Vifit Sports' 10 minutes with... WILL CLARKE!

Will Clarke started his triathlon career when he was just 16 years old. Since then he’s built a successful career and now, 17 years later, Will is still simply unstoppable. In 2 days (28th April) he will enter the North American Championship Ironman Texas. Vifit Sports had the chance to talk to him!

How did the recovery from your last injury go? Are you fully recovered now?
“It was a slow process to get myself back again to be honest, it took 12 weeks till I could start to get fit again. I wasn’t really worried about getting fit again but I was worried about the mobility in my shoulder. If I could hold a tight position on the TT bike again and of course swim at full strength again. It seems that I’m pretty much back to 100% now though.”

How did you prepare for this IM, both physically and mentally?
“I had a long build up to this race and my winter went very, very well so I’m very confident for this race. I’ve been feeling very good in training so mentally it’s easy for me. I just have to go out there and not mess it up!“

What does your nutrition look like in the coming weeks before the race? Can you give us a small insight into a typical week what nutrition looks like for you?
“I try to eat a nice balanced diet, I think most people know what that involves but what’s important for endurance athletes is that they eat enough to fuel their training and also recover from the hard work they’ve put in so they can go again as soon as possible. I try to make sure that the food I eat is of high quality and even though I don’t always enjoy it I try to make sure that I’m eating enough fruit and veg to keep myself healthy. In-between the harder training sessions I always take a Vifit Protein bar and protein drinks with me. I find it makes a big difference for recovery. In general, I find I can eat a lot and not put on too much weight which is perfect because I have a very big sweet tooth!”

Are there any things you will not eat in preparation for your race, even some of your favourites?
“In the days leading into a race I try to keep my meals very simple so just a few ingredients. I also try to stay away from risky foods like seafood and curries and I also try to cut out the heavier meats like steak as it takes a while to digest. This way it limits the chances of getting a bad stomach during the race.”

Do you have a kind of a preparation ritual on a race-day?
“I try to get myself in the zone the day before the race. I don’t like to talk too much so I can keep focused on what I have to do. Obviously I will have some tune up training to do but other than that I like to try to get myself as relaxed as possible which means having everything organised and by the door ready to go with enough time to lie down and get my feet up and run through the race in my head.

Finally, a few short questions about “first things to do when finishing the race..”:
The first thing I will probably do is:.. “Meet up with my family and team, hopefully with good news for them!”
The first person I will probably give a huge handshake/hug is:… “Normally my wife or my parents will get the first hug, they are the ones who have been there from the beginning. I also like to high five my fellow competitors who I’ve been battling the past 4-8hrs.”
The first person I will probably call is:… “My wife or my team manager to give them the low down of the race.” 
The first thing I will probably eat is:… “Normally straight away Vifit protein products, it’s the best workout you can ever do and if you’d like to absorb that and recover well then that’s the best thing you can do.”