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Laura Siddall runs through a day in the life of an elite triathlete during coronavirus lockdown

A triathlete has walked the Advertiser through a day in the life of a professional athlete during lockdown.

Laura Siddall, 39, who defied the odds to claim the Ironman Australia title for a third successive year in May, 2019, said she would have never have envisaged what 2020 has presented.

Laura Siddall.
Laura Siddall.

Siddall, from Carlton-on-Trent, suffered from a stress fracture on her collar bone in February, prior to lockdown.

As part of her recovery, she travelled from her base in New Zealand to the USA in March, when what proved to be a global lockdown took shape.

With a return to New Zealand proving problematic, she decided to make home in England and live with her sister in Sutton-on-Trent.

“With everything going on, it was best to go back to family,” said Siddall.

“She had a little bit of a set-up with some free weights, and I had my indoor bike back in the UK as well.”

Unaware of how the pandemic would play out, Siddall also invested in a treadmill and, as the country went into a strict lockdown, she continued her rehabilitation.

“From a day-to-day basis, not much has changed,” she said.

“The first two months were motivating for me because I was getting back to fitness and seeing little improvements.

“I did all of my riding inside and being in one of the villages around Newark I could get outside and run as part of my daily exercise.”

She said despite the lack of competitive races because of coronavirus, she rediscovered her love for training and working towards a goal.

Siddall enjoyed numerous online events, such as the Big Bike In — a BBC One fundraiser in aid of Comic Relief and Children In Need.

She also took part in a 12-hour challenge for charity.

Towards the tail end of lockdown, she said she saw a more competitive spree of events follow, as professional triathletes competed in a four-week race series for prize money.

“It wasn’t real life racing and it didn’t replace that feeling, but it was a way to get the competitive juices going and to connect with everybody else,” said Siddall.

“Ironman also ran a series every weekend and they drafted in three or four professionals.

“That was something I did three weekends ago.

“We had to film ourselves doing a 5k run and they ran the footage so you could see our paces relative to each other.”

Most recently, competing under Newark Castle Cycling Club, Siddall competed in a national time trial event, finishing fifth.

“I was up against pure cyclists, and I felt strong and fit,” she said.

“Having done so much indoor cycling, I lost the finesse of cycling out on the different terrain.

“I didn’t have the performance I wanted, but it was a good opportunity to get out and race.”

Siddall travelled to Spain on Saturday to continue her rehabilitation, but wanted to highlight the huge sporting community in the district, who recommended routes to her and welcomed her back with open arms.

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