FIT6: Two-Time Ironman’s Elise Hawkins

FIT6: Two-Time Ironman’s Elise Hawkins

Every week, the Louisville Women’s Sports Network highlights a local woman by asking her six questions about her health and fitness routine. Sponsored by Baptist Health Sports Medicine, this week’s guest is Elise Hawkins. If there is a woman you’d like us to feature, email suggestions to

FB_IMG_1453220442160Tell Us a Little About Yourself

I am a nurse in the emergency department at Audubon Hospital. I also am a fitness instructor at Louisville Athletic Club (LAC) and a two-time IRONMAN Louisville finisher.

I swam year-round on a club team until 19 and then started getting into fitness classes. I started out teaching water aerobics and transitioned to group fitness soon after. I got into triathlon two years ago because I missed competing and was burnt out from teaching so many classes for so many years. I’ve done IRONMAN twice and competed in six and a half IRONMAN distances. I actually won my age group last fall at Challenge Cedar Point.

I have six animals- three dogs, three cats, and a super patient and wonderful husband!

Six Questions About Your Fitness & Health

1) What is your weekly training/exercise routine?

I typically teach 12 classes per week and I attend 4-5 PureBare classes. I’m in offseason for triathlon right now. Once the season starts up in March, I will be swimming, biking, and running anywhere from 12-20 hours a week based on my racing schedule.

2) How do you prepare for a workout?

When I’m training, I always make sure I’m hydrated. I drink coconut water and eat protein and carbs an hour before my workout unless it’s a short workout. Before I teach, I don’t eat unless I’m going to be teaching multiple classes back to back. I prefer working out on an empty stomach.

3) What do you eat, drink or do for quick energy?

If I can’t make something to eat I drink a Core Power Light protein shake or a Quest bar and an apple. I try to limit bars as much as possible. I like to make protein smoothies. I use Isopure Protein, strawberries, BASE Aminos, almond milk, and spinach.

4) What is your daily nutritional meal plan when training?

I never count calories, especially during tri-season. I eat a clean diet so there’s very little variation. I have egg whites, spinach, and roasted tomatoes every morning with avocado, turkey and hummus. If I’m really hungry or if I have a long ride/run, I will eat a piece of toast also. Lunch is either a salad with eggs or a protein smoothie with spinach and strawberries. For dinner, I have a protein and veggies. I live off egg whites and spinach.

IMG_20150913_1757175) What do you snack on between meals when training?

I snack on fruit and nuts, apples and pears, almonds and cashews. Sometimes I eat KIND bars, but I try to limit those as well.

6) What are your fitness & health goals?

My goals for this year are to compete in IRONMAN Chattanooga in September. I have two half-IRONMAN distances as well. I recently started a boot camp at LAC, so I’m trying to grow that as well. I have lost a lot of muscle mass from all the endurance cardio from racing, so I’ve been working hard since October to regain strength and build muscle mass.

I guess my main goal is just to always stay active and be the best version of me- healthy physically and mentally. My goal is to learn balance and not to overtrain so much. I spent a lot of last year walking a tight rope after tearing my glute and hamstring while training for a marathon and a half IRONMAN at the same time. Not very smart.

I just love trying new things and challenging myself. I think that’s important. Complacency is my enemy and I want to stay on my toes!