Chrissie Wellington is a normal girl: She indulges with the occasional burger and fries and plays online Scrabble. But she also happens to be an Ironman world champion who’s defending her title in Hawaii this month. Here, the 32-year-old shares her training tips for being the best.

Self Magazine 2009

“3 Rules I live by”

  1. Remember your past success – “When I’m struggling in a race, I think of times I’ve overcome other hurdles. I instantly feel more confident and get a surge of energy.”
  2. Grin and bear it – “No matter how hard the workout, smiling makes it feel easier.”
  3. Support your pals – “I owe my triathlon career to a friend who noticed my athletic strengths and encouraged me to get into racing.”

The exercise she loves to do

The Norfolk, England, native works out for six hours almost every day. A move you can steal? The elevated lunge. Chrissie says it helps her run faster in the final sprint of a race.

Try It: Face away from a bench with feet together and hands on hips. Place top of left foot on bench. Bend right knee until thigh is parallel to the floor. Rise and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

What she can’t live without

TYR jungle floral tankini ($66; tyr .com)
“This wicking top keeps my skin dry no matter how many miles I log.”

Muscle Milk Light 100-Calorie Vanilla Crème Nutritional Shake ($12 for 4; at grocery stores)
“The 15 grams of protein give me fuel for workouts.”

Oakley Enduring Breast Cancer Awareness sunglasses ($165; oakley .com)
“I wear these in honor of my grandmother, who died of the disease.”

Kipling ($13; everymans
“My favorite poem, If—, by Rudyard Kipling, is in this collection. It’s about perseverance, and I try to live my life by it.”

Download the PDF