How are the injuries from the pre season? You missed IM Australia (we missed you !) are you back on track?
Everything is totally healed. aside from the joints on two of my fingers that look like sausages. They get a bit stiff and sore and make me feel like an old woman with arthritis. But I was never going to be a hand model, so I guess I have to live with bulbous, unattractive fingers!

Of course, the broken arm/wrist/hand combo caused me to change my plans slightly, and yes I had to miss the spring ironman. But these things happen and I have to say I have come out of the other side stronger and incredibly positive about the rest of the season. It’s all about learning the lessons from an injury and using it to your advantage.

I guess the most important lesson being that shaving your legs non-ambidextrously is not a good idea – but being injured also taught me to appreciate the smaller things (ability to shave legs; tie hair, open jars, turn knobs, put on a swimming cap) and forced my obsessive compulsive regimented persona to adapt and accept change. I focused on doing a lot of strength and conditioning work and now have butt cheeks of steel, I forged new sponsor and charitable partnerships – such as Janes Appeal (www.janesappeal.com) and the amazing Greepers laces (I love that a proportion of proceeds from the sale of the laces goes to charity – see www.greeper.com) as well as spending time with family and friends and doing things that I might not ordinarily do had I been in full training. So yes, my bones may have broken but Humpty Dumpty has healed and I know that my mind, soul and cheeks of steel are now stronger than ever.

Ironman racing is a tough sport. Do you feel your body is wearing down or do you feel stronger each year?
It is definitely tough sport – on your mind and on your body, but I feel like I am getting stronger each day, month and year. Its all about prevention and maintenance – eating right, resting, training sensibly, massage, physio compression….fine wine!

Do you like to race a lot each year, I see you’re not racing until June, is that because of injury?
I don’t want to race until I feel 100% fit and ready to challenge for the victory. So my first race will be Kansas 70.3 on 6 June. Its a great race with an awesome course, good organisation and a superb community spirit. I am also hosting a charity dinner a few days before in aid of the Blazeman Foundation. Linking sport and development is something I, and Ryan Robinson (the race director at Kansas) feel really strongly about. It’s a great opportunity to raise money and awareness for an important cause and meet some of the age group athletes. I wish more race directors encouraged the pro athletes to do things like this, before or after the race – giving something back to the amateurs and the local community.

It seems almost difficult for you to have any room for improvement after last season, what sort of goals are you setting for yourself this year?

There are always areas for improvement – mentally and physically – and I will never stop trying to be a better athlete and person. I think its impossible to have the perfect race. An ironman, or even an half ironman, are just too long and you get ups and downs, good and bad – it’s about coping with the darker times and coming through the other side. So yes, perfection is still a long way off!!! As for goals. They are pretty simple really. I want to get stronger and faster across all three disciplines, work on my bike handling skills, to do my very best in every race that I do and to always race with a smile!

Last year saw the rise of the likes of Carfrae, Dibens etc, do you check on your rivals?
Of course I take a sneaky peak at the race results each weekend! I am really good friends with Dibs and we see each other almost every day here in Boulder. We do some training together – but most importantly she is my Number One scrabble partner. Having said that, she often cheats and uses words that don’t exist. ‘ee’ was her latest one. But I make her hurt with the Collins English Dictionary and take her down with the triple word scores!

But seriously, Julie and Rinny are two of the most talented all round triathletes in the world at the moment. I have an enormous amount of respect for them and can’t wait to race them both on the lava fields in October. It’s going to be a smash fest and I love that!

Last season you said you only feel pressure from yourself. As your record gets more and more imposing does the pressure mount?
To know that I am the best in the world has brought me immeasurable joy and a wealth of fantastic opportunities. Of course, it has also resulted in more obligations, commitments and pressures – not to mention expectations, both those I put on myself and those that others have for me. The crown is only as heavy as you let it be though. For me, the best way for me to deal with the added pressure is to try and see everything as a positive.

For example, my experiences at other races have made me realise that I won’t be able to walk the streets (at races at least) unnoticed. There are always tonnes of autographs to sign and photos to pose for, and I love doing that. The same goes for the media. It can be tiring, but as I said, I have to see the positive side of this attention.

With this attention comes an amazing platform to motivate, inspire others, spread important messages on a range of issues, to promote the sport in the UK and overseas, and most importantly be the ambassador for triathlon that I would want to see. I will never take this for granted and will seize every opportunity I have, now and in the future.

Ultimately though dealing with additional pressures, expectations and commitments is what being a professional athlete is about. Not just being able to perform on race day, but coping with the various demands and being a good role model all the time. It is up to me to stay focused, strong and happy, continue doing what I love and go out there and give it everything I have, and more.

Short answer questions! We ask Chrissie tough ones!

3 people you’d like to have dinner with…
My mum, my dad and my brother (and my boyfriend Tom!)

Most inane question asked of you last year?
Will you marry me?! From a banana.

Person you admire the most right now?
Triathlon wise it has to be Mirinda carfare and Julie Dibens.

What book are you reading?
‘It was Five Past Midnight in Bhopal’ by Dominque Lapierre and Javier Moro. It’s a book about the 1984 tragedy in Bhopal, India – and the culpability of the American company that established the pesticide plant, from which toxic gasses escaped killing between 16 and 30,000 people. The ill effects continue to this day. But it is also a book of love hope, faith and heroism.

Best movie you’ve seen in the last 6 months…
The Hurt Locker

If i had a Sunday free i’d….
Hope for sunshine……! I would have a lie in, eat brunch with friends, go for a long hike or a walk on the beach, have a late afternoon picnic or a BBQ, and wish I had Monday free too do much of the same!

http://www.firstoffthebike.com/interviews/1373-chrissie-wellington-the-way-forward