LIFESTYLE

Paratriathlete Lauren Steadman Wants To Prove That Disability Sport Can Push The Boundaries

'I like to think that I raise the standard within my category.'

05/07/2017 16:04 BST | Updated 05/07/2017 16:09 BST

Lauren Steadman is a double World Champion, European champion for the last four years and Paralympic games silver medallist.

The 24-year-old, who manages to juggle her sporting successes with studying business, has competed at two Paralympic Games as a swimmer, before specialising as a paratriathlete in the 2016 Rio Games. 

She was announced as the Women’s Paratriathlete of the Year in April 2017, and it looks like there’s no sign of her slowing down any time soon. 

Steadman was born missing her lower right arm, but this has never stopped her from opening her eyes to new sports and disciplines she can try.

In fact, she relishes the opportunity to overcome any barriers she may face.

“I like to think that I raise the standard within my category,” she said. “I want to raise it again to prove that disability sport can keep pushing the boundaries.”

LaurenSteadman

For the latest in our Fit Fix series and as part of the launch of our EveryBody section - calling for better equality and inclusivity for people living with disability and invisible illness - we chatted to Steadman about her training and healthy lifestyle.

My Journey 🌎

What do you credit to your success?

“Definitely the team of people I have around me - their belief and encouragement in getting me to be the best I can be.”

What’s one of the most memorable moments in your career?

“It would have to be qualifying for my first Paralympic Games in Beijing as a swimmer.”

Was there ever a low point in your career and how did you get past it? 

“I guess due to the nature of sport and the inevitable ups and downs, I have experienced this a few times. Sometimes you need to take time to sit and think what it is that you actually want and enjoy, how you can reach those goals and who will be part of your journey.

“It’s important to surround yourself with people who have the same drive.”

Matthew Stockman via Getty Images

My Training 💪 

Talk us through your week in fitness. 

“On average I train 25-30 hours per week – the sessions are split between swim, bike, run and work in the gym. Sessions can last anywhere between 30-120 minutes and some longer rides can last 180 minutes.

“On an average day I will do two to three sessions spread across morning and night.”

What’s your favourite type of workout and why? 

“I enjoy short duration high intensity workouts where you are exerting maximum effort and pushing a high heart rate. I enjoy the feeling of working as hard as I can and pushing my limits.”

What’s your favourite way to spend your rest day?

“I have a rest day every 10 days, and it is usually spent with family or friends, relaxing. I also really enjoy dancing, reading or cooking – you can find me doing any of those in my spare time.”

Dennis Grombkowski via Getty Images

My Food 🍳

What are your pre and post-workout snacks? 

“Before training I tend to eat nuts, or rice cakes with a nice topping and after I usually have a chocolate protein shake to aid recovery.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about food?

“To eat what your body needs to fuel itself and recover properly, not what you want.” 

Mead Norton via Getty Images

My Motivation 🙌

Do you have a motivational mantra that keeps you going? 

“I don’t have a specific mantra, I guess I tend to focus on the fact that if you want to stay at the same level with the best in the world, you have to train to be the best.”

Do you always have fitness goals you are aiming for? 

“I believe that if you are training hard, eating well and resting, the goals fall into place.”

What’s your ultimate workout track and why? 

“There’s been a few but generally I choose a track that is upbeat and makes me smile.”

Fit Fix’ is a weekly dose of fitspiration from leading athletes and fitness fanatics. Each Wednesday we chat to stars about their weekly workouts, the food they eat and what keeps them going. 

HuffPost UK Lifestyle has launched EveryBody, a new section calling for better equality and inclusivity for people living with disability and invisible illness. The aim is to empower those whose voices are not always heard and redefine attitudes to identity, lifestyle and ability in 2017. We’ll be covering all manner of lifestyle topics - from health and fitness to dating, sex and relationships.

We’d love to hear your stories. To blog or vlog for the section, please email ukblogteam@huffingtonpost.com with the subject line ‘EveryBody’. To flag any issues that are close to your heart, please email natasha.hinde@huffingtonpost.com, again with the subject line ‘EveryBody’.

Join in the conversation with #HPEveryBody on Twitter and Instagram.

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