Sian Hawkes

I’m originally from Wales, but my family moved around quite a bit when I was a child.  Michael and I went to the same school and we’ve been together since we were 18.  We have two girls, Seren and Freya.  Seren often joins me for training sessions and Freya attends the Junior sessions.  She particularly enjoys swimming with Emma Gueterbock.  I work full time with young people with drug and alcohol issue. I don’t really have time to do much else outside family commitments, work, and training. Most nights I try to read a book but I fall asleep after page one.

  1. How did you get into multi-sport and what was your first race? I think it was 2013. I picked up a running injury and realized that I needed to start mixing up my training.  My first race was the Wiggle Portsmouth sprint tri.  I hated the sea swim but I loved the event as a whole, and I was so relieved to have finished.
  2. Tell us about your triathlon experience to date? What are your major accomplishments? I’ve had lots of injury issues since my first tri, mostly back and sciatica problems.  I’ve trained as and when I could and I’ve only done a few sprint triathlons and duathlons.  My favourite event to date was the Arun 3.8k swim.  I did it with a group of friends (the Southsea Mermaids) who I swim with on Sunday mornings.  I absolutely loved it.
  3. Describe your favourite workout. I love the winter spin sessions with Jo Lovell.  I wouldn’t work that hard if I was training on an indoor bike on my own.  I also love swimming in the sea, although I’m struggling with getting back into the cold water at the moment.
  4. What’s your favourite discipline in triathlon and which one do you try and avoid? Running has always been my passion and I can run at a good pace.  I know when I get to the run I tend to pick off quite a lot of people, which compensates for my terrible cycling.
  5. How do you manage to balance everything (work, family as well as three sports)? It’s a challenge! Michael and I are often like two ships passing in the night. I try to fit my training in when Freya is at clubs. I try to train 5 days a week, but it isn’t always achievable. My organizational skills could be improved, so I’m often running around chasing my own tail. 
  6. What advice would you give to new triathletes starting out in the sport? I don’t think I’m experienced enough yet to give advice.  But I would recommend that you draw on the vast experience that we have at the club, and make sure you get to know the sea before you enter the Portsmouth Triathlon!
  7. What’s your next race on the calendar? Because of my injury track record, I don’t tend to enter races way in advance, but this year I have entered Weymouth 70.3 with a group of friends.  We’ve got a great support network, and we’re there for each other through the physical and emotional challenges.  I’ve just picked up a last-minute entry to Goodwood and I may enter an Olympic distance as a build-up to Weymouth.  I also enjoy supporting Michael with his challenges (he’s much more accomplished at it than I am).
  8. Do you do most of your training alone or in a group? (which do you prefer) A bit of both; I don’t really like cycling, so I tend to try and get out with other people, otherwise I won’t do it.  I love running alone, it’s the closest I get to meditation.  I prefer to do speed sessions with a group.  
  9. What do you think about during the tough parts of a race? I try to give myself some positive self-talk and I break the race into segments.  I remind myself how good it feels at the end. 
  10. Any favourite post-race /training indulgence? My training isn’t very structured. After a race I tend to listen to my body and ease myself back in when I’m ready.  I don’t have a particular post-race indulgence; then again, I don’t ever restrict my diet before a race, although I may need to review this as I build up to Weymouth.