20 Questions: Tamsin Lewis

  • By Paul Moore
  • Published April 13, 2011

Tamsin Lewis made a name for herself when she won her age group at the ITU World Championships in 2009 on Australia’s Gold Coast. She did all of this while working full-time as doctor and doing a postgraduate qualification in psychiatry. In 2010 she took time out from work to turn pro and started to train under the watchful eye of Brett Sutton at TeamTBB. He convinced Lewis her swim wasn’t strong enough for the fast paced Olympic-distance circuit. She started racing longer in 2010 resulting in a second place finish at Ironman 70.3 UK and third at Alp d’Huez. Lewis doesn’t have a competitive background in any of the sports but comes from good genes – her father was a professional roadie who competed at the 1968 Olympics, rode four Grand Tours and was National Road Race Champion twice. She has since parted ways with Sutton and is currently working under coach Cliff English with the aim of qualifying for the 70.3 World Championships in Vegas.

1. Describe your first ever bike?
A pink Raleigh adorned with My Little Pony. The stabilisers didn’t stay on for long.

2. How did you do in your first race?
My first triathlon was Blenheim in 2007. I trained two to three times per week for two months. I got completely lost in transition twice but won my age group.

3. What’s your essential brekkie?
Cereal, cereal and cereal with blueberries and yoghurt. And stroooong coffee!

4. Legs shaved, waxed or hairy?
None of the above– I’ve been Lasered.

5. Train alone or with a group?
It varies. I spent the whole summer last year training with TeamTBB amongst some of the best triathletes in the world. When I’m at home I train a fair amount with my other half. He kicks my ass on the bike and I kick his in the pool.

6. Energy drink, tea or coffee?
Coffee daily at any time except after 5pm. Energy Drink on long rides and tea in the bath after long rides.

7. Where does your bike live?
In the Computrainer.

8. Snickers or energy bar?
Peanut M&M’s.

9. Biggest waste of your time?

10. Craziest place you have slept since becoming triathlete?
A hospital bed in a local Thai hospital. I slept in far crazier places when I was med student.

11. Pee on the bike, stop or hold it until the run?
Any time I can squeeze one out.

12. Three people to have dinner with (alive or deceased)?
Martin Luther King, Marco Pantani and Princess Diana

13. What do you carry with you when you train?
A snot rag.

14. Worst chaffing/sunburn?
I was 16, on a beach and Sambuca was involved.

15. Favourite place to ride?
The Alps and Exmoor on a good day take my breath away. Otherwise to my local Thai takeaway on a Friday night.

16. What theme music would play to a film of your life and why?
I’ve done this as a soundtrack on a timeline from birth to now… and should be self- explanatory:
I’m Not Ok (I promise) – My Chemical Romance
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Perfect – Alanis Morrissette
Everybody Hurts – REM
Get Your Freak On – Missy Elliot
London Calling – The Clash
Lust for Life – Iggy Pop
Overload – Sugababes
Run On – Moby
Suffer Some – Jane’s Addiction
Lose Yourself – Eminem
How soon is now – The Smiths
Because of You – Jackie Wilson
Everything is Everything – Lauren Hill

17. Pre-race rituals and meal?
Visualisation, chicken pasta with seeds, small glass red wine and attempt to sleep.

18. Funniest person you know?
My ex

19. Reading?
Social Network Media Exposure and Adolescent Eating Pathology in Fiji (British Journal of Psychiatry).

20. What you’ll be doing this month?
Headed stateside to Tucson, Arizona for a training camp with my new coach Cliff English.

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Paul Moore

Paul Moore

Paul Moore is the Online Editor for Triathlete Europe. When not glued to a computer he can be found writing books - most recently Ultra Performance: The Psychology of Endurance Sports and The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges. Both are available on Amazon. Paul has also written Ultimate Triathlon: A complete training guide for long-distance triathletes which is also available on Amazon.