Having followed Bec Dutkowski on instagram for a while, I am always impressed with her dedication to training and the honest way she shares her ups and downs with triathlon training. She took some time out of her busy life to share how she incorporates health and wellbeing into her daily life and training.
Can you tell the readers of North of Here a bit about yourself and your lifestyle?
I’m a 32 year old lawyer from Melbourne and I live by myself in a great apartment near the beach. Traditionally, I am a runner (having done it more or less seriously since primary school) and played netball for most of my life. In the last year, I have taken up triathlons, which I am loving. When I am not doing that, I love spending time with my family, friends and puppy, reading, listening to music and going on adventures. I try to eat relatively healthily although I do love chocolate and pizza.
What does a day in your life look like?
I am up early most days at around 5-6am to do an hour of swimming, cycling or running before work. Then I head into work either on the train or on my bike (I try to ride in at least once a week). Work can be anything from 8 to 12 hours, depending on how busy I am. After work I might go out for dinner or go to trivia (I am part of a fortnightly trivia time), go for a run with friends or if I am working late, home and straight to bed.
What keeps you motivated?
I love feeling fit and healthy and I love a challenge. I always set myself new goals to work towards. My current (crazy) goal is to do a half ironman in February in Geelong. Goals help me stay focused.
What attracts you to triathlon? And why a half ironman?
I have always been a runner and I quite like cycling, although I hadn’t ridden very far before I started triathlons. Doing a traithlon was something I had been thinking about for a year or so but I was put off by the swim (by far my weakest leg). I follow a lot of runners on Instagram and some of them were also trying triathlon so that inspired me!
I chose to do the half ironman because I like a challenge. Having run two marathons, a longer distance triathlon seemed like a good next step. It is both terrifying and exciting for me, mainly terrifying because of the swim.
I raced in a triathlon where I panicked early in the swim and couldn’t calm myself down. I had done so much work on my bike and run that I told myself I just had to get through the swim; a mix of freestyle and breaststroke, anything to get me through. It was definitely worth it. Even though I came almost last in the swim, I was 5th in both the run and bike, and finished in 10th overall in my age group!
Do you have any advice for someone considering triathlon?
Just do it! It is so much fun! Also, don’t get put off just because you are not so good at one leg, no one is equally good at all three.
Do you have anyone who helps you with your training and why?
I train with TriChicks, who are a Melbourne-based female-only triathlon squad. Joining a club was appealing because I knew my swimming needed a lot of work. I was a bit embarrassed swimming so badly in front of a group of mainly guys (which I think a lot of triathlon squads are) but the girls in TriChicks and my coach Amy are super encouraging and supportive. I love being part of it.
Working long hours can make it hard to fit other things in but I have made a commitment to myself. Even when I am working long hours, I make sure I do something between when I leave work and when I go back the next morning. Otherwise work can take over my life. This commitment makes me get up early even if I worked late, and I feel so much better for it!
As women, we often neglect a part of our own health/wellbeing – what is one thing that you’ve been neglecting, and would like to get on top of?
Stretching and relaxation. Often I am so busy running around with stuff that I get quite tense, and I need to take some time to stretch and meditate.
What does your training routine look like?
I’m starting a half ironman training program soon so my training is about to increase but generally I swim 1-2 times per week, cycle 2-3 times per week and run 2-3 times per week.
I don’t like grocery shopping so I get my ingredients delivered from Hello Fresh. It means I still get to cook but I don’t have to spend time in the supermarket or decide what to cook when I am tired. Other than that, I love a good muesli and yoghurt with Greek yoghurt. I also love homemade rice paper rolls and wraps with lots of fresh ingredients.
What is your favourite recipe at the moment?
Probably chicken burritos. Simple and delicious.
What are your three top health tips for living a healthy lifestyle?
- Plan ahead – I always think about what I am up to that week and when I will fit in my training.
- Prioritise your health – I’m a better person when I exercise, so I always try to make time for it.
- Enjoy what you do – People often say to me “I should run, but I don’t really like it”. Don’t run then! There are so many fun things to do like swimming, dance classes, pilates. It’s much easier to do something you love, so go do that!
Balance – sleep well, exercise, spend time with friends. And eat the chocolate and the pizza.
What are five things in your workout bag?
Drink bottle, gym towel, iPod, bike lights, muesli bar.
What is one thing you do for your wellbeing everyday without fail?
I try to get 8 hours sleep. I wouldn’t say I do it without fail but I almost always get around 7 hours.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT Bec:
If you’d like to follow Bec’s journey to a half ironman, you can find her on instagram @bec_runs_around
Your Story Matters: Is a regular series where I sit down at chat with women like you about your health and fitness story. Everyone has a story to tell and we can all learn from each other. If you would to be featured, or know of someone that you’d like to NOMINATE, please email me: hello <at> northofhere.com.au or send me a message on instagram, facebook or snapchat!