distance Ironman race in May 2015 in Texas. I got a slot to the 70.3 World Champs at Bahrain 70.3 in December 2015 – which was a dream come true! 

Tell us about your average training week
My average training weeks during the season can range from 8-13 hours of training.  There will always be a balance of swim, bike and run. I tend to do my long bike rides on a Friday morning and my long runs on a Saturday afternoon/evening.  When I’m training for a 70.3 distance event I normally swim about  8-10km’s, bike 200-250 and run 25-35km depending on how I am feeling and where I am in terms of preperation for a race and what distance it is. As I balance my training around work and family life I also need to sometimes be adapative – as there are only so many hours in the day. So I focus on quality training rather than quantity. 

Which is your favourite?
Triathlon discipline: In terms of training I enjoy the bike as it’s the most social of the 3 disciplines.  When it comes to race day I love all 3 – they are each in their own way exciting and challenging on race day.

Pre-race meal: My pre-race meal is a small coffee, instant oats with a banana and honey about 3 hours before, I will then sip electrolytes right up until the race and sometimes if my stomach allows have a honey waffle about 45mins before the swim start.

Post-race meal: I’m not usually hungry for a while after the race but I will eat whatever is available at the athletes area – slice of pizza and something to drink. If available I love a chocolate milkshake not long after finishing. 

What advice would you give someone doing the Oceanic Tri for the first time?
Definitely try and make a weekend of it up at the Oceanic Hotel, it’s a lovely spot so worth staying overnight.  The swim is lovely and calm and the run is nice and flat along the corniche – so the only thing that needs a bit of preparation for is the bike leg.  Make sure you watch the road conditions, and also pace yourself for the climb.

What advice would you give a triathlon newbie?
My advice would be to enjoy the process of becoming a triathlete, it takes time and patience to condition your body for endurance sports, so make sure you take a balanced approach to the training and stick with the races and distances that you can manage around other aspects of your life. Don’t compare yourself to others, triathlon is a very individual and personal sport – so as long as you are improving and meeting your goals then that is the main thing.

What is the greatest piece of life advice that you could give?
Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try….

Thank you so much for letting us get to know you a little bit better, Leyla.
All the best for this weekend’s Iron Man 70.3 World Championship in Mooloolaba, Queensland (4 September, 2016).

To register for the Oceanic Tri click HERE