We caught up with 20-year-old elite ironwoman, MACROS lover, and all-round inspiring athlete Bay Wildin-Snedden ahead of International Women’s Day to find out more about her journey so far, her tips for aspiring athletes, and her Iron X training routine.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a part-time professional surf ironwoman, full-time uni student, and casual barista. I grew up on the Sunshine Coast in a big family with 3 sisters and after graduating high school in 2016, I moved away to the Gold Coast to chase my dreams both inside and outside of competitive sport. I began my studies in a dual Bachelor’s degree in Dental Prosthetics and Dental Technology and was offered a contract position to compete as an elite surf iron woman. Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the Australian coastline to race in the Nutri-Grain series, as well as represent Australia at international events. I love what I do and I’m super grateful for the support network I have around me, helping me achieve my goals in sport and day to day life.
What drove you to get into surf lifesaving?
I’ve been involved in surf lifesaving since I was 7 years old when my parents got my sisters and I into nippers to learn surf skills and essentially keep us busy over the weekend. My love for the sport grew over the years and I began taking the training more seriously through high school with the ultimate goal to become a professional Ironwoman.
How did you get involved in the Nutri-Grain Iron X?
After qualifying and racing in the 2019/20 Nutri-Grain series, I was given an invite to compete in the Iron X. After reading about the innovative and challenging format I’d be facing, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity.
What did your training regime for Iron X look like?
My training program didn’t vary too much leading up to the Iron X as I was still focusing on completing the Nutri-Grain series to the best of my ability. I battled through an ongoing ankle injury throughout the season so unfortunately, I had to cut back on running and a lot of dryland training and stick more to the water components. I had also never been on a stand-up paddleboard before nominating for Iron X, so learning this entirely new skill was a massive challenge for me!
How did MACROS help you prepare for Iron X?
Let’s just say MACROS has saved me countless hours of sleep, recovery, and time to focus on my daily goals and program. I live a very busy lifestyle balancing all my commitments and since moving out of home at such a young age, I quickly realised the years of mum’s homecooked meals I took for granted. I really value a balanced diet that’s not only packed with the right nutrients for my body to repair and rebuild, but also tastes amazing. When I’m training up to 3 times per day, there’s no better feeling than coming home to the perfect MACROS meal at the end of a big day.
Your favourite way to recover after training?
Recovery is something I’m always striving to work on for myself. Nutrition is a big one for me so the convenience of having a MACROS meal after a big session helps me get in enough protein and carbs for recovery when I’m on the go. I also make sure to drink plenty of water before and after training to make sure I’m staying hydrated throughout the day.
In light of International Women’s Day, tell us about your favourite female athlete.
My #1 favourite female athlete would definitely have to be Courtney Hancock. She’s been a professional surf ironwoman for over 10 years, so I remember looking up to her when I was really young, hoping to follow in her footsteps someday. She’s inspired me to pursue my goals in the sport and I’m fortunate enough to recently become a teammate of hers at Surfers Paradise Surf Club.
Top three goals you want to smash in 2020?
As a professional athlete, I always aim to improve my current training performance and daily routines in order to eventually achieve my long-term goals. This year, I’d like podium at National Titles, requalify for the Nutri-Grain series and Iron X, and potentially podium at the World Titles later on in the year in Italy.
Your advice to other women who want to make it as female athletes?
Throughout the few years, I’ve experienced racing up against the world’s best iron women and it’s opened a new window for me, providing a deeper perspective of professional and elite competition as a female athlete. I’m learning more and more every day, and I’ve found that perseverance and enjoyment in what you do seem to be the common factor in achieving success and reaching your goals. I also believe that by keeping your body and mind in check all ties in with nutrition and active recovery.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me kicks off at 5am almost every morning. I start my weekdays with morning swimming training which goes for 2 hours, fitting in around 5-6km. I then have uni from 8-3 every weekday except on Thursdays where I work at a local café. The afternoons usually involve ski or board training, sometimes a quick run set afterwards and then home for dinner! I usually try to fit in some study at night time or I might watch some TV to wind down before bed.
Your favourite MACROS meal?
This is a tough one because they’re all so good! A couple of my favourites would have to be the Baked Chicken with Smoky BBQ Sauce and the Supercharged Scramble from the plant-based range.
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