I was a horse rider for 15 years and I had to cycle to the farm on a big old heavy alloy bike every day. Combined with riding the horses and mucking out their beds, I built up quite a lot of physical strength. I always dreamed of being a professional athlete, but when my parents divorced my mum was tight on money and training is expensive. I worked on the farm to pay for my horse riding lessons and I loved it!
Six years ago I said to myself “I’m going to be an athlete”, so I left Czechoslovakia and started from zero again, coming to England and teaching myself the language.
I was lucky and met lots of nice people who helped me out along the way. Mark Allen, director of Zenith Tax Solutions agreed to sponsor me to do triathlons and provided me with the gear to race, including the TT bike. He also enabled me to race for the charity Education for the Children.
We came to meet in my work place in Shrewley, I was giving a presentation for my Welsh 3 peaks challenge - where I climbed the 3 highest mountains in Wales, and asked him for help with the speech. We raised a total of £1521 for the Birmingham Childrens hospital in 2015. Mark then asked me if I would like to fundraise for Education for the Children and so the challenge was set.
Being someone who is very passionate about outdoor fitness and the mountains, I decided that it was time for a challenge and suggested I do as many triathlons in 2015 as I can for charity. At this point I had never completed a triathlon and couldn’t swim front crawl - not even two lengths!
So 2015 saw me complete 12 triathlons including the Ben Nevis Triathlon, which is said to be the UK’s toughest with a 1.9km loch sea swim, 90km steep cycle and a run up - and down - Ben Nevis. It was a tough challenge.
During the winter of 2015 I got a bad leg injury and had to stop running for 5 months, but I didn’t stop training, instead I spent the winter cycling the highlands.
I have now completed the UKCC Triathlon Coach Level 1 course, which has further developed my knowledge on how to train for success, focusing on improving mobility, power production, strength, injury prevention and enhanced recovery.
How do you find time to balance work and training?
My story is not unlike that of many other age groupers in triathlon. I have to put in the time at my day job to pay for my lifestyle. Add to this the hours of training that I squeeze into every week to fuel my goals and passion for triathlons and there is not much time left. I’ve learned to balance all of the important things in my life and I am making strides in my job and personal relationships. I have chosen to stay single and work part time in order to get to the higher levels and to be a successful age grouper in triathlons. So I have no social life and don’t really see my friends or family. I just stay focused on my training, rest and recovery. And of course studying. It's not hard because I like to have my own space and I don't like going out or being in a relationship. I would like to move forward and be able to to coach online and earn money online to be able to support charity and those in need.
What is the hardest battle you’ve had to overcome through triathlons?
story in the series :)