Grace Thek

Athlete:

Grace Thek

Australian triathlete Grace has ambitions to push herself as far as she can within the sport of triathlon whilst having fun along the way.

What is your ultimate finish line?

"It is good to have an end to journey towards; but itโ€™s the journey that matters, in the endโ€ (Ursula K Le Guin). My ultimate goal in life is to find the silver linings on a daily basis, live with zero regrets & strive to be a better version of myself everyday, both professionally and personally...while stopping once in a while to eat a donut, take a nap, have a cuppa and pat some dogs!

And if we are talking about my ultimate triathlon finish line & dreaming bigโ€ฆa medal (preferably gold) at a World Championships would be pretty rad too!

What are you most proud of?

I am proud of a lot of things....running non-stop in my first ever 5km fun run at the age of 6, moving to the USA by myself as an 18 year old for university, my team winning the NCAA Div 1 XC Team Championships, representing Australia at the IAAF World XC Junior Championships (Poland, 2010), completing 2 university degrees, being in a successful long distance relationship (for more than 6 years), becoming a professional triathlete & placing 17th at my first IM 70.3 World Championships (Nice, 2019).

Overall, I am most proud of my willingness to challenge myself, step outside my comfort zone, and embrace change! Jumping at any opportunity that presents itself.

What are your worst habits as an athlete?

My worst habit as an athlete would probably be staying up too late & my hangry mood swings if I havenโ€™t eaten enough food.

What are your best habits as an athlete?

My best habits as an athlete would probably be never skipping a meal (because food is life!) and not sweating the small things when it comes to training/racing/life โ€“ you canโ€™t be serious all the time & you have to learn to put things into perspective!

Who is to thank/blame for introducing you to your sport? Tell us your history to how it all began and how you got to where you are now.

Simply put, injuries lead me to the sport of triathlon. I had my fair share of injuries while running at university in the USA. During these times I spent many days cross-training in the pool, on the bike & in the gym trying to maintain my fitness for when I could run again. I soon began to enjoy the variety of training & decided that on my return home from the USA that I would get into triathlons. I began racing sprint triathlons at the local 2XU series and now focus primarily over the half distance event. No one likes being injured but for me it was a blessing in disguise. If it wasn't for my recurrent injuries I may not have been introduced to triathlons and that would be a real shame!

What gets you out of bed in the morning and drives your passion to keep pushing yourself and chasing your finish lines?

Other than the repetitive snoozing of Zach's alarm...the desire to be better everyday is what drives me to keep pushing & chasing my finish lines. I know that all my competitors are out there hustling & grinding, and that gives me an extra boost of motivation to get to work!

If you could invite any 3 people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be and why? What would you cook?

RuPaul, Michelle Obama & Celeste Barber because they are all smart, funny & powerful women & possess Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve & Talent! Dinner would be filled with moments of laughter, realness & positivity. I would cook tacos because who doesnโ€™t like tacos! And as a joke, I would serve RuPaul a single orange TicTac on a large dinner plate. #IYKYK

Describe your perfect day - how does it look, what do you do and who are you with?

Sleep in, long run with friends, coffee + donut date with my partner Zach, lazy afternoon on the couch with the dogs & a homecooked dinner with my family...in fact, this is a regular Sunday for me! Perfection!

What does your ultimate training session / day look like?

Any day involving the whole shebang (swim, bike, run & gym) is going to be an epic one! My ultimate training session would have to be an alternating ride/run brick session. Eg. 5x15min best sustainable power efforts on the windtrainer with 1.5km run efforts @5km race pace between sets. Ouch!

What is your favourite 2XU product and why? How does this help you prepare, perform, recover and repeat?

My Utility Jacket. Not only does it keep me warm but it makes me feel as if I have more abs than I do!

2XU compression socks. They were one of the first 2XU items I bought when the first store opened in Melbourne and I have been using them ever since. They are great for recovery after a hard training session & are a non-negotiable item when I travel and take long-haul flights!

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