Laura was previously the editorial assistant on Healthy Food Guide. She is now a freelance journalist specialising in health, wellbeing, food & travel.

As well as flying the flag in the 2016 Olympic Games, the 22-year-old has another passion: nutrition. So what does a sporting pro’s food and fitness regime look like?

Food is a huge part of my life. I love cooking and eating. There are so many recipes and flavours out there – I’m trying to sample as many as I can. I love stir-fries, which look and taste good with very little effort!

I’ve been studying for a BSc in Nutrition and this summer I finished my final exams. It’s helped with my training, but if I need more diet guidance I speak to the nutritionists at British Triathlon. It’s really exciting to be a full-time professional athlete now.

I train for 30 hours a week and, to be honest, I never need motivating. It’s my dream job and I love it. Plus I get to go out with my friends and cycle.

For breakfast I eat four slices of toast or lots of wholewheat cereal to fuel up before I train. In the evening I tend to make pasta with lean protein and a selection of fresh vegetables. I make more than I’ll eat and save the rest for lunch while I’m training.

Some athletes have very strict diets or very specific pre-race meals, but that can make things difficult when you’re travelling around the world.

I don’t abstain from anything. I believe everything should be in moderation. So I’ll have maybe one beer with a meal, not 10!

My pre-race prep includes playing games or watching a romcom. I usually share a room with a mate so we’ll do things to take our mind off the race. I try not to get into the zone too much; I prefer just to relax.

Yoga helps me unwind. We’ve got access to sports psychologists at British Triathlon, but I do yoga instead. I find it gives me a really good mental break. It’s a chance to relax and come out with a clear head, and it’s really helped to improve my bike position (and my back, too).

I supported the Brownlee brothers at Rio as a ‘pilot’ and the team took Gold and Silver medals. During the cycle I power in front of them to take the head wind, which makes it easier for them to save energy. I do something similar during the swim as well. British Triathlon has used this tactic before and it works.

Getting more kids into the sport is important to me. The more children we can get interested in triathlon at grass roots level, the more we’ll see eventually competing at elite level.
I always hand down my old kit to kids to help inspire them with the idea that they could have their own Team GB kit one day.

Three things I love

My helmet
It’s my most useful piece of kit for safety, especially when road cycling alongside cars. I’ve had a few hairy moments!

Of my three disciplines, being on the bike is my favourite. You can go so much further and see so much more. I’m really lucky to be based in Yorkshire so I can explore the beautiful Dales.

This yoga pose puts me to sleep at the end of every session. I wish I could go straight to it every night in bed.