Catching up with Holly Lawrence

Last year's Ironman 70.3 world champion, Holly Lawrence appears ready to take the 70.3 world by storm. We caught up with the latest member of the Bahrain 13 Endurance team.

| February 20, 2017 | PERSONALITY

Photo >Delly Carr | Bahrain Endurance Media

Holly Lawrence seemed to burst onto the Ironman 70.3 scene last year when she took the world title in Mooloolaba. In fact the 26-year-old had competed on the ITU circuit for many years before moving to long-distance racing. We caught up with Welsh-born Lawrence (she now lives in California, USA): I believe you made the move to the half-distance in 2015. What did you find to be the most challenging part of going from draft-legal racing to the half-distance?

Holly Lawrence: Yes I made the switch to 70.3 in 2015, although I had dabbled a little before whilst still doing ITU racing. I don’t really think there has been a particularly challenging part of making the move for me. ITU racing didn’t really suit my strengths and, ultimately, I wasn’t fast enough on the run to be a contender. But, since moving to non-drafting, the best thing is that I can just race my own race, there’s no holding back or playing tactics, which I found frustrating and unpredictable.

I’m guessing, since you’re now a world champ, you feel like it was a good move, but is there anything about ITU and draft-legal racing that you miss?

Ha, yes! To be honest, I don’t really miss anything really, I found ITU racing actually quite stressful and with so many elements out of my control in how the race would play out, which is just totally the opposite in non-drafting.

I believe that you don’t have any plans to move to the full-distance this season – is that true? Do you see yourself doing full-distance racing at some point?

Not just yet. My main goal is to have a long career and I feel that I am only at the early stages right now and, being only 26, I have many years ahead of me so, I’m in no rush to move up to the full distance just yet. I also want to be as fast as I can over the 70.3 distance and I think I’ve got a lot more to go yet.

Who is your coach?

I used to work with Matt Dixon in 2015 when I switched to purely 70.3 racing and moving to the States to live and train, but I actually left him early in 2016, just after Oceandside. I’ve been coached since by Trainsharp who are primarily cycling coaches, but oversee my whole training. It is just very scientific, which has been huge for me this year, it has just taken all the guesswork out of training. I’m also coached by Sean Jefferson (my boyfriend and sub-4-minute miler) on the run and Gerry Rodrigues on the swim.

Finally, what is the most beneficial part of signing with the Bahrain Endurance 13 team for you?

I’m so excited to be part of the Bahrain Endurance 13 team and to join such a stellar group of athletes that are such legends in the sport. It’ll be really great to get to know some of my team mates and benefit from the great support network the team has. I’ve also never been to the Middle East, so I can’t wait to race Bahrain in December and experience the culture over there!