Fenella Langridge: All Work, All Play

Fenella Langridge is one of the fastest swimmers in long distance triathlon but just because its her job to swim, bike, and run every day, doesnt mean its all work and no play. If youre going into something with a negative mental attitude then youre not going to get what you want out of it,Langridge says. Finding positivity, even when things aret going well, is why Langridge always maintains an element of play in her training.   


Langridge always enjoyed the water. Growing up, when the family went on holiday, Langridge was always the fist in the water, at the pool or at the beach, and the last one out. Once on holiday, I was in the sea so long my mum called the lifesavers,Langridge remembers. They announced my name, I walked out of the sea and was like ‘hi, I’m still here!’”. Body surfing, bodyboarding, and just playing in the waves, Langridge says she would spend all day in the water. 

Nowadays, Langridge likes to be the first one out of the water. Her reputation for speedy swimming means she is in the water five days a week with a swim squad at the University of Bath in the UK. While swimming has become part of her job, Langridge says keeping it fun is how to get the best out of yourself.  

The More the Merrier  

The most important way to keep it fun is to swim with other people. Whether its a group in the open water, a club at the pool, or even just her partner, Langridge always swims with people. Swimming with people makes the sessions more lighthearted and makes the sessions go a lot quicker and easier,she says. It can also make you faster. The people around you can push you,Langridge says. If youre doing relays, youre more likely to swim that second faster if youre doing it for your teammate.”  

Fenella 3

Skill Building in a Safe Environment 

Langridge says she doesnt like to train in open water alone but she loves it with a group, especially for practicing skills like turning at buoys, diving starts, or swimming in a pack. Its quite fun to play around with it and change positions. If youre on the left, learning how to roll over others and swim on the right,Langridge says. Not only does training with a group in the open water help build physical skills but Langridge says it helps build confidence as well. You learn not to feel intimidated by people hitting you, knowing they arent doing it on purpose, that they are just trying to swim as well.”   

Fun Competitive 

Langridges group takes training very seriously—she even chipped a tooth once practicing open water racing skills—but she says they also take the fun very seriously. You do end up competing against [your training partners] but if you have the right person to train with, its not a negative thing. Its not like theyre beating you or you get pissed off. You praise them if theyre having a good day and hopefully if you have a good session the next day it would be the same,Langridge explains. Its highlighting the fun competitive rather than the negative competitive. 

All Work, All Play 

Competing at such a high level means a lot of hard training day after day after day, so not every swim can be a good swim. When things arent going well, Langridge says she always remembers shes lucky to call triathlon her job. Most people dont get to go play in the water for fun or for their job. For the age groupers, it is fun. Everyone else does it as a hobby and for enjoyment. It still feels like that for me so as long as Ive got that element of enjoyment or fun or enthusiasm, youve got a long career in the sport." 


Currently ranked 22nd in the world rankings, Langridges favorite goggles are the Pink Magic Mirror Gold. 

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