Rebecca Hoschke on juggling two careers and her passion for the sport

Celebrating 2nd at Port Mac 70.3 2012

With a third at Ironman Western Australia in December 2012 off the back of a solid run Rebecca Hoschke would be wrong to not aim for something similar at Ironman Melbourne this weekend. We caught up with her on the week before one of her biggest races of 2013. Hoschke won the Huskisson Long Course in 2012, Cairns half in 2011, 5th Ironman Cairns 2012, 1st at the Port Douglas half iron distance triathlon amongst many other great results.

A select group of pros get the lions share of the media so it is always good to have a chat to some of the athletes who quite often fly under the radar. Hoschke has such a passion for the sport and a great attitude that never waivers. We caught up with her during the week to find out a bit more about what drives her and how she made her way in to the sport.

TriZone: Tell us about your 3rd at Ironman Western Australia.

Rebecca Hoschke: Ironman Cairns June 2012 (5th) was a break through race – there was a lot I took away from this experience to further develop my potential.  I felt this result was another step forward towards putting the pieces of the puzzle together and race Ironman at a level I knew I was capable of.  I had a solid period of racing over Autumn 2012 followed by a specific 6 week IM prep leading into IMWA – my mind and body felt in great shape and I had a good feeling I was going to improve my result from Cairns.  My goal for IMWA was to remain connected with myself- to race smart, hard and with passion – a zone that I love and pushes my absolute limits.  To finish on the podium (3rd) and only a few minutes away from Bek (Rebecca Keat) and Britta (Martin) was a huge achievement for me – a result which exceeded my expectations and one I’m really proud of.

TriZone: When did you start racing triathlons and what got you started?

Rebecca on the way to running herself in to 3rd at IMWA 2012

Rebecca on the way to running herself in to 3rd at IMWA 2012

Rebecca Hoschke: After a 4 month backpacking trip around South America (2003/04) I needed to re-ground myself back in Sydney with my passion of running and signed up to Sydney marathon 2004!   I met a whole heap of triathletes in my running squad (Barry Golding Running Academy, Manly) and was instantly challenged by the sport.  Within a short matter of time, a new goal was created – Ironman Australia (have always been someone who jumps into the deep end of life!).  My first triathlon was Forster Half Ironman 2005 as a qualifier to my first Ironman experience – Ironman Australia 2006.  Grant Giles has been my coach and mentor from the beginning of my triathlon journey and has been instrumental to my progression in the sport and the athlete I have become today.

TZ: Who were your early influencers?

Bec: Two of my biggest inspirations right from the start included fellow triathletes and good friends Travis Bottomley and Patricia Cretin (Warringah Triathlon Club (Northern Beaches), Sydney).  Mel Ashton, Belinda Granger, Macca, Crowie and PJ are my local Aussie IM heros!  Nic Ward and her positive and supportive words of encouragement to have a go at stepping up from age group to open – which felt daunting at the time!  Pushing myself outside my comfort zone was a significant turning point, which opened new opportunity and challenge towards my progression as a professional triathlete.  I’m also a die-hard Chrissie Wellington fan, as close friends know well J (we share the same birthday, age and middle name which I thought was pretty cool).

I grew up on a rural property, northern NSW (little place called Kentucky) and went to school and University (UNE) in Armidale.  I have a BA of Urban and Regional Planning.  I’ve been working in Local Government, Sydney for 14+ years and currently work part time as an executive assessment officer (town planning/development assessment) for Ku-ring-gai Council who are incredibly supportive towards my working/triathlon lifestyle.

TZ: How has it been juggling a career and training full time for Iron distance races? Especially when you know you are going up against full time professional athletes?

Celebrating 2nd at Port Mac 70.3 2012

Celebrating 2nd at Port Mac 70.3 2012

Bec: Juggling a town planning career and pursing a passion in endurance sport is incredibly challenging – but probably reflects my personality – all or nothing, loves a challenge and to live life to the fullest!  I have an incredibly supportive husband who shares a common love in sport and the outdoors and have an amazing family, group of friends and a team of sporting specialists and practitioners behind me.  The most important thing is to make it work for me and get as much out of every experience and challenge as possible and enjoy the ride which comes with it J rather than focus or compare to others (situations which are outside my control).

With my improvements in the sport over time and change in sport/career goals, I find myself often re-assessing my lifestyle balance to stay fit, healthy and happy in all aspects of my life.  In 2011, I went part time at Council (4 days a week), which was a positive step forward towards managing the demands of the sport and my career as a town planner.  With my recent result at IMWA I have needed to re-assess my lifestyle balance again and make further adjustments to give myself the opportunity and space to continue developing my potential in the sport.   Living in Sydney doesn’t allow me to go full time professional, but I feel I’m very lucky to have a supportive work place, which is flexible towards my lifestyle and passion in life.

