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Lisa Weightman; Mum, Olympian, IBMer

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Do you think you could handle having your first child, qualifying for your third Olympics and excelling in your professional career as a senior managing consultant? Meet young mum, IBMer and Rio 2016 Olympian, Lisa Weightman, who has juggled all of this over the past two years.

In between managing the responsibilities of work as a Senior Managing Consultant and looking after her new baby, Lisa also covered up to 150km of training per week, in the lead up to the Olympics, where she would compete in the Marathon – a 42km race, which is no small feat.

Lisa needed to get the most out of her training so she could perform at her best, so, with the help of some IBM volunteers, Lisa built a personalised app called ‘Optimal Me’. The app used IBM data analytics to crunch the numbers on Lisa’s sleep, exercise and diet to give her insights into how to get the most out of her training. Some of the insights* included:

  • Eating a higher intake of carbohydrates two days prior to race day would likely enhance her performance.
  • The optimal time to train is before 7pm (otherwise fatigue affects her training next day).
  • Different weather conditions and air quality have an impact on performance (for example, warm weather only impacts performance after 3 consecutive days of warmer temperatures).

Lisa and husband Lachie training for Rio

Armed with this information, Lisa was able to track her progress and alter her daily routine to ensure she got what she needed to achieve her best. She found that the key to keeping up with her training and responsibilities was something rather simple; Sleep.

“The best I can do is six or seven hours a night. Unfortunately in the world of Australian distance running there’s no other way than going to work and having a job,” Lisa told The Huffington Post Australia.

Lisa competed in the women’s marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympics, finishing 31st in the race with a time of 2:34:41.
*Taken from Marathon Runner Lisa Weightman’s Secret Weapon For Rio Olympics’, written for the Huffington Post Australia on 26/6/16, by Anthony Sharwood. Read the full article here.

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