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Camille King is an age-group triathlete who dared to dream BIG and is making her debut in Kona, Hawaii this weekend at the IRONMAN World Championships. Camille kindly gave us some time between her training for an insight into what it takes to make the start line and qualify for the Big Dance.


How are your preparations for Kona going?

After having raced IRONMAN Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain in mid-July I eased off the training in terms of volume and intensity for a few weeks. This allowed for some vital rest and recovery.

Two months out from the Big Dance I then started ramping up the volume and intensity of my sessions again. As part of the build-up I included a couple of shorter events, Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons, to get some good training in as well as help gain speed back in the legs. It was also nice to be able to spend time with my family and friends.

So far I’ve ticked off all my key sessions in all three sports (swim/bike/run) so this has given me confidence going into Kona.

I feel the hard work is done and entered into a taper two weeks before the race.


Can you describe the moment when you knew you would be heading to the Big Island and competing at the IRONMAN World Championships?

I’ve been wanting to qualify for Kona before I even did triathlon. In my head it’s the pinnacle of the sport and I’m just so humbled to be here. When I found out I had qualified it was really a dream come true. When they called out my name at the IRONMAN awards ceremony at Vitoria-Gasteiz I burst into tears in front of a room filled with hundreds of people. I was so overcome with emotions and joy.



Have you done anything to prepare for the heat and conditions in Hawaii?

My preparation for Kona has been pretty similar to that of training for a standard IRONMAN. The main difference is I’ve added heat training to prepare for the extreme weather conditions, even though everyone says there is nothing that can truly prepare you for it!

I’ve been doing sessions in the sauna (thanks to my friend Jappas for his help!) each week, gradually increasing the length and frequency of the sessions and building up to a 30 minute block. It felt like I was burning in the oven on thermostat 8!

I also did some of my long and high intensity runs dressed up with lots of layers and a hat. It definitely gave me a good sweat, even if I did look like the Michelin Man!

Finally, I arrived in Hawaii 10 days before the big day so I can train here to acclimatize for the heat and humidity. I can confirm it’s HOT.


Have you had to adapt your nutrition and hydration in preparation?

So far, I haven’t made any changes to my nutrition and hydration, other than increasing my salt intake. With all these sauna sessions I definitely felt like I needed more salt.


Will your family be going out to support you?

YES!! My husband Rob and our three children (aged 6, 8, and 10) are coming to support. This is just wonderful and I feel so grateful they can make it. There is no better motivation than seeing their little faces cheering you on the course. Plus, we’ll get to explore the island all together and maybe attempt surfing.




How do you balance the demands of training as an international age group triathlete with your family life?

At the moment I’m mainly focusing on looking after our children full time and so I train mostly while they are at school.


We all have one preferred/favourite discipline and which is yours?

The run tends to be my preferred activity. It’s my strongest of the three disciplines and that’s probably why it’s my favourite. I come from a trail running background so I feel the most comfortable in the familiar.


Do you have any essential pieces of kit you always use for big races?

My Cervélo TT bike is my favourite piece of equipment. I’ve also come attached to the technology and I rely for pacing on my sports watch and bike computer.



Can you remember your first triathlon experience and what inspired you to take up the sport?

I took part in my first triathlon only two years ago, a sprint distance event near Bournemouth. I’d only had my first ever road bike a couple of weeks earlier! I barely knew how to ride and had very little experience in open water swimming but I just went for it.

I borrowed a tri suit from a friend (thanks Mel) and just turned up, even though I was really scared to be on the start line. I’m ever so thankful to my friends for encouraging me to take part and all the cheering from the sides. I particularly recall losing my balance mounting my bike as I felt dizzy after a rough sea swim. Then 12 months, I was competing in my first IRONMAN.



And finally, could you share a few tips/advice for anyone considering their first long distance triathlon?

Triathlon has become such a big part of my life. I would absolutely encourage anyone to enter an IRONMAN as it is such a special and magical experience. Dream BIG, take risks and believe in yourself as you might even surprise yourself.