24 year old Natalya competes for Ireland at modern pentathlon — a mixture of fencing, 200m freestyle swimming, show jumping, and a final combined event of pistol shooting and a 3200m cross-country run. Natalya competed at the 2012 London Olympics and finished 9th! Natalya talks to us about training, competing and reaching her goals!
What is your fitness background? I have always been interested in sports and got to play every sport under the sun throughout my childhood! I think it’s really important to try loads of different sports before you settle on just one! There’s a sport out there for everyone!
How did you choose to become a Pentathlete? I used to do Tethrathlon (Running, swimming, shooting and horse-riding) when I was younger. When I was finishing up in tethrathlon a friend introduced my to the 5th sport, fencing!
As a professional athlete what does a ‘typical’ day look like for you? Every day can be so different. Our weeks training goes up & down in intensity. So, Monday I Run/Swim/Shoot & Fence which is a heavy day and then to counter act that we would have an easier day on Tuesday (Swim/Run). Every day brings a new challenge and it’s always interesting!
What is your proudest sporting accomplishment? Placing 9th in the London 2012 Olympics!!
What is your ultimate goal? To qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics. Once you’re on the start line anything can happen!
Your top 3 diet tips? 1. Be organised. Take some time to cook meals up to use during the week as well as snacks. That way you don’t make ‘hunger’ decisions! I generally make granola bars on Sunday to keep me going through the week. I also make big batches of food & freeze them to use whenever I need!
2. Be inspired! Check out some healthy eating blogs for some food inspiration. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring! Once you find some meals you like its much easier & don’t be afraid to experiment.
3. Have a day off! Sticking to a diet is hard don’t forget to have a day off every week. You’re more likely keep the diet going if you have a break! I do love a cookie…
What advice would you give to women who want to start on a health & fitness journey? Take it one step at a time. Try to get some friends involved! It’s much easier to get up earlier or train later if you’ve a friend with you! It’ll be hard but the rewards are worth it!