One of triathlon’s brightest young stars, Emma Pallant, plans to step up to Ironman distance racing in 2018.
A fearsome athlete who can run most of her competitors off the course, Pallant is a multiple duathlon world champion and has competed in 70.3 races for the past two years, most recently winning Gloria Challenge Gran Canaria in April 2017, opposite male winner Alastair Brownlee in his middle distance debut.
A frequent visitor to Mallorca, Pallant loves the calm, scenic conditions in the southern part of the island around Colonia Sant Jordi, where she trains at the BEST swim centre and runs circuits around the town and down by the sparkling Mediterranean next to her hotel.
This weekend Pallant is competing in the BEST Centre Olympic triathlon in the town, hoping to repeat her win of 2016.
Preparing for the race last year, Pallant visited a local gym in search of a treadmill. She ran for a few minutes but then left. On full speed, it was still too slow for her! Locals and fellow runners can occasionally spot her (blink and you miss her) on the streets around town.
Being part of the BMC Etixx team has already worked well for Pallant. “In the past, I’ve fainted in three races because I got my nutrition all wrong,” she says. Help from the team nutritionist has sorted this out, and the relationship with her existing coaches – Michelle and Stuart Hayes – is working out fine. “It’s complementary,” says Pallant.
In fact, Pallant now has her own stable of 10 age group triathletes, so she takes a keen interest in issues that could affect them. Where some age groupers crucify themselves in order to race their first Ironman, she says the focus should be on enjoyment.
“It’s about getting the most satisfaction. What you’re good at, and having a good time doing it should determine your schedule. You can plod through mundane days and get bragging rights on Strava, but having easy days and hard days is important. I’ve got an athlete who did double what I said and I’m not happy!”
Heeding her own advice, Pallant is working up to Ironman in a sensible, measured way. But many of her rivals will be quaking in their lycra.