Molly got into the sport without meaning to when her then-boyfriend, now-husband entered her into a triathlon as a surprise. Despite not being from a competitive sports background, she got hooked. Within six months Molly went from her first triathlon to representing Great Britain at the ITU Age Group World Championships in 2017. Since then she has qualified for the GB team each season and stepped up to the 70.3 distance. This year she's targeting the Challenge World Championships in Slovakia in June and the ITU World Championships in Switzerland in September.
- Leith Hill Half
(cross country half marathon)2nd
- NiceTri Grafham Water
(Olympic distance)8th F25-29
- Deva (Olympic distance)
(ITU World Championships qualifier)3rd F25-29
- River Arun swim (3.8km)29th
- KMD Ironman 70.3
European Championship Elsinore
(half iron distance)3rd Brit / 26th F25-29 in 5:08
- Challenge Paguera Mallorca
(half iron distance)5th F25-29 / 15th overall
- ITU WTS Abu Dhabi
(Olympic distance)2rd F25-29 / 19th overall
- F3 Marlow Classic
- Raw Energy Pursuits Arundel
(ITU World Championships qualifier)11th F25-29 (qualified for 2017 ITU World Championships)
- BRAT Triathlon
- Saundersfoot Triathlon
- ITU WTS World Championships Rotterdam
(Olympic distance)F25-29 15th Brit / 42nd world
How did you get into triathlon?
Unwillingly! It’s funny to look back on because I am a complete convert now. My then-boyfriend, now-husband, Jonny, signed us both up for a triathlon in March 2017 and I was quite grumpy when I found out. I was having pretty debilitating migraines at the time that were affecting my ability to work, socialise and generally live life to the full and I didn’t think that I’d be able to do the training. I’ve always enjoyed running but I don’t come from an athletics or team sports background. So the first thing I did was to run more. I did a few Parkruns and local 10km races and then “taught” myself to do front crawl from YouTube videos. I did most of my bike training in the gym and on Boris Bikes (London’s bike hire scheme bikes, they weigh a ton) before relenting and buying a road bike three months before the event. I was shocked when I found out that road bikes don’t come with pedals and appalled when I found out that you attach yourself to the bike by your shoes! But after a few rides with Jonny and friends (and a few epic unclipping fails) I realised that it’s hard to beat the feeling of cycling outdoors. I started to love the training and miss it on days off. The migraines were getting better. My first triathlon was an awesome experience and I was delighted to come 2nd in my age group and in the top 20 overall. My friend Chris, a successful Ironman age-grouper, started coaching me and two triathlons later I qualified to represent Team GB at the WTS ITU World Championships. Within six months I went from triathlon newbie to 42nd in the world. I’m forever grateful to Jonny and it’s worth saying yes to new experiences because you never know where they’ll take you!
Best result to date?
My best result is probably 70.3 Elsinore, my first half iron distance event, which I did in 5:08. But, the race I’m most proud of Challenge Paguera 70.3 because the start wasn’t ideal and I managed to turn it around. I got badly stung by jellyfish about 500m into the swim and nearly reached for the kayak, before reminding myself that I didn’t fly all the way to Mallorca to go for a dip. I got flustered on the bike and dropped my bottles of nutrition early on which meant that I rode 90km with water and five Haribo. Despite that, I managed to relax and start to enjoy the race and rode a solid bike split on a hilly, windy and technical course followed by a strong half marathon. I was pleasantly surprised to qualify for the Challenge Championships and am looking forward to racing in Slovakia in June.
Swim, bike or run and why?
I’m a triathlete, so I should be equally good or bad (depending how you look at it) at all three. But if I had to pick one it would be running. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with it over the last year due to injury but when I’m fit running is an elemental feeling and I miss it terribly when I can’t do it. It’s hard to have a bad day after a run.
How do you find balancing full time work with training and competing?
I try to plan ahead and be super organised. Once a week I sit down with my diary and training plan and work out when I can do each session, taking into account work, family, friend and other commitments. I’m always juggling but I’m happiest when I’m busy and so far it’s working well. If I have an early start I get kit out the night before as it makes getting out of bed that bit easier. Consistency is really important. I’m a lawyer and legal innovation consultant so work can be a bit full-on at times. I’m lucky that most lawyers’ days don’t really begin until 9.30am and I can get a lot done before then! I try not to stress about missing or adapting sessions. It’s better to do a shorter session rather than saving everything up for the weekend and becoming exhausted. I’m very spoilt to have a gym in the office and am an opportunist. If there’s a gap in my day I’ll use it for a run, some S&C or stretching. Rest and nutrition are also key. If I don’t fuel properly after a morning training session the rest of the day is tough and lunch or evening sessions become a struggle. I think that poor nutrition and not getting enough sleep contributed to three stress fractures last year so I’m now really careful about meal planning (and it helps that Jonny is an amazing cook!). I live in central London so buying a turbo trainer was game-changing. It cuts down on bike junk miles (the ride to get to the ride). I swim at a pool that’s on the way to / from the office and try to incorporate running and cycling into things that I want to do anyway, like seeing friends and family at the weekend. Above all it’s meant to be fun – whether that’s training with Jonny and friends or listening to a great song to get me through an interval session I have to enjoy the training, or there’s no point!
What does a typical training week look like?
Chris still does my training plans which saves me a lot of time and energy figuring out what I should do each week. A typical week includes two bike-to-run brick sessions (a short one during the week and a longer one at the weekend), bike speed / strength intervals, run speed intervals, a long aerobic run, three to four swims, a couple of strength sessions and yoga or Pilates. Cross-training includes horse riding and dog walking!
Do you follow any special diet?
I try to stick to whole foods and home cooking but have a terrible weakness for chocolate, Nando’s and the occasional glass of wine. There are also times when sweets are the only thing that’s going to get me through a tough session. And I don’t know what I’d do without coffee.
Challenge World Championships in Samorin, Slovakia (half iron distance) – 2 June 2019 – pre-qualified
ITU WTS World Championships Lausanne (Olympic distance) – September 2019 – pre-qualified
Rest of season TBD! I’d like to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2020 as it’s in New Zealand and looks like an awesome race. Any race suggestions from the Ed team?!