BYS Staff Feature: Emilia Ball

BYS Staff Feature: Emilia Ball

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Hi! I’m Emilia,

You could say I enjoy training but I’m still not sure why I’ve signed up for a triathlon.

I'm kidding...I am the social media manager here at BYS but the rest of the time i'm either renovating my home or training for something, this time I have signed up to complete my first Triathlon. It's definitely hard work, but I am loving the challenge!

You are training for your first triathlon, what does your training look like?

Prior to signing up for a triathlon, I was in the gym doing strength based workouts or CrossFit classes in hopes that the endurance would assist in my preparation for whatever I randomly decided to do next.

Triathlon specific training really started to ramp out 10 weeks out from race day. My training does fluctuate in volume/intensity depending on work commitments and how quickly I’m recovering but each week, I try to run at least 20-30km across 2-4 runs, swim 1500m, ride 40-60km and get a minimum of 2-3 strength sessions in. At the beginning, I also joined a group that did structured open water swims fortnightly for practice. Here’s what I did last week:

Monday 5km run, lower body strength
Tuesday 2000m pool swim, full upper body strength
Wednesday Bike conditioning i.e. 16km bike ride, every 2km complete a series of exercises
Thursday 7km run, full body strength
Friday Rest
Saturday 10km run
Sunday 40-60km ride into 5-10km run


What are your non-negotiables when it comes to rest and recovery while training so hard?

I try to get anywhere between 7-8 hours of sleep each night on weekdays and 8-9hours on weekends. If I know I’m going to be up early the following morning, I sacrifice ‘me time’ (aka reading or mindlessly scrolling on TikTok — we all do it) for sleep so I’m not setting myself up for failure. If for whatever reason I’ve had less sleep or a really bad sleep, I will often prioritise getting an extra hour of sleep and making up the session later in the week to avoid injuries, burnout or getting sick.

Making sure I’m eating enough (!!) overall and enough carbs/protein has been pivotal in maintaining my energy levels during this training block. Oh and lot’s of coffee!

As a 21 year old, this is something I’ve never prioritised until now. I’m making sure to stretch before/after sessions particularly on run days even if its for 60 seconds.

I’m lucky enough that my boss bought an infrared sauna for the office so I’ve been here reaping the benefits of that. I try to do at least 20mins a day or every second day! (thanks Jaryd).


What’s been the most challenging moment in training so far?
A few moments come to mind! The first time I did an open water training session, it felt like I was stuck in a washing machine. I had head noise for the entire hour, thinking there was no way I was going to do this race. I also weirdly attract sea lice more than the average human. Thanks to those little suckers, I spent my birthday covered in red dots. Re-learning how to ride a bike. I mean, I can confidently ride a normal bike but no one could have prepared me for how wrong it would feel to ride the real deal and be attached to it. At the beginning, I was spending more time on the ground than I was on the seat. One semi major crash into a guard rail (I got too confident), a handful of falls and a few bruises later, we’re here and somehow, I’m still signed up.


Do you have any words of advice for someone wanting to start or getting started on a new sport or fitness journey?
Life is too short to sit back and watch everyone else do the things you want to achieve. Pick a sport or activity that you genuinely enjoy, as you’re more likely to stick with it, and establish a realistic and consistent routine that allows you to work towards your ‘thing’! Don’t compare yourself to anyone else’s journey. The entire process from training to race day (or whatever the end goal may be) is you vs you. Be patient and know that results take time. This mindset will become very important on days where it feels a little harder. Find some friends to support you! I convinced a few friends to sign up to the triathlon which made training easier and more sociable. I’ve dragged other friends along for runs as an excuse to catch up. You will also make new friends along the way by utilising tools like Strava (IYKYK), run clubs etc. Get the right gear! Invest in the necessary equipment for your chosen activity. Having the right gear not only enhances your performance but also reduces the risk of injuries. In my case, better running shoes and a comfortable riding kit was essential. And don’t forget to celebrate the wins, no matter how small! When I complete my first ride without a stack, I will be celebrating like I would my birthday.


What leg of the race are you most excited for? 

I genuinely think I’m most excited for the run (the last leg) only because I’ll be looking forward to crossing the finish line. I did my first half marathon last year and the feeling of crossing that line is something you can’t quite describe.


What’s your go-to favourite meal?
I can’t choose so here’s my favourite foods at the moment for each time of day:
Breakfast — 2 boiled eggs and ham on toast with cottage cheese
Snack — hot cross bun or crumpet
Lunch — chicken & salad wrap
Snack — rice cakes, peanut butter & honey and some berries
Dinner — burrito bowl or poke bowl
Dessert — plain greek yoghurt with Rich Chocolate Collagen Complex and some chocolate


What’s next?
I’m doing a 130km ride in June and hope to do a marathon at some point this year!


And last but not least, what’s your favourite BYS brew?!
Collagen Coffee in Mocha or Original + Collagen Complex in Rich Chocolate.
I do love a Performance Caramel though.