Melanie McQuaid chats with 2016 Ironman 70.3 South American Championship winner Magali Tisseyre.
After eight years racing on the Ironman 70.3 circuit, Magali Tisseyre decided she wanted to shake things up a bit.
“I found myself racing a lot of the same races each year. I needed a new challenge so I decided to chase Ironman championship titles around the world. I am calling this the ‘MightyMags World Tour’!”
Although professional athletes cannot complete all of the regional championship races on the Ironman 70.3 schedule, due to schedule conflicts, Tisseyre will contest the South American, North American, and European Regional Championships. After kicking off 2016 with a win at the South American Regional Championship in Palmas, Brazil on April 10, the “MightyMags tour” is off to a flying start.
Tisseyre’s fourth place at the 2015 Ironman 70.3 World Championships is just one of a long list of top results since moving to Poway, California to train with Paulo Sousa’s Triathlon Squad. She credits her success to this move and change in her training environment.
“The mindset in the Triathlon Squad one of strong work ethic. This really helps me get the best out of myself on a daily basis. I love having athletes from different backgrounds and different skillsets in the group. I can train with other long distance athletes, including Taylor Reid and Jen Spieldenner, or the ITU athletes on the squad. I think I have gained a lot of confidence from working with Paulo and being in the group.”
I asked what it was like for someone from Quebec to live in California, two places that are so different culturally and geographically and seem to offer a much different kind of life.
“I know that living in Poway is what will give me the best results. The context (training with the squad) and the weather make it an optimal work place. I feel calm, so it is easy to focus every day on getting the work done. It’s also a pretty quick trip to the ocean when I need to change my surroundings a little bit. The easy rides “to the ocean and back” are my personal tradition. It can feel a bit too calm in Poway for a French Canadian sometimes though; I do miss the variety of changing seasons and the energy I enjoyed in Quebec. However, I get a lot of those things when the race season starts, so it isn’t a problem.”
Another change in Tisseyre’s life since moving to California is her relationship with fellow pro triathlete Eric Lagerstrom, another Triathlon Squad athlete who competes on the ITU circuit. She feels dating a fellow professional triathlete makes her stronger.
“Eric and I train for different distances but you would be surprised how similar our training days are! Our training schedule is actually very easy to coordinate. His skills help me get better. I enjoy discussing swimming strategies with him and riding together. He is a strong cyclist so I get to follow and try to hang on to his draft -which makes me stronger! We also enjoy exchanging ideas and learning from each other through our very different race experiences.”
The ultimate goal for Tisseyre is earning a World Championship title and is focused on her opportunity in Australia later this season, but she is learning about more than achieving victories. The mental side of racing has been an area in which she has grown as an athlete.
“I would say that racing has actually developed my interest for psychology. I have learned a lot on the themes of self-confidence, self-control, and the pathways to success and happiness in life and in general. I think a lot of the lessons we learn in our sport can be used to help in other areas of our lives.”
California dreaming, surrounded by elite triathletes from a variety of disciplines, seems to be the secret of Tisseyre’s success. It will be exciting to watch round two of the MightyMags World Tour, the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship, on May 7th in St George, Utah.