About

Hi, I’m Larissa.

I want to help you to discover what you’re truly capable of as an endurance athlete, whether that’s finishing your first half marathon, or chasing that elusive Ironman personal best. Your potential to perform at your best requires a greater investment than merely following a training program and having the latest equipment. It requires GRIT and GUTS.

What is GRIT? It’s being prepared to do the work and do it consistently. Big goals only get big results from big effort. It’s building a deep reservoir of resilience and faith that can encourage you to keep going on the tough days, and will energise you to surpass limitations on the great ones. It’s learning how to balance hard training with smart recovery (because quality rest and recuperation are sometimes the biggest challenge for long distance athletes!).

What is GUTS? It’s nourishing yourself with real, whole food every day. It’s fuelling yourself with the optimal nutrients, and at the right times, to enhance the positive adaptations promoted by key training sessions. It’s reducing the causes of digestive distress that can detrimentally affect your energy, moods, susceptibility to disease, and race day performance. It’s becoming fluent in the subtle language of your body so that you intuitively know what signs and symptoms will benefit, or hinder, your progress.

How can I help you? I am a holistic performance coach with a unique blend of experience and skills gained over 25+ years:

  • multi-Ironman 70.3 and 140.6 finisher (Kona IMWC age group qualifier 2021),
  • multiple age group podium finishes, including NZ Triathlon Championships, World Masters Games and Oceania Masters Games,
  • triathlon and endurance sports coaching,
  • nutritionist and wellness coaching,
  • yoga teaching and therapy.

My aim is to give you specific training, nutrition and health guidance which is personalised to your event goals, your individual athlete characteristics and your lifestyle. Check out Triathlon & Endurance Coaching, Performance Nutrition, Yoga & Breathing for more details.

My formal qualifications include:

  • Advanced Diploma in Functional Nutrition – Health Schools Australia
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Anti-Aging Medicine – Health Schools Australia
  • Training Program Fundamentals of Long Distance Triathlon – Endure IQ
  • Athlete Monitoring – Endure IQ
  • Practical Applications of Low Carbohydrate Performance for Long Distance Triathlon – Endure IQ

And if you want to know a little bit more about me…

Many years ago, in the early 1990s as a book-loving and un-sporty 21 year old, I was introduced to triathlon by a friend. It looked like fun, so I learnt how to swim, bike and run. I relished every moment and I loved how good it made me feel. I became triathlon obsessed and that was my happy place for the next few years.

Unfortunately, severe health issues (chronic back pain, irritable bowel syndrome and an eating disorder), plus a stressful job as a lawyer killed my youthful dreams of going to the World Championships, despite attaining NZ team selection twice. I found myself lost and alone in a very dark place.

Life soon offered me another way to feel good in myself – with yoga. Doing became a commitment to learning and sharing as a yoga teacher. I left the corporate world behind and followed my fascination for holistic health and self-healing. A highlight was studying yoga in India with two gurus of this ancient science. This path led me to gain qualifications in functional nutritional and anti-aging medicine so that I could better nurture my own wellness; as a yoga therapist and health coach I was also privileged to be able to help others improve their own vitality and enjoyment of life.

Then my 50th birthday approached holding that clichéd neon sign flashing ‘Do something extraordinary with the time you have left before it’s too late!’ I knew that there was still something missing in my joy equation, and that was being a competitive athlete. Without any hesitation I knew what I wanted to do – become an Ironman.  This was the event my younger self had once hungered to do but had never attempted, and the idea of it started to get me salivating with excitement and sweating with fear. The biggest challenge I faced was having to learn how to swim, bike and run all over again in a much older body.

I lined up for Taupo Ironman NZ in March 2019 and crossed the finish line 12 hours 37 minutes later. It wasn’t easy. There were plenty of tests in making my lean bendy body become a 140.6 mile machine. But instead of sating my appetite, it started me on a comeback journey as an age group triathlete. I completed my third Ironman NZ in 2021 and qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona (with a deferral to the 2023 Championships due to Covid19). Every Ironman race is a discovery of what it means to express my best on the day, and the older I get, the more inspired I am to keep stretching my own potential as an athlete.

Two of my great joys in life are learning and sharing knowledge with others so that they are better enabled to achieve their own life wellness and personal successes. For that reason, I continued to up-skill and become educated in the specifics of coaching triathlon and endurance athletes so that I can offer you practical and holistic guidance in your own journey as a long-distance event challenger and conqueror. I have been especially privileged to have been mentored in this journey by my own coach who is a world-renowned endurance training expert and high performance coach.

Life is too short for ‘what ifs’.

Becoming a triathlete and 30 years later becoming an Ironman!