Triathlon Triumphs: Elizabeth's Journey to Pro Athlete
Meet Elizabeth Heinbach, a professional triathlete hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, who is making waves in the world of triathlon. Elizabeth is in her first-season as a professional triathlete and she is filled with dedication and determination as she seeks to reach new heights. She is currently training for her next race, Ironman 70.3 Maine in July.
We interviewed Elizabeth to find out more about her journey to becoming pro and get the inside scoop on her race highlights, favourite and least favourite triathlon disciplines, and how she balances her professional triathlon career alongside work and family.
How her triathlon journey started
Elizabeth's passion for triathlon was ignited when she was just eight years old and witnessed her mother completing Ironman Lake Placid in 2002. She had a background in swimming from a young age, and years later when she was in high school she pursued running, setting strong foundations in place.
In the spring of 2017 she was scheduled to embark upon her first marathon but discovered she had compartment syndrome in her calves and had to have surgery on both legs. Her marathon was deferred until 2018 and she raced in several half and full marathons over the next two years.
Over this time she steadily improved her times, did her first 70.3 in Ohio in 2019, and qualified for the Boston marathon in 2020. This race was not destined to be due to the pandemic but she did make use of this time to ramp up her training and take her triathlon vision more seriously. She connected with her coach, Aaron Geiser of Endure IQ, in early 2020, and set her sights on becoming a professional triathlete.
Only a couple of years later she qualified for her professional license at Ironman 70.3 Eagleman in 2022 and she made her debut at Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells in December 2022.
Favourite and Least Favourite Parts of Triathlon Life
Elizabeth's love for triathlon stems from her competitive nature and the continuous opportunity for growth and learning. She loves being part of the triathlon community because it has allowed her to meet like-minded individuals and forge lasting friendships.
She enjoys all three disciplines on race day but has a particular affinity for running and biking during training. Swimming, while crucial to triathlon, holds the title of her least favorite discipline due to logistical constraints and the absence of a team environment.
With numerous races under her belt, including olympics, sprints, half ironmans, and two full ironmans, Elizabeth has been steadily making her mark in the triathlon world. Her favorite race to date was her professional debut at 70.3 Indian Wells, where the support of her loved ones and an impressive top 10 finish left her feeling grateful and accomplished.
One of Elizabeth's most cherished race day memories was her second 70.3 at Eagleman in 2021. The significant improvement in her time and placing as the second female opened her eyes to her true potential. Every race, with its unique challenges, fuels her determination and growth.
The inside scoop: race day rituals and balancing life
Elizabeth emphasizes the importance of nutrition in her pre-race and race day routines. She sticks to what works for her, often indulging in a dinner of Chipotle's chicken, rice, and guacamole. On race mornings, she relies on Sfuels life bars and hard-boiled eggs, complemented by various Sfuels products during the race.
Juggling work, triathlon, and family commitments can be demanding, but Elizabeth is grateful for the understanding and support she receives from her loved ones. Having a partner who shares her passion for the sport and trains alongside her greatly eases the balancing act.
Elizabeth also admits that motivation comes naturally to her as she genuinely enjoys her training regimen. Nevertheless, she stays focused by envisioning her long-term goals and remaining excited about the journey. Even on tough days, Elizabeth finds solace in knowing that every experience is an opportunity for growth.
Elizabeth’s advice to newbie triathletes:
Elizabeth's advice to beginners is simple. Have fun and let passion drive you. Don’t obsess over equipment!
Follow Elizabeth on her triathlon journey on Instagram: elizabethheinbach_