My Positive Life – Helen Jenkins

Helen Jenkins is a British professional triathlete and the 2008 and 2011 ITU World Champion. In 2009 she placed 3rd at the Grand Final of the World Championship Series in Gold Coast, in 2011 she is number 1 in the World Championship Series (August 2011) and thanks to the London World Championship Series gold (6 August 2011) she secured a spot at the London Olympics 2012. She finished 5th in the London triathlon event, the highest position achieved by a British triathlete at an Olympic Games. 

Helen is currently working with Speedo on key initiatives including the Open Water Swim Series to ensure that swimming is supported from a grass roots level all the way through to the competitive.

First off, we have to ask – what was it like performing in front of the home crowd at the Olympics? Honestly? It’s hard to describe, it’s not something I’ll experience again as a triathlete. It’s strange to think footballers have it every week, albeit  on a smaller scale. When you’re running you can normally hear yourself and the sounds of the other runners around you, but the crowd was so loud you couldn’t hear even hear your own breathing! I found the support I received afterwards incredible as well. I didn’t have my best race, and that’s always difficult to get round but when you’re surrounded by lovely, supportive fans it makes it a bit easier.

In your own words, what do you do? I am a two time world champion triathlete.

Who is your greatest influence in your career/life? It would have to be my husband- he is also my coach. He started coaching me in 2007, without any intention for it to be long term, but since my results were getting better and better something was clearly working so we carried on! Since he’s an athlete too it’s great to train together.

Which is your favourite part of your job? I realised recently how much I love working towards a goal. I’m now on a break and having no aim or nothing to work towards feels very odd.

Which is the part that you enjoy the least? The 5am starts for training, without a doubt.

What is your greatest achievement? I recently won the World Championship Series in London, which I’m pretty pleased about.

What was your Plan B? Nursing. After A Levels it was a choice between nursing and triathlons I chose the latter, and once I started getting paid didn’t look back! I’d still like to get into nursing after I finish my career as a triathlete.

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