Personal Health

I Support Women In Sport: Joanna Sterling

Some of our top Rio-bound athletes reveal their wellbeing secrets.

Joanna Sterling

Age: 23

Sport: Windsurfing

Fitness M.O.: Triathlon

Wind-down secret: Meditation

Our only qualifier in windsurfing for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games first jumped on a board when she was six. At 12, Joanna Sterling got serious about the sport and hasn’t looked back. Surprising fact: she can’t really surf. Yet.  

My fitness

“Windsurfing is an endurance sport: races last around 25 minutes and we can get up to 25 knots (about 46km/h). Training includes five sessions per
week on the water (1.5 to 2 hours each), two to three gym sessions per week (focusing on core, and whole-body movements like chin-ups and squats) and two to three cardio sessions. For cardio, I love road biking, running and swimming. I’m planning on doing my first Olympic-distance triathlon in Noosa after Rio. I also do a lot of
yoga, which helps my recovery.”

My food

“I eat a lot of fruit and veg, and try to eat within 30 minutes of a session; it’s the best time for your muscles to absorb that energy, making recovery more efficient. I also love having smoothies,
especially in Brisbane, where it’s hot.”  

My focus

“I do struggle to relax during a comp. Regatta events usually last five days, but if you’re constantly focused for five days, you run out of energy. I get a bit distracted by myself, so I do yoga or meditation to calm down. Accidents do play on your mind, but you have to get over it. You have to push it to the limit to race well. Focus on what you’re doing, on the process and don’t worry.”

My Olympic moment
“When the Australian Women’s Match Racing team (Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty) won silver in London 2012. I saw how much work and commitment they put into their campaign. To come out with success, it was really wonderful.”

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