Q & A with Triathlete Liz Lyles

Posted on in Health + Lifestyle, Kids + Family, Sports + Training by Liz Lyles

1. What are your favorite meals to eat before, during and after training?

I usually start the day with a cup of coffee before my first early morning session. Then I come home and if I have time, I love toast with peanut butter, honey & bananas. If I am in a rush, like most days, multitasking to get the kids to school, I grab a fig bar and a banana.

During training I try to use nutrition that I would use during a race, like sports drinks, bars and occasionally gels.

I love Mexican food, so after a big training day I love to eat a whole-wheat burrito with chicken, veggies, and LOTS of salsa.

IMG_0829 copy2. What hard lessons have you learned from competing?

There is no such thing as an easy Ironman. There are no shortcuts. You should race with confidence, but never be overconfident.

3. What is your go to music?

I love all the fast paced (cheesy) pop music, especially Pitbull and Eminem, as well as, Avicci & David Guetta when I am trying to find a consistent tempo to train to. When I'm not training, I like Slightly Stoopid, Sublime and The Killers. When I am in the car, I hear the music of my 2 kids, either laughing, crying, or fighting!!

4. What is your most memorable athletic moment?

Probably either breaking 9 hours at Ironman Western Australia, or winning my first Ironman as a pro at the Ironman Wisconsin. Having my husband Chip cheer for me on the course and see me win my first Ironman in Wisconsin is something I will never forget.

5. What motivates you?

Mexican food and cookie dough. Haha just kidding, but I really do like food.

I love a good challenge, and trying to figure out how I can get faster never gets old. I believe you can always improve somewhere. I try to apply that into my role as a mom and wife, and always find ways to improve how I am doing my job.

IMG_01946. What is one piece of advice you would give for competing in a triathlon?

Be consistent with your training. There will be days when you feel great and bad days where training feels slow, but the sum of everything will make you a stronger athlete. Also, I love my coach, Cliff English. I think investing in a coach will help you determine how much you need to train, track your progress, and figuring out how much time you need to recover.

7. Do you enjoy swimming, biking or running more?

I love running. It is so easy to run anywhere you go, and it always clears my head. I really like swimming and cycling too, obviously. With cycling, I have enjoyed using my power meter as a way to gauge my workouts and have small goals to increase my watts. With swimming I am like Goldilocks, the pool can't be too hot or too cold, but just right.

8. Can you give us a sample of your workouts?

This is my Wednesday workouts:

6am: I teach a 1-hour spin class mixing in hills with 30-second to 5-minute intervals

9am - Quality trainer ride:
25 minute warm-up
5x1 minute building to 70.3 watts with 1-minute easy recovery
5 minutes easy spin
5x6 minutes at 70.3 watts and above with 3 min easy between each
20 min cool down

11am - 4k swim:
4x300 1 & 3 swim free 2 & 4 mix in drills and kick
400 50 build/50 swim
2x(9x100 at 1500m pace, 100 easy)
400 c/d

IMG_00749. As a mom and athlete, what at are you favorite activities to do with your family?

We have recently started teaching the kids to ski. We love heading up after my morning workouts to Squaw Valley and getting in a few runs with the kids, then going in the lodge for hot chocolate. In the summer, we love to spend time hiking, at the pool, or on the beach at Lake Tahoe.


Liz Lyles

Liz Lyles is a mother, a wife, and a professional Ironman Triathlete.


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