TZ: How do you get the most out of your training time?

Bec: Time management is critical in terms of organising training around my lifestyle.  Every training session and training block has a purpose – I’ve been working under the guidance of Grant Giles, Aeromax since 2006 and find his training philosophy works really well for me and program design is tailored well to my lifestyle.

TZ: What are your favourite training sessions?

Bec: I have always LOVED running for as long as I can remember!  Cheap and its free! Its my space and I love being outdoors, my favourite would be aerobic endurance run sessions with back end effort around the northern beaches.

TZ: What are your most memorable triathlon moments?

Bec: 1. Finishing my first Ironman 2006!  It was a pretty horrendous day (a lot of toilet stops!!!) and you never forget your first one!

2. Ironman Australia 2011 and seeing my husband, parents and close friends at the finish line and qualifying for Hawaii World Ironman Championships.

3. Finishing IMWA 2012 in 3rd place as a professional triathlete – a result I’m really proud of, reflecting how far I have come over the years – racing at a level and achieving results I never dreamed were possible when first starting the sport.

TZ: Why do you do Iron distance triathlons?

Bec: I love the mental and physical challenge which comes with the Ironman experience.  I see it very much as an individual sport, I’m my biggest competitor and I love personal challenge.  I also love the community spirit and atmosphere which comes with Ironman. it’s a special and unique experience, a personal journey which has had a huge influence on the person I am today.

TZ: Do you have a race strategy that you can tell us a bit about?

To race with a smile and go for it! 🙂 Trust your fitness, take risks, race by feel and without limits!  For me that is racing to my ultimate potential.  I have no fear in blowing up because you learn so much from every experience, how far you can push yourself to working out areas in your training which need improvement.  Gotta have a crack rather than look back wondering!

TZ: You have two more 70.3 Ironman events scheduled for this year plus your favourite race, Challenge Roth. What are your goals for these races?

Bec: I absolutely LOVE Challenge Roth (the best Ironman race on this planet!) but I may race IM Frankfurt as I like new challenges and racing events I haven’t raced before.  My goal for every race is to get as much out of every experience, continue working on areas that need improvement and test the work put in, through a racing environment.

I love racing and racing often – I’ve chosen high profile races (regional championships) this year to throw myself in the deep end and race amongst pro girls who are my inspiration and motivation in the sport to continue pushing my own personal potential.  You always walk away learning something from every experience and I love taking up any opportunity I can to get amongst it.

TZ: What are your long term plans?

Bec: As a professional triathlete my ultimate goal is to continue to improve my potential in the sport and have fun doing it – I’m addicted to good health, personal challenge and exercise with a smile J! I’ve recently obtained my Level 1 Coaching Certificate and once I feel I’ve achieved my own personal aspirations racing as a professional athlete I hope to continue being part of this sport and give back through mentoring and coaching and supporting the triathlon community where I can.  I’m also looking forward to having a family one day 🙂

 

 

With a third at Ironman Western Australia in December 2012 off the back of a solid run Skinfit sponsored athlete Rebecca Hoschke would be wrong to not aim for something similar at Ironman Melbourne this weekend. We caught up with her on the week before one of her biggest races of 2013.

Tell us about your 3rd at Ironman Western Australia.

Ironman Cairns June 2012 (5th) was a break through race – there was a lot I took away from this experience to further develop my potential.  I felt this result was another step forward towards putting the pieces of the puzzle together and race Ironman at a level I knew I was capable of.  I had a solid period of racing over Autumn 2012 followed by a specific 6 week IM prep leading into IMWA – my mind and body felt in great shape and I had a good feeling I was going to improve my result from Cairns.  My goal for IMWA was to remain connected with myself- to race smart, hard and with passion – a zone that I love and pushes my absolute limits.  To finish on the podium (3rd) and only a few minutes away from Bek (Rebecca Keat) and Britta (Martin) was a huge achievement for me – a result which exceeded my expectations and one I’m really proud of.

When did you start racing triathlons and what got you started?

After a 4 month backpacking trip around South America (2003/04) I needed to re-ground myself back in Sydney with my passion of running and signed up to Sydney marathon 2004!   I met a whole heap of triathletes in my running squad (Barry Golding Running Academy, Manly) and was instantly challenged by the sport.  Within a short matter of time, a new goal was created – Ironman Australia (have always been someone who jumps into the deep end of life!).  My first triathlon was Forster Half Ironman 2005 as a qualifier to my first Ironman experience – Ironman Australia 2006.  Grant Giles has been my coach and mentor from the beginning of my triathlon journey and has been instrumental to my progression in the sport and the athlete I have become today.

Who were your early influencers?

