Non Stanford: Triathlon world champion on injury setback

Non Stanford

In her BBC Wales Sport column, world triathlon champion Non Stanford, 25, discusses the foot injury that hinders her title defence at the ITU World Series and comments on Leanda Cave's bid to join the Wales team at the Commonwealth Games.

The injury is bit of a setback but it's not the end of the world. If you get down about it you're just wasting your time and you're going to spend six weeks unhappy.

When you look at the grand scheme of things there are so many worse things going on in the world right now and people have it a lot harder than I do.

I'm still in a very fortunate position and I seem to do well when facing adversity.

Non Stanford post-win
Non Stanford overcame a 15-second penalty in the final event to win the World Triathlon Series in 2013

If this had happened four or five weeks down the line then it wouldn't have been good news for the Commonwealth Games at all. I would have been cutting it fine.

It will impact on the ITU World Triathlon Series which starts in Auckland on 5 April. external-linkWhether I can defend my title, we'll have to see.

In terms of the Commonwealth Games, it's probably a blessing in disguise because now I'm not going to be doing all the long-haul travel to places like Auckland and South Africa.

Fighting to get fit

I'm not allowed to run or ride my bike for a minimum of three weeks.

We're looking at three weeks on crutches and in a boot and then after that hopefully we can start loading it and do some proper rehab work.

Last week I didn't do anything, but I started swimming again on Monday, so I'll be swimming, in the gym and aqua jogging a lot for the next three weeks.

It's frustrating and you look back at what you've done over the last few weeks and think, 'I shouldn't have done that or should have done that differently'.

Half the problem when you're an elite athlete is you are always trying to push yourself and find out where your limits are.

In order to do that, sometimes you're going to have to push past your limits and this is the consequence.

At least now I've learnt from it and in future I will know where that limit is and what to do to prevent it from happening again.

It's a learning curve and you always have to learn the hard way.

I really want to be on the starting line in Yokohama in May, which is the third event of the series and I'm optimistic of making that.

It all hinges really on how well and how quickly this tear heals up and how quickly I can get back loading and running and cycling.

I'm very, very fortunate that I've got a great team around me - and not just the coaches and the set-up.

We've got a world class medical team and I'm in the best hands. It's the team that managed Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee through his injuries up to becoming Olympic champion at London 2012.

I couldn't be anywhere better. I'm confident in their abilities, what they're doing and that they will get me back in action as quickly as possibly.

I'm positive and in really good spirits.

Not just the crutches providing support

My training partners - among them Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee - have been incredible over the past week, coming to visit me, taking me out and helping me as much as they can.

I went to the supermarket the other day and realised I couldn't push a trolley or pick anything up because I had my two hands in crutches.

I had to walk back out again because I couldn't do the shopping and later in the day one of the girls came and picked me up, took me and pushed the trolley for me. Small things like that are a massive help.

We're a really close-knit group and all of the girls I train with are some of my best friends now.

It's nice that you've got supportive and friendly people around me in Leeds because my family are so far away back in Swansea.

Leanda Cave
Leanda Cave was born in Lincolnshire but qualifies for Wales through her mother

Wales triathletes at the Commonwealth Games

Leanda Cave has a lot of experience and for her to say she wants to help me and Helen Jenkins to win medals at the Commonwealth Games is quite an honour.

She's been a fantastic athlete and has won medals across the full range, from shorter distances right the way up to the Ironman World Championships.

We haven't discussed team tactics or team directions - if any - in Glasgow.

The third spot hasn't been selected but it's nice to know that you would have support from someone like Leanda.

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