Swan blossoms with grace
AUSTRALIAN representative Taryn Swan is a busy mum on the move.
She's up at 3.30 most mornings, lectures at USQ Springfield and looks after two children.
However, she's proven that dedicated mothers can return to sport, set a goal and excel - even in testing competition like triathlons.
Swan, 32, is preparing to represent Australia for the first time at the world championships in New Zealand in October.
But what is most impressive about the dedicated mum is she took up the sport just three years ago.
Although a talented cross country runner at Ipswich Girls' Grammar School, she only dabbled in other sports for enjoyment rather than reaching lofty heights.
That has changed since she started focusing on triathlon, increasing her training and learning more about nutrition.
With children Bailey, 9, and Aiden, 6, at a better age, she decided to give it a go.
"It was either give it up or get serious," she said.
Swan has stepped up her training since late last year after showing a remarkable determination to improve.
"When my youngest was three, I decided to get back into running," she said.
"I started running 3km which I couldn't make and my sister said to me 'come and do a triathlon'."
After initial shock at the suggestion, Swan accepted the challenge and walked the run leg.
Now the triathlon late bloomer trains 12-16 hours a week, often twice a day.
"In the past, in order to exercise, I had to have a goal," she said.
"It just spiced it up a bit. I never cycled or swam, I just ran.
"Now it's the variety. I'm a good runner but to perfect three sports is difficult."
The USQ maths and stats lecturer said planning was essential.
"Between training morning and night and working and raising two boys, I'm busy," she laughed.
"You have to be organised."
Swan's 30-34 years competition at the world titles in Auckland is on October 20.
"It's pretty exciting but daunting too," the Forest Lake resident said.
Before focusing exclusively on the world titles, Swan is preparing for the Cairns half ironman in two weeks. That challenge is a 1.9km swim, 90km ride and 21.1km run.
"My training is quite intense at the moment," she said.
But like mothers should, she is receiving family support in her quest for international success.
Swan's husband Brad is a member of the well-known McKendrick football family.
He's organising a fundraising golf day at Sandy Gallop on May 27 to help finance her overseas trip.
Training for Success
SINCE getting serious about triathlons, Taryn Swan has increased her training workload from seven hours a week to 16.
Her regular weekly program features swimming sets of 2.5-3km, running from 10-30km and cycling from 40-90km.
A typical week is: Monday - an afternoon swim. Tuesday: a morning run and nightly swim. Wednesday: a morning run and evening cycle. Thursday: a morning swim and nightly run. Friday: morning swim. Saturday: a long run and ride. Sunday: a run.
Swan prefers riding from USQ Springfield to Yamanto because of the wider roads, which are safer. She also trains on bike tracks from Goodna to Mt Coot-tha.