Part 1 of this feature introduced the remarkable Rebecca Romero and her unique achievements across two entirely different sporting disciplines.
The story concludes as she makes the biggest decision any sportsperson faces and then – post professional sport – she tackles Ironman!
Taking on an entirely new cycling discipline was never going to be easy
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Rebecca gave it a good go and operated at the required elite level in amongst women who were already experienced and world class in the event. Eventually, though, she realised her heart could not be in it and finally walked away.
“I could not imagine anything worse than leaving the stage too soon and leaving questions unanswered, so that was a major reason for plugging away, for going what most people would regard as a normal life and pushing my mind and body to extremes. All of that allowed me to know, in both heart and mind, when I had fully run my course”.
But retirement for this ground breaking sportswoman was not about putting her feet up.
After a brief period of rest and a taste of ‘normal life’, Rebecca set her sights on a new challenge. Ironman!
“Yes, I could cycle, but I’d never done those distances and I was a truly awful runner and swimmer…I mean really bad! So, the competitor in me decided this would be a good idea”.
Rebecca applied herself and trained as you would expect of an Olympic champion, but this was purely an amateur experience, just her seeing what she could do and pushing herself to more mental and physical extremes.
“My intention was to train hard and compete in and finish a single Ironman event. There was not a plan to do any more than that. The first bits fell into place, but in so doing I actually managed to qualify for the Ironman World’s in Kona and Hawaii.
So I had to go through the whole training routine again, which, I must admit, did not thrill me! But taking part and completing that too was the perfect way to bring the curtain down on my Ironman career!”
Understated perhaps, but Rebecca Romero’s desire to push herself, to compete and to win are forged from a powerful furnace within. She is a uniquely and prodigiously determined and successful sportswoman. Her achievements speak for themselves, which is just as well, because Rebecca is unlikely to!
And she has now gone on to her proudest achievement – becoming a mother!
Rebecca gave me an insight into aspects of her training routines as an elite rower and cyclist. Here is an outline of those programmes that saw her become a world beater in both sports.
Monday – 90min row + 15mins technique drills / heavy weights session / 12km ergo
Tuesday – 90min row + 15mins technique drills / 18km ergo / core strength session
Wednesday – 60min row / 30min threshold power ergo
Thursday – 90min row + 15mins technique drills / heavy weights session / 12km ergo
Friday – 90min row + 15mins technique drills / 18km ergo / core strength session
Saturday – 120min row with 3x8min step rate progression efforts / endurance weights circuits
Sunday – off
Monday – 3hr track session with intervals / 3hr ride with middle hour tempo motor-pacing
Tuesday – 3hr track session with intervals / 2hr track session with high tempo interval motor-pacing
Wednesday – 2hr ride / gym session
Thursday – 3hr ride / 2hr ride with 10mile time trial max threshold effort
Friday – 90min turbo session with 3x6mins max efforts / 90min turbo session with 3x6mins max efforts
Saturday – off
Sunday – off
To read more about Rebecca Romero, visit her Expert Profile.