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Ellie Salthouse's Transition from ITU to Long Course Triathlon

Professional Triathlete and multiple-time 70.3 Ironman Champion, Ellie Salthouse, tells us about her transition away from ITU to long course triathlon.
Ellie Salthouse after winning Challenge Melbourne in 2016 Photo by @witsup

Hi Team,

I know I am not alone in reminiscing on past achievements lately, with very few races on the horizon and plenty of unknown in the foreseeable future. I am often asked why I made the decision to switch from ITU racing to half distance racing, so I thought I’d give you a brief run down.

December of 2015 I found myself sitting face to face with my coach, Siri Lindley, tears flowing, not knowing which direction to turn or what I wanted from my career as a professional athlete. I was at a loss; I could work out why my hours of dedicated and focused training wasn’t even close to correlating to my performances on the ITU circuit. I was convinced, sitting in front of Siri that day, that it was time to turn my back on triathlon, time to pursue other avenues, and time to find a new possible career path.

Siri wasn’t having a bar of that idea though. She knew how much this sport meant to me, she knew I had unfinished business and that I deserved the opportunity to showcase how great I could really be. That was why she suggested I try half distance racing, using 2016 as a probationary year to dabble in the new distance, before making a finite decision about my retirement from the sport.

I agreed, despite being unconvinced that I would even last 12 months at a distance I really had no desire to even try. But Siri was right, I should have known.

January of 2016 I won my first half distance race, after adjusting my training and mindset to solely focus on the distance. I went on to win another 4 half distance races in that year, making it one of my most successful years to date.

Ellie with her coach Siri after winning Boulder 70.3 Photo from Ellie Salthouse

The race podiums weren’t the greatest achievement of that year though; the new distance had reignited a love and passion for the sport of triathlon that I had lost years prior, cementing a burning desire to be the greatest half distance athlete in the world. The goal still remains the same four years on, but the fire burns brighter with each year.

Stay healthy and hungry,

Ellie xx

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