The rising 30 year old Canadian you should be following on your app tracker. Paula Findlay is taking the 70.3 distance by storm and marching up the podium steps.
Paula’s no stranger on the podium winning back-to-back Olympic distance World Championship Series races in London and Kitzbuhel, finishing fifth at the World Championships at age 21, and earning the #1 ranking in the world by the International Triathlon Union. Also throw in qualifying for and attending the 2012 Olympics, Paula’s a competitor and likes to win.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
She made moving from olympic to long distance look too easy. Making her 70.3 distance debut in 2018 at St. George she took the win. Now at age 30, Paula’s still focusing on the half Ironman distance and quickly becoming a name to watch for on race day.
Zealios: Hey Paula! Welcome to the Team Zealios pro team! We’re stoked to introduce you to our followers.
Let’s start with the incredible race season you’re having!
4th at Oceanside 70.3 (April 2019)
2nd at St. George 70.3 (May 2019)
3rd at Chattanooga 70.3 (May 2019)
3rd at Santa Rosa 70.3 (July 2019)
Paula Findlay takes 2nd at the 2019 Ironman St. George 70.3 race.
Paula Findlay: Thanks! Overall it has been a decent season. I put high expectations on myself, so anything other than a win can be disappointing at first, but looking back, I have had some consistently solid performances.
Z: Solid for sure. Your results seem to say you’re adjusting extremely well to the 70.3 distance. Do you feel you’re still learning how to race the distance?
PF: I think I’ll continue learning until the day I retire! The 70.3 distance requires much more pacing and nutrition strategies than the Olympic or sprint distances, so I’m still learning what works best for me. Learning how to balance training for all three sports and stay healthy, while getting faster, is something that I’m constantly striving towards (with the help from my coach).
Z: You have the 70.3 World Championships coming up in just a few weeks in Nice, France. How are you feeling going into the home stretch of the race?
PF: I’ve never done a 70.3 race of this caliber before, so I am quite nervous about it.
I’ve been here training for a week already, and the bike course is crazy technical. European roads are unlike anything I’ve seen in North America! It’s sure to be the biggest challenge of my professional career, however my body is feeling good and I’m preparing the best I can.
Psst: Track the Ironman 70.3 World Championships on Sept 7th (Nice, France time zone).
Z: It seems like you train in a lot of different places, recently being up in the Okanagan region of British Columbia which looks amazing. Do you have a favorite place you like to train? Do you try and choose your training locations to help you work on specific areas in your training or do you just like to pick cool places to go? Or both?
PF: My favorite place to train is Canmore, Alberta and Portland, Oregon.
I choose places based on where I’m from or where my boyfriend Eric is from. Also, what the climate is like and where I can find the best terrain for running and cycling. There are a lot of factors involved, sometimes quite complicated, but I’m fortunate to train in some really beautiful places.
Psst: we had to lookup where Canmore was... and really glad we did, it looks amazing!
Paula training in sunny California earlier this year.
Eric and I have a Sprinter van, so we are pretty mobile and able to load our bikes up and drive to different training camps throughout the year.
Z: The Nice course on paper looks like it’ll be a good race for you - swim in the Mediterranean Sea, a challenging bike course and a run course along Nice’s historic Promenade des Anglais waterfront. Have you been doing any specific training geared towards this particular course/race? Do you have any strategies going into the race?
PF: Yes, I’ve been working on lots of climbing and descents on the bike. The downhills are very technical with tight turns and steep pitches. I’ve come to Nice 3 weeks early to preview the course as many times as possible before race day, which I think is the best way to really prepare!
Paula on the Nice, France bike course.
Z: We’re deep into race season and many are feeling the body wear and tear. Recently you shared on Instagram that you made the decision to pull out of Ironman Victoria 70.3 due to achilles pain.
Can you share how you deal with mid-season injuries? Any specific approach you take mentally? Are there any markers that you look at to know when to give your body rest and time to heal?
PF: Triathlon is unique in that you always have another sport to train for. When I have a running injury, I put extra focus on my swimming and cycling. Mentally, it is very wearing, but I have been injured enough to know that it is part of the sport, and I can still race well carrying over fitness from the other two sports.
Absolutely giving your body time to rest and heal, especially time off at the end of the season, is the key to longevity.
Z: Do you have any injury prevention tips (workouts, stretches, etc.) you’ve learned throughout your career?
PF: Frequent physio, massage, or chiropractic treatment is important, as well as self-care, like spending time on the foam roller and stretching after training.
Making sure to eat enough good quality food is important to give your body the building blocks it needs to train day after day too.
Photo credit: Greg Kolz
Z: The final question we love to ask, what is your favorite Zealios product & why?
PF: My favorite Zealios product is the Sun Barrier! As a redhead with fair skin, I have to be super careful about using good quality sunscreen because I spend so much time outside.
I love how light it feels, and it lasts through entire swim sessions and long bike rides. I love it!
Z: Thanks for sitting down with us Paula. Best of luck at the 70.3 Worlds, we'll be cheering from aboard!