1. What’s your fitness motto?

The path to any goal is never going to be straight—there are dips and setbacks and plateaus. But I have learnt that it is crucial to be relentlessly positive. Be happy, be passionate, be focused, be understanding and be positive.

2. How to motivate yourself when you’re feeling sluggish?

Sometimes when I am feeling really sluggish it’s a good indicator that I am tired and need rest. But for those days when you just need a little push to get out the door I like to listen to some music, put on my workout clothes, or call a friend to go workout with me. Another trick is to think about what you would be doing if you weren’t working out. If you have things that really need to be done, go and do them if you think they’ll be weighing on your mind. If all you can think of is browsing the internet or doing something that won’t benefit your mind or body, then get out the door and move!

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3. Workout song that revs you up:

Ke$ha and Timber by Pitbull always seem to get me going.

4. Song that helps you chill:

I love The Lumineers…or anything in the indie folk category.

5. Technique you use for relaxing:

Hot tea, Netfix, warm socks, feet up…and cuddles help too!

6. Best training advice you’ve ever been given:

Go in to every workout knowing exactly what you want to accomplish. Concentrate on the process, make time for rest, and always be patient —that’s the hard part.

7. What you eat first thing in the morning:

I wake up early for swimming most days of the week so I just try to get something small down that I won’t be seeing again at practice. This is usually a piece of fruit or a granola bar and always always always coffee.

8. What you eat before a workout:

Pre workout, its always important to fuel up with a bit of protein and focus on carbs. One example is oatmeal with hemp hearts, raisins, and coconut, topped with banana and some Greek yogurt.

9. What you eat after a workout:

In order to speed recovery, my nutrition is focused on a bit more protein, sufficient calories, and some carbohydrate to replenish those stores. A good example is my go-to after morning swims – an omelette with spinach and cheese and a side of rice or sweet potatoes.

10. What you wash your face or body with post-workout?

Being in a pool and the sun seven days a week means that my skin is perma dry. I moisturize every night and make sure to always treat my hair to ample amounts of conditioner.

11. How many glasses of water do you drink a day?

I don’t usually count the number of glasses that I drink in a day but I use thirst as more of an indicator. I always have water with me during workouts and in the summer I make sure to hydrate before a long session in the sun.

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12. How do you style your hair during a workout?

Ponytails; they are so convenient and I also like the feeling of a ponytail swishing around when I am running. For a race I usually have to do a bit of a twist along the front of my head so that everything stays put under my swim cap and helmet.

13. Favourite thing to do during your downtime?

I’ve found that it can be so refreshing to get out of town when you have time off. I like to go home and see my family in Ottawa on longer breaks. When I just have a day or two off, I use that time to get any errands done and just relax without thinking too much about triathlon.

14. Biggest food indulgence?

I’m a sucker for anything chocolate…I used to be way more strict but I’ve learnt that it actually won’t kill you if you have some every day! So there is always something chocolate lying around to indulge in at the end (or the beginning) of the day.

Joanna Brown is part of the CIBC Team Next, a program created by CIBC, lead partner at the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

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