One-on-One with Magali Tisseyre
Meet Magali Tisseyre, a professional triathlon athlete for over 10 years, she knows all about challenges and what it means to surpass yourself. It didn’t come as a surprise when she told us she’s an adrenaline junky!
Discover more about her passion and the place of women in the sport. We can’t guarantee you won’t start pushing yourself after reading this!
1. Describe yourself briefly.
The first thing you need to know about me is that I am a very curious person. I feel alive whenever I can test my limits. I like to explore different aspects of life, especially when it allows me to challenge myself. I always have been drawn towards extreme sports such as water ski or motocross, but I finally ended up choosing an endurance sport: triathlon.
2. What led you to pursue triathlon at a professional level?
I always dreamt in having a career in sports or in arts (either music or dramatics). Younger, I had the chance to try and explore many different exciting activities and so when I started university, there was no doubt I was going to practice a sport in parallel with my studies. I chose triathlon, because I already had great competitive experiences in running (cross-country in high school) and in mountain biking and I just had this good feeling about triathlon. In 2009, I moved to Victoria where my coach was, and training became my full time job, all while I was writing my master’s thesis.
3. Why do you use Strava?
I always loved Strava because it allows me to challenge myself! It’s a great tool, whether it’s for running or cycling. The app is super simple to use and I’m sure that after your first try, you’ll adopt it forever. What I love most about Strava are the segments that allow me to discover different routes… sometimes getting out of your routine adds a little extra motivation!
4. What are you most proud of as a triathlete, what is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest surprises became my fondest memories. First, there was my victory at my very first triathlon ever at Lac-Beauport; I will never forget it. I had just started in endurance sports and before the race, I said to myself that I was going to give everything I had in order to discover my limits… which led me on the podium! Then, there was my first podium at the world Championship during my first pro year. I had worked so hard during that year, but didn’t know yet the scope of my efforts. That day, a dream came true and faster than I expected!
5. Did sport teach you a lesson? If so, what is it?
It is the difficult moments that taught me the most, like the time I found myself at the start of a race without being properly trained because of an injury. In order not to succumb to the pressure, I had to learn to dissociate my mind from the competitive context in which I was. I learned to redirect my attention towards efforts rather than results. That lesson is actually the one I worked on the most and which changed me the most. To get through these moments, I had to put my ego aside and forget what others would think. It also applies very well to everyday life! During difficult times, I now know how to stay calm, focus on courage and effort and keep the negative thoughts far away.
6. For you, what does the cycling portion of a triathlon represent (both physically and psychologically)?
One of my biggest motivation when I started was knowing that I wanted to become excellent at swimming, cycling and running. Triathlon is a sport in itself, but I like that my experience in each sport that composes the triathlon is unique. When I jump on my bike after the swimming portion, I become a cyclist. And to motivate myself, I think about my successful past experiences…
Usually, the cycling portion of a triathlon is my favourite. I had to work really hard to be comfortable with the swimming part so whenever I stand at a start, I am eager to get to the cycling portion! Also, as running follows, during cycling, you cannot put yourself in the same kind of physical distress you do when running the last part of your triathlon. So the cycling part is really the section of the race where I can be aware of my effort and enjoy it.
When I ride, I am completely in my head. I prefer technical courses where you get adrenaline rushes, it’s my pride to be able to stand out in such courses. In less technical courses, it’s something else that fascinates me: it’s the state of concentration we can find ourselves in. It’s like entering a meditative state where time just doesn't seem to exist. That, I love about the cycling portion.
7. What are your projects for 2019?
I cannot reveal my projects just yet… but follow me on Instagram if you want to know what my next challenges will be! @mtisseyre
8. What motivates you to always keep going forward?
It’s the desire to discover the different level of something, to continually improve myself.
9. How did you perceive your place as a woman in a predominantly male environment? Does a women community exist in the tri world?
Triathlon is a relatively young sport. I think it’s for that reason that women easily find their place in the tri world. At the professional level, winners, whether they’re men or women, are rewarded in a very similar way and generally, sponsorships are divided equally between men and women. Women-only races also exist. In my experience, women are respected and have their place in the tri world. For those who are just starting, don’t be intimidated! Triathlon is super accessible and I am sure you will be welcomed with open arms!
10. What advice would you give to a girl who wants to start triathlon? According to you, what makes tri such a great sport?
I think that swimming or simply the concept of training in three different sports can scare some beginners. Tri can be a little intimidating, but it’s a super accessible sport and a great way to get in shape! I think a good objective to have is to simply HAVE FUN.
Also, a good way to start is to complete your first triathlon as a team. You choose your discipline and you have fun supporting your teammates while experiencing the amazing vibe of a race. Usually, after a first try, people want to continue to explore the sport!
11. What's your favourite riding type? And which one would you like to try?
Honestly, I like them all!!! I started mountain biking again last year and ended my season with Xterra, and I’m pretty sure other events will follow! ;)
12. What drew your attention towards PEPPERMINT?
What grabbed my attention is not only the clothes that I love, that have a unique creative and feminine side, but also the energy and the values that are conveyed by the brand. The values inspire me as a woman and remind me of the reason why I started to practice endurance sports at first. Having been a professional athlete for more than 10 years, I particularly appreciate how PEPPERMINT emphasizes the culture of cycling, how it built an amazing community and makes it fun and easy for women to ride.
13. What is your favourite PEPPERMINT product?
I love the Classic Bib Shorts, they are so comfortable!! And I can't wait for the new collection to come out so I can pick a new favourite kit!
14. What crazy idea would you suggest to PEPPERMINT?
To participate in a team triathlon??? ;)
15. Just like PEPPERMINT, you live in Mont Tremblant. Will we see you around on the road or in the trails this Summer? Will you be at the Bikefest? :)
You'll definitely see me on the road on in the trails!!! As for the Bikefest, it is still to be confirmed ;)