Visualising health with Courtney Hancock
The second oldest in a family of four girls who have all competed in the surf, Courtney Hancock comes from superior sporting pedigree and is the 2011 Australian Ironwoman champion.
Growing up in Sawtell, south of Coffs Harbour, Courtney joined nippers at five and remembers spending all her time down by the beach, watermelon in hand, sand between her toes. She grew up understanding the importance of good health role models through the fit, active lifestyle her parents introduced to her and her sisters.
What is a typical week like for you?
At the moment I’m in heavy training so it’s 6 days a week, three times a day, five and a half hours everyday. On Saturdays I go for a three-hour ironwoman session with all our disciplines and have Sunday off. I really enjoy sleeping in on Sunday, if someone starts mowing their lawns early, I’m not happy!
Besides your training, what health activities do you do day-to-day?
I take vitamins every day - multivitamins and iron tablets. I also drink a lot of water, I never go longer than half an hour without having a glass of water. I’m also always eating every hour whether it’s fruit, snacking on nuts, a carrot or a celery stick.
How do you stay mentally healthy?
I think the best word for this would be balance. I know that I race best when I have a perfect balance in my life. It is very difficult for me to spend time with my friends during the week, but I always make sure I chat with them at night before I go to bed. It can get pretty intense so I make sure I balance my life out and that I have some time just for me. That’s usually girly things like going shopping for a new dress, getting my eyelashes done, or a massage or a pedicure… just get something for me.
Who inspires you?
I have a lot of respect for all athletes in all different sports.
Being an Australian and living here on the Gold Coast, I get up for training and as I’m driving down my street at 5am, there are already three people out walking and running. It’s pretty inspiring to be on the Gold Coast and having people around you really fit and healthy.
Your family is heavily involved in sport, what are the pros and cons?
It’s awesome, especially having my sister Bonnie with me in the series. Travelling together and staying in the same room together, we know our sleeping patterns and what we both need to eat. To have her out there racing with me is like having a little ally. To have family support when you’re going through an event and people to talk to about it afterwards is just fantastic. There aren’t really too many negatives, I guess that while Bonnie and I get along so well, we both get tired at the same time in the week so by Friday we might get quite nippy with each other, but we get over it in five minutes.
What advice do you have for people looking to improve their health?
You need to find a good balance in your life because if you get that going in your job, eating, exercise and social life, it works really well. Having a routine can make it so much easier, even just a little program to stick up on the fridge.