Two of my biggest inspirations right from the start included fellow triathletes and good friends Travis Bottomley and Patricia Cretin (Warringah Triathlon Club (Northern Beaches), Sydney).  Mel Ashton, Belinda Granger, Macca, Crowie and PJ are my local Aussie IM heros!  Nic Ward and her positive and supportive words of encouragement to have a go at stepping up from age group to open – which felt daunting at the time!  Pushing myself outside my comfort zone was a significant turning point, which opened new opportunity and challenge towards my progression as a professional triathlete.  I’m also a die-hard Chrissie Wellington fan, as close friends know well J (we share the same birthday, age and middle name which I thought was pretty cool).

I grew up on a rural property, northern NSW (little place called Kentucky) and went to school and University (UNE) in Armidale.  I have a BA of Urban and Regional Planning.  I’ve been working in Local Government, Sydney for 14+ years and currently work part time as an executive assessment officer (town planning/development assessment) for Ku-ring-gai Council who are incredibly supportive towards my working/triathlon lifestyle.

How has it been juggling a career and training full time for Iron distance races? Especially when you know you are going up against full time professionals?

 

Juggling a town planning career and pursing a passion in endurance sport is incredibly challenging – but probably reflects my personality – all or nothing, loves a challenge and to live life to the fullest!  I have an incredibly supportive husband who shares a common love in sport and the outdoors and have an amazing family, group of friends and a team of sporting specialists and practitioners behind me.  The most important thing is to make it work for me and get as much out of every experience and challenge as possible and enjoy the ride which comes with it J rather than focus or compare to others (situations which are outside my control).

 

With my improvements in the sport over time and change in sport/career goals, I find myself often re-assessing my lifestyle balance to stay fit, healthy and happy in all aspects of my life.  In 2011, I went part time at Council (4 days a week), which was a positive step forward towards managing the demands of the sport and my career as a town planner.  With my recent result at IMWA I have needed to re-assess my lifestyle balance again and make further adjustments to give myself the opportunity and space to continue developing my potential in the sport.   Living in Sydney doesn’t allow me to go full time professional, but I feel I’m very lucky to have a supportive work place, which is flexible towards my lifestyle and passion in life.

How do you get the most out of your training time?

Time management is critical in terms of organising training around my lifestyle.  Every training session and training block has a purpose – I’ve been working under the guidance of Grant Giles, Aeromax since 2006 and find his training philosophy works really well for me and program design is tailored well to my lifestyle.

What are your favourite training sessions?

I have always LOVED running for as long as I can remember!  Cheap and its free! Its my space and I love being outdoors, my favourite would be aerobic endurance run sessions with back end effort around the northern beaches.

What are your most memorable triathlon moments?

1. Finishing my first Ironman 2006!  It was a pretty horrendous day (a lot of toilet stops!!!) and you never forget your first one!  2. Ironman Australia 2011 and seeing my husband, parents and close friends at the finish line and qualifying for Hawaii World Ironman Championships.  3. Finishing IMWA 2012 in 3rd place as a professional triathlete – a result I’m really proud of, reflecting how far I have come over the years – racing at a level and achieving results I never dreamed were possible when first starting the sport.

Why do you do Iron distance triathlons?

I love the mental and physical challenge which comes with the Ironman experience.  I see it very much as an individual sport, I’m my biggest competitor and I love personal challenge.  I also love the community spirit and atmosphere which comes with Ironman. it’s a special and unique experience, a personal journey which has had a huge influence on the person I am today.

Do you have a race strategy that you can tell us a bit about?

To race with a smile and go for it! J Trust your fitness, take risks, race by feel and without limits!  For me that is racing to my ultimate potential.  I have no fear in blowing up because you learn so much from every experience, how far you can push yourself to working out areas in your training which need improvement.  Gotta have a crack rather than look back wondering!

You have two more 70.3 Ironman events scheduled for this year plus your favourite race, Challenge Roth. What are your goals for these races?

I absolutely LOVE Challenge Roth (the best Ironman race on this planet!) but I may race IM Frankfurt as I like new challenges and racing events I haven’t raced before.  My goal for every race is to get as much out of every experience, continue working on areas that need improvement and test the work put in, through a racing environment.

I love racing and racing often – I’ve chosen high profile races (regional championships) this year to throw myself in the deep end and race amongst pro girls who are my inspiration and motivation in the sport to continue pushing my own personal potential.  You always walk away learning something from every experience and I love taking up any opportunity I can to get amongst it.

What are your long term plans?

As a professional triathlete my ultimate goal is to continue to improve my potential in the sport and have fun doing it – I’m addicted to good health, personal challenge and exercise with a smile J! I’ve recently obtained my Level 1 Coaching Certificate and once I feel I’ve achieved my own personal aspirations racing as a professional athlete I hope to continue being part of this sport and give back through mentoring and coaching and supporting the triathlon community where I can.  I’m also looking forward to having a family one day 🙂

You can read more about Rebecca on her website and follow her on twitter

 

Karl Hayes

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.