Lisa Marangon Hoping for a Double at the First Round of the Triseries in Forster

With the first round of the new Triseries at Forster only two weeks away Trizone spoke to Lisa Marangon, one of the leading female pros who will be racing in the series on September 18 and 19. Lisa will be competing in the Shimano Pro Tour on the Saturday then backing up to race the Olympic distance

With the first round of the new Triseries at Forster only two weeks away  Trizone spoke to Lisa Marangon, one of the leading female pros who will be racing in the series on September 18 and 19. Lisa will be competing in the Shimano Pro Tour on the Saturday then backing up to race the Olympic distance on the Sunday. The Shimano Pro Tour is a sprint distance race and will feature some of the leading professional and up and coming elites. The 3 lap bike leg will ensure the spectators are able to see the race unfold.

Trizone caught up with Lisa after a lunchtime fitness squad she holds at Centennial Park in Sydney. While training as a top pro Lisa is also working full time four days a week. We started to talk about why Lisa is doing the shorter race format at the Triseries in Firster this close to Hawaii. “I have just started my last block of serious training in preparation for the Ford Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and am using shorter races like Emo’s Triseries at Forster as part of my speed training for the long distance races”. “I am in to my second week of training for Hawaii and am starting to feel good but last week was tough and I really struggled”.

If her recent  result at Lake Placid Ironman is anything to go by we can expect to see good things from Lisa on October 9 at Kona.   “My 3rd place at Lake Placid was particularly satisfying because I was able to edge out (fellow Australian) Kate Bevilaqua who I see as a great triathlete. It wasn’t about beating Kate personally but proving to myself that I can compete with the top women in the sport”.   However it took her a lot longer to recover from Lake Placid than expected. “I think last week’s training was tough because of my slow recovery”.

So who is Lisa Marangon? Many of you will have heard about Lisa and recognise her athletic physique, but there is a lot more to her than that. Lisa is an incredibly driven individual with a tough mental attitude who knows what she wants to achieve. Lisa currently works full time, whilst looking after her 10year old son Josh (unfortunately Lisa and Josh lost Josh’s father four years ago) yet she still manages to get up at 4:30am most mornings to train as a pro before doing the school run and heading off to work.

Lisa got into triathlon in 2002. Whilst swimming at a public pool a group from the local triathlon club convinced Lisa to do an aquathlon with them and then one of their club triathlons. Borrowing a bike and using a pair of shoes purchased at a local garage sale by a friend she surprised them all with her natural ability. In 2003 having been inspired by watching Ironman Australia the previous year she did her first Ironman. The following year she raced at Hawaii in 2004 as an age grouper coming 3rd in her age group and 37th female over all. The same year Kate Major came 3rd and Belinda Granger 6th.

2010 has been an impressive year for Lisa with a long list of races, wins and podium finishes.

•   Capricorn Resort Half Ironman 2010 “3rd
•   Ironman Lake Placid “3rd
•   Boulder Peak Triathlon “3rd
•   Byron Bay Triathlon 2010 “1st
•   Busselton Half Ironman 2010 “1st
•   Abu Dhabi International Triathlon 2010 “13th
•   Geelong 70.3 2010 “3rd
•   2010 Canberra Capital National Triathlon “1st
•   Trishave Sydney Sprint Series Race 2 “1st

This year’s Ironman Australia was a disappointment for Lisa. After receiving a ferocious heel to the nose in the swim and losing a lot of blood she finally collapsed 15kms into the run. “I was told after the race that pulling out was the best thing I could have done. They said to me after that long term physical damage could have resulted if I had continued”.

What other triathlons will you be doing this year? “I am going to do a  few Olympic distance (races mainly
in the Elite Energy’s ‘Triseries’), the SiS Port Macquarie Half Ironman, Campbell’s Shepparton Half Ironman and of course the Ford Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. Port Macquarie will only be three weeks after Hawaii and hopefully I should recover enough”.

We wanted to know what Lisa’s goal for 2011 was. “I want to become a full time pro and stop working”.

If Lisa could go full time pro next year what will she focus on? “If I have a good result at Hawaii then this may steer me towards staying with long distance triathlons. However, if I improve in the Olympic distance and can get a couple of Continental Cup races under my belt with some good results I may decide to focus on the shorter distance”. Lisa got hooked on ITU this year after watching from the sidelines in Sydney when the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series came to Australia. At this stage Lisa feels she can match the top ITU girls on the swim and ride but is still a couple of minutes off the pace for the 10km run. “I am sure that I have the bike strength to possibly be able to break away in the OD draft legal racing and then hang on in the run”. At 30 Lisa still has time to have a good crack at ITU and then come back to long distance.

What else is it about ITU that appeals to you? “The appeal of ITU to me is the structured appearance, exciting racing and strong support of the athletes. On the other hand I do like the family feel that you get from racing 70.3 and Ironman is amazing. The comradeship amongst all athletes, both pro and age groupers, and the supporters who come in their thousands to mainly support the age groupers is hard to beat”.

What changes have you made to this year’s training and race preparation? “My main achievement this year has been getting my race nutrition right. I have stopped taking solids during the race and also pre race. Breakfast has become a meal of Ensure, a drink that is usually given to the elderly when they cannot take solids. I don’t have an energy gels until the run”. On the bike Lisa drinks Hi5 and will take a handful of gels when heading out from T2.

Lisa now also trains herself, after having spent a long time being coached by John Mergler.   However John is still involved with Lisa as her run coach and also as her mentor.

Similar to what we heard when Trizone interviewed Craig Alexander recovering well after every training session has also become a huge focus this year for Lisa. This includes taking a protein drink straight after each session and eating well. Sleep is also something that Lisa has been getting serious about. “While in Boulder for a period over winter I discovered the benefits that come with doing nothing else but racing and training. I slept when I needed to”.

“Since being back in Sydney and back to being a Mum and full time work, I am finding that I cannot have a snooze after a heavy training session and also I am not having solid sleeps at night”. Back to the real life in Sydney means that she is up early, does the school run and then works a full day, hence the desire to become a full time professional next year. Lisa also recently tried a cold bath after a heavy training session and said it felt great. She will aim to do this as much as possible going forward. Alternating cold and heat has proven therapeutic benefits, but is not always easy to put into practice.

Lisa also has a strong desire to give as much back to the sport of triathlon as possible and she spoke with a passion about mentoring other female triathletes.   “I recently spent a weekend in Forster training with around 50 female triathletes. They were participating in the TriNSW women’s triathlon camp. It was so much fun doing this camp and I’ll definitely do more”. Just like the women at the training camp who look to athletes like Lisa Marangon for inspiration, Lisa also remembers distinctly her first triathlon role model, Canadian Lisa Bentley, and the impact she had on her passion for triathlon.  Lisa Bentley won 11 Ironman races from 2000 to 2007.

Lisa gets a huge kick out of racing against Australia’s top female triathletes. While to some it might sound like she enjoys beating them a little bit too much, Lisa has a genuine enthusiasm when racing. It is not about beating someone but is about achieving personal goals and proving to herself that she can compete against the athletes she admires.   While many of the female athletes at Hawaii this year will be overwhelmed and probably psyched out facing Chrissie Wellington, Lisa is excited about racing against the fastest Ironwoman ever. It motivates her to step up and go faster than she has gone before.