LIFE as a triathlete is never dull. It’s often tiring, sometimes glamorous, but rarely lacking in new adventures and opportunities.

I first took up triathlon six years ago while working as a journalist for the Oxford Mail, shortly after my time as a reporter at the Adver, and my life has never been the same since.

I did quite well at my first race, the Blenheim Triathlon, and was instantly hooked on this seemingly crazy sport which sees competitors swim, cycle then run, always in that order and at various distances, depending on the event.

As time went on, I soon realised I was spending an increasing amount of time training and less time in the newsroom. My results were rapidly improving and by 2008 I was one of the leading female amateur triathletes in the world at Olympic distance (1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run).

It was also in 2008, not long after winning silver at the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Vancouver, that I raced my first Ironman 70.3 event.

The 70.3 refers to the total number of miles covered during the race (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run), and this was the distance I decided to specialise in when I turned pro in 2009.

Of all the traits needed to be a successful triathlete, perhaps patience is the most important, because it is only now, in my second season competing professionally, that I feel I am beginning to achieve the results I am capable of.

I recently won my first professional Ironman 70.3 title in Majorca on May 14 and can hold my own against some of the most experienced women in the sport.

Training for an endurance event like triathlon is far from easy and balancing all three sports plus other commitments takes serious time management and organisation. Sometimes it can seem like life is a blur of swim-bike-run-eat-sleep-repeat and maybe that’s not too far from the truth.

My day usually begins with a light breakfast before swimming and, three days a week, I’ll follow my swim with the gym.

After that, it’s home for breakfast number two and then I get on with daily chores and admin, plus I still provide copy for various magazines and websites as a freelance journalist.

Sometimes I do three training sessions in a day and, if that’s the case, I’ll either bike or run before lunch and do the third session before dinner.

After my second session of the day comes lunch, which typically involves a good-sized portion of carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes, rice, quinoa or amaranth, as well as lean protein such as fish or chicken, with vegetables or salad.

It’s important to be light and lean, but it’s equally vital to be healthy, strong and robust so I work with a sports nutritionist to ensure I’m all of these things.

We monitor my weight and body fat percentage (it’s currently about 10-12 per cent, the lowest it’s ever been) but usually it’s a struggle to keep weight on rather than lose it.

I still consume plenty of my favourite treats - dark chocolate, red wine and ice cream - but steer clear of fast food and high fat, empty calories such as crisps and biscuits.

If possible, I like to train with others. When I’m in Swindon, I love swimming at the Link Centre with Swindon Triathlon Club under the watchful eye of coach Phil Millard, who coached me throughout my teenage years when I swam for Tigersharks.

I am incredibly fortunate to have several loyal and generous sponsors, without whom I’d struggle to compete at this level., Britain’s leading online bike retailer, has been my main sponsor since 2008. Morris Owen Chartered Accountants, of Old Town, Swindon and Cirencester, is also a longstanding sponsor.

Last year, I teamed up with mobile telecoms firm Virtua, who are based in Brinkworth, and I’m delighted to be working with them again this year. A few weeks ago I went out cycling with the Virtua guys, and some of them gave me a good run for my money!