Q&A With Coach Steph Demestichas
How long have you been training and competing as a triathlete? I came from a swimming background, then I started training and racing in short course ITU/Elite triathlon for a couple of years before moving into the half ironman distance. It has been about 6-7 years in total.
What is your career highlight to date? It would have to be key training sessions where I have hit goal targets. Having patience, trusting the process, and seeing the results. Due to Covid and travel restrictions, I have not been able to compete in a half ironman since Geelong earlier this year. So I’m really looking forward to competing in one again soon and being competitive.
Who is your favourite professional triathlete and why?
There are a few professional triathletes I look up to, one being Daniela Ryf. She is an amazing, strong athlete who is dedicated and passionate about the sport and her personal projects. I enjoy reading about her journey online and on social media and I love her mottos, one of them being: “Success does not mean winning everything, but making the best of every situation.”
If you had to pick a favourite training session what would it be? Thursday morning hill runs & track session. It's very mentally challenging but I have learnt to properly execute the sessions in each phase. Also, a weekend group ride when we can ride in a group... finished with a lovely coffee (and maybe a little cake!).
What keeps you motivated to train every day? I love training, and with consistent training I become more conditioned and develop into a stronger, fitter athlete. I know that even if I am tired and may not feel like training, once I do I feel better and I am happier. I cannot imagine a life without some sort of a training program!
Do you have an upcoming race you are preparing for? I was preparing for Sunshine Coast 70.3 but due to restrictions I could not race, so I completed a race simulation at home. My next race would be the 2xu series race 1 in late November followed by a half marathon event the week after. All in preparation for Geelong 70.3.
How long have you been a triathlon coach? I have been a triathlon coach for about 7 years.
Why do you enjoy coaching triathletes? I enjoy coaching triathletes as I want to help them achieve their goals, no matter how small or big... all goals are important! Plus I’m passionate about the sport.
Do you have a stand out moment as a coach? There have been many stand out moments as a coach which include seeing athletes enjoy the training and process was well as achieving some of their goals in training and races. Also becoming a coach at ETPA Racing! 😊
What is your coaching philosophy? My goal as a coach is to understand what the athlete wants to achieve and then help them do that.
Is there someone you base your coaching style off? Before joining ETPA Racing I have learnt from past coaches, both in swimming at a National open level and in triathlon - both in short course and long course distances. Mat Tippett has taught me a lot so far and I am excited to further grow and learn as an athlete and coach.
What are your top 3 race day tips?
Hydration and nutrition: Do not try anything new on race day. Trial in training and be prepared.
Always back yourself. You will experience some dark times during the race because to improve you need to step outside of your comfort zone. Just remember all the time, effort and the training hours you have put in. Stick to the race plan and try not to get overwhelmed or caught up in athletes around you. Race your own race.
Enjoy the day... because that’s the most important thing! Soak up the atmosphere, do not get caught up in events that aren’t going to plan (i.e. If you’re not hitting your target paces, or your nutrition has not gone to plan), just enjoy it!
Do you have any advice for a new athlete who is just making their way into the sport? Find the right people for knowledge, support, guidance and motivation. Train smart, enjoy the process and most importantly have fun!!