Triathlons With Emma Snowsill – Bike Magazine Australia – Olympics

Victory makes it all worthwhile for Snowsill. Images: Delly Carr / Sportshoot


“It’s funny: people talk about my sport as my profession – I never really think about it that way. I’ve done sport all my life because I’ve loved it. That’s the underlying thing, regardless of the fact that I make a living out of it.“I reckon you have to want to get up every morning and find a way to be better at something. It’s pretty hard to constantly look at ways to do this when your bed is warm and you’re really really tired and you want to sleep in. But it might be a session you want to accomplish in a certain time – these are the things that get you out of bed, and if I don’t get out of bed and do it, how do I expect to race well?

“I never think about winning a race. Obviously it’s a great thing and you can’t ask for anything more, but I just keep trying to think of ways to keep improving. Triathlon isn’t like swimming where you have an exact 50m pool and you have a world record and that’s the benchmark – so many of our races are so different all the time. That creates a challenge in training, too, because you always want to do things better. When I get to the start line, all I need to think about is the training I’ve done, that I’m rested and ready to go, and there’s nothing more I could’ve done. So if a win comes my way it’s because I’ve had a great preparation.

“It becomes a race against yourself. I never stop to think about one particular girl – I guess I fear the whole field when I’m on the start line. If you concentrate on anybody else you lose track of what you’re supposed to be doing out there. I’ve learnt over the years that on the race track you can only control what’s going on with you; the moment you start looking at other athletes and worrying about what they’re doing you’re losing focus on yourself. It’s almost like you climb into your own little bubble – only thinking about yourself and challenging yourself. And making sure that for the next two hours you’re doing everything right. I always say that I don’t want to waste the hours of training I’ve put in by not being on my game on race day.

“I actually look forward to racing, so I can rest a bit to prepare; I love that feeling of energy when you’ve tapered properly. We spend so many weeks pushing through sessions and feeling constantly fatigued.”


“Ice baths are probably the biggest help for me. After any hard training session I’m always doing my hot and cold therapy: into the ice bath and then under a hot shower. I’ve got my mini training centre at home.

“Ice baths are one of those love-hate relationships. The thought of doing it isn’t so great, but then you think of the pain afterwards if you don’t do it. It’s a bit of a sick one – you kinda do love it because you know what it’s going to do for you later. But at the time you’re gritting your teeth.”