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Duathlete Silver World Medallist Kathy Stringer

4 min read

Duathlete Silver World Medallist Kathy Stringer

Here at Team Pocket we had the amazing opportunity to interview dualthete silver world medallist Kathy Stringer to discuss her experience and journey so far.


We'd love to hear how you entered into the sport and competing in duathlons. Can you tell us where it all began?

From a very early age, I’ve always been a runner. My parents took me to a local athletics club when I was 9 years old and from that point on, I went to training 3-4 times a week, every week, for the remainder of my teenage years. I competed in both track and cross-country events at a fairly decent level all the way up until university. After uni I got my first road bike to give myself a new challenge. After having quite a nasty accident on a bike when I was a kid, resulting in stitches in my chin, I wasn’t very confident riding on it but I was determined to overcome my fears...Honestly the thought of clipping my shoes in was terrifying!

I built up my confidence over time and slowly but surely started to actually enjoy it. Doing circuits of the park turned into commuting to work and before I knew it, I was heading out for long rides at the weekend. A friend mentioned that I should try a duathlon (run, bike, run) so I looked it up and thought I’d give it a go. I actually won my age-group race at that first event and have been hooked ever since! 

What is your favourite part about competing in duathlons?

Winning medals! I don’t think you ever start a new hobby or sport hoping to become the best, you just do it for the love of it. However after months and months of training, sacrifices and hard work, I can’t say it doesn’t feel good* when I get to put a ribbon around my neck! 

If I had to choose between cycling and running though, I think I’d pick cycling. Many people find this weird because my background is in running, but since lockdown, I really have fallen in love with the exploration and adventurous side of being on a bike - You just can’t go as far on foot in the same amount of time...

*Amazing!

What is the greatest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Last year I developed plantar fasciitis and tore a tendon in my ankle within 2 weeks of each other. It stopped me from running for over a month and I lost a lot of fitness. However I always try to stay positive and see challenges as opportunities, so rather than accepting that I couldn’t do much, I used the time to  learn how to swim again. I replaced all my run sessions with swimming and then ended up entering my first ever triathlon to keep myself motivated. It went really well and I loved the experience but it didn’t convert me...I definitely still prefer duathlons to triathlons.

What do you feel has been your greatest achievement throughout your journey to date?

Winning a silver medal at the World Duathlon Championships last year. Not only did I win the silver in my age-group but I came second overall in the competition (It was a real shame the winner was also my age!). I never expected to get to a level where I wore a union jack on my clothing, never mind get onto the podium! 

How do you see your future within this sport?

One day I’d like to be World Champion and get that gold. I’m currently National and British champion so it would be incredible to achieve the full trio. I’d also like to go up in distance to see how I get on. Most people will have probably heard of Ironman’s (Long distance triathlon), the duathlon equivalent is a Powerman (10 km run, 150 km bike, 30 km run) - I’d like to give that a go! 

Do you have any advice that you’d give to runners or cyclists aspiring to compete in a duathlon?

If you come from a running background and are nervous about the cycling aspect, enter a closed-road event first. This way you can just focus on yourself, rather than having to worry about traffic and directions too. If you’re the other way round and are more anxious about the running aspect, practice your transition from cycling to running A LOT in training. Running on jelly legs is a strange feeling but if you can get your body used to it, when it comes to race day, that second run won’t seem quite as daunting!

If you’re new to both, just take it one step at a time and don’t put any pressure on yourself. The multisport community is a very friendly and welcoming one and you’re guaranteed to have fun regardless of your race position!


Lastly, we asked you to put our Morisot leggings to the test - how did they fair during your activities? 
 
The Morisot leggings fit so wonderfully. I love that they're high waisted because it feels like you're being supported in all the right places, whilst also looking great. The waistline is elasticated (a great feature that needs no explanation as to why!) but the feature I love the most is the little bit of rubber that keeps them in place around the waist. On most leggings you get a lace running through the material, but this always gets tangled, or loosens over time...the rubber is something I've never come across before - it's game-changing! They were perfect for running in and I can't wait to take them to the gym with me.



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