Stanford moved up to fifth in the World Triathlon Series by winning in Hamburg. After Stanford recent win we caught up with her to see how she was feeling.
What was your thought process before the race?
I was relatively relaxed before the race, which is generally important for me. I’d discussed the course and the various race scenarios that could play out in the days before the race, so on race day I didn’t have to think too much about what was ahead; I was already prepared for what might happen and how I would deal with it. Until about 10minutes before I had to leave I was trying to catch up on the Killing Eve series; I was a bit disappointed I had to turn it off at a really exciting moment to leave for the race.
Did you enjoy the race and the course?
Hamburg is always one of the best races on the circuit. The spectators are brilliant and are what makes Hamburg so iconic. That and the beer showers of course. To win one of the most iconic and longest standing WTS races was pretty special and made the experience all the more enjoyable. Hamburg is renowned for being fast and furious and it definitely didn’t disappoint this year. The rain made the course more demanding which meant you couldn’t lose concentration for a second, but the fast run course suited me and my style of racing.
How does it feel winning your first World triathlon series event in 3 years?
Relief was one of the overwhelming feelings! After a 3 year hiatus from the top step and a year since a podium, you obviously begin to doubt wether you’ll ever re find the form you once showed. You feel others doubting too. So it was good to prove to myself and those who had given up hope, that I’m still capable of winning the big races. It’s been nice to see my body cooperating with me the last few months too, and to see the product of consistency and good health.
With a period of 3 years between world success if you were to give some advice to aspiring triathletes what would it be to stay motivated?
Be kind to yourself. Both mentally and physically. Allow your body and mind the time they need to recover not just from injury or illness, but from every day training and life. I’ve always put too much pressure on myself to achieve perfection and push my limits day in and day out. Its not about giving 100% all of the time, its about doing it at the right time. And with everything in life, be patient.
How are you finding your new training environment?
The new training environment has been exactly what I needed. The fresh start and change of stimulus has given me a renewed focus and enjoyment for the sport. I’m lucky that I’ve always been in world class training environments, but its definitely been fun getting to know athletes from all over the world and learning from them day in and day out. Our coach Joel Filliol and his assistant Drew Box, have been instrumental in helping me find that all important consistency which has been key to my return to form this season. The environment which they have created is also impressive; its professional of course, but relaxed and fun. It’s been quite inspiring this year seeing all of the squad perform so well; you can’t not believe in the process when you see the results.
What are your aims for the coming months?
We have the Tokyo Olympic test event in August, and although I can’t auto qualify this year, I still want to go there and show the selectors that I am able to perform on that course and most importantly in those testing conditions. Hopefully a good results will put me in the picture for the 2020 team, but with only 3 slots available and the British women on fire at the minute, its going to be a really tough task. After that we have a the Grand Final in Lausanne which is always a key event of the year and I would love to round out the WTS season with a solid performance.