Interview: Courtney Conlogue

SaltyLips talk health, fitness and surfing with Pro Surfer Courtney Conlogue

SaltyLips Beachley Classic Courtney Conlogue surf Salty Lips

Courtney Conlogue

Californian surfer Courtney Conlogue exploded onto the world stage in 2011 as a rookie on the World Tour and made her mark right from the outset concluding the year in 8th position. Building on her successes year-on-year, Courtney made her first real bid for the title in 2013, finishing with a comfortable 4th in the world rankings, cementing her well-earned place in the surfing elite.

Known for her consistency and amazing work ethic in and out of the water, Courtney was all set for an incredible 2014 campaign. She kicked off the season in fighting form, holding her place in the top 5 in the first two events, Roxy Pro Gold Coast and Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.  Her dreams of getting her hands on the coveted Bell at the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach were dashed when she was forced to withdraw due to an ankle injury sustained during a magic freesurfing session at a nearby break between heats.

SaltyLips Beachley Classic Courtney Conlogue surf Salty Lips

Courtney pulling out all the tricks to win her first WCT event. Photo: Throwing Buckets

“Initially I was having one of my best sessions of the whole year,” Courtney told the ASP. “There was only me, Steph (Gilmore) and a few other people and conditions were perfect. Perfect barrels. I was having a magical moment and in a split second the foamball just exploded from the toeside rail and twisted my ankle, but it rolled the other way. Under water, I instantly had extreme pain in my shin and knew something wasn’t right.

“I went in to recovery mode straight away, still thinking I could maybe surf in the event, because I didn’t know what had happened. I think the adrenaline kicked in and I didn’t really feel the pain at first because I wanted to do well in Bells so badly. The next day, I had the biggest limp. I strapped it, but the pain was pretty extreme.”

Returning home to begin rehab, Courtney had to make some tough decisions and was left with no choice but to pull out of both the Rio and Fiji Womens Pro, cutting her bid for the World Title devastatingly short.

SaltyLips Courtney Conlogue surf Salty Lips

Freesurfing at Newcastle’s Merewether Beach. Photo: Throwing Buckets

With an unbelievably positive attitude, Courtney is working hard on her recovery and hopes to return to the water very soon, stronger than ever! With her focus on training and repair, Courtney has partnered up with Got Milk? to offer free surf-inspired exercise and nutrition tips, promising to help boost surf fitness and work towards that toned surf physique in time for the summer.

We caught up with Courtney to talk chocolate milk, breath-holding, home-grown tomatoes and Katy Perry !! …

SaltyLips Courtney Conlogue surf Salty Lips

All smiles at Merewether Beach. Photo: Throwing Buckets

How is the recovery from your ankle injury progressing? We were devastated to see you have to pull out at Bells, will we be seeing you back in the water soon?
I’m definitely planning on getting back in the water as soon as possible!  I have an incredible support team working with me multiple times a week.  It has all helped me learn how to strengthen and repair.

Recovering from an injury can be mentally tough as well as physically, any tips for getting through the tough times out of the water?
My ankle injury has given me the opportunity to use my time differently.  I’ve been spending a lot of time painting canvases, training with Extreme Athletics, watching surf movies, and reading several books.  I’m enjoying this time and doing whatever I’m able to do to keep my energy up and of course always staying optimistic and knowing that I’m going to come back stronger and with more knowledge.  It’s definitely been a great learning experience.

Known for your incredible work ethic in and out of the water, what advice do you have for keeping your surf fitness up when you have to spend time away from the ocean?
You don’t need to have the beach nearby to stay fit. What you do have to have is dedication to keep working for better fitness.  It’s best to start with a program that suits your fitness level, stay consistent with a fun schedule, and include family and friends.

SaltyLips Beachley Classic Courtney Conlogue surf Salty Lips

Throwing down a HUGE turn at the Beachley Classic. Photo: Throwing Buckets

What tips do you have for achieving more critical and powerful turns?
For exercises, doing any explosive power techniques on the land can help improve your form. First try surf stance burpees and go for 12 reps with two sets for better endurance. To increase difficulty on exercises you can add more weight.  Another exercise to try is box jumps; those are really good for polymeric work.

We have seen your training with Breatheology, has this allowed you to surf bigger waves with more confidence and is there a particular wave or session that really got your heart pumping?
Working with Stig was a great opportunity for me to work on my breath holds. There have definitely been situations when I have been appreciative of my deeper knowledge of breath holding.  I had a session in Hawaii this past winter where my training with Stig was very instrumental in how I handled the situation.

When it comes to boards, do you think there are any fundamental differences to shaping boards for men or women?
I think it varies from individual to individual; it comes down to what their performance capabilities are, their height and weight, and the location and conditions they are surfing.  Surfboard dimensions are very personal.

SaltyLips Surfest Courtney Conlogue surf Salty Lips

Surfing Newcastle Harbour after Surfest relocated for the semis due to a storm swell in 2013. Photo: Throwing Buckets

What is your goal for the rest of this year?
My first goal is to get back into the water, on my boards and competing on the world tour.   The second one would be having the opportunity to share my fitness tips a little more.

When talking about diet what foods are good for energy levels before those marathon sessions, whether it’s for competition or just when the surf is pumping all day?
Low-fat chocolate milk! It contains a good mix of carbs, potassium and protein, which help boost your workouts. Even after a marathon, chocolate milk is perfect for muscle recovery. It also helps your body hydrate much faster and longer due to its electrolyte content.

What is on a typical Courtney Conlogue daily menu?
A typical daily menu always includes a light breakfast like steel cut oats with milk. You can eat dry fruits and nuts throughout the day to stay energized and rev up your metabolism. I also incorporate fresh foods like fruits, veggies, lean meats and healthy fats like avocado or olive oil.

Sometimes when I’m in a hurry I grab a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and add an apple with a glass of milk to make it balanced.

SaltyLips Surfest Courtney Conlogue surf Salty Lips

Styling at Surfest. Photo: Throwing Buckets

What or who got you into surfing in the first place?
My dad got me involved in surfing when I was 4 years old. It’s a family thing too.  We were on a surf trip in Mexico when I first stood up on a board and I have loved surfing ever since.

If you could spend a day with someone who inspires you, who would it be and what would you do?
Apollo Ohno, everything he has accomplished in his career has been incredible. I would definitely ask him a lot of questions, but just being around his presence would mean a lot. Also, this is random, but Katy Perry too! I listen to a lot of her music to get pumped up.

What is your biggest surfing achievement to date?
My first world tour win in Australia at Dee Why Beach. That was really amazing for me because it took a lot of work to get there!

SaltyLips Beachley Classic Courtney Conlogue surf Salty Lips

Chaired up the beach by Steph Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons after her first World Tour win at the Beachley Classic, Dee Why. Photo: Throwing Buckets

What has been your biggest challenge so far as a surfing professional?
The biggest challenges for me are probably board fees and having a competitive year round calendar.  It’s a lot of time on the road, little time at home and it’s pretty difficult at times. I love traveling, but it’s not easy to do especially when you have to lug around 100 pounds of bags and boards!

What would be one thing about you that would surprise people?
I love having a garden and fresh tomatoes. I love the smell of peppery fresh tomatoes and I also live inland, that would be another surprise.

Where is next on your surf hit-list that you haven’t been to before?
I really want to travel to South Africa.

SaltyLips Beachley Classic Courtney Conlogue surf Salty Lips

Hitting the lip at Dee Why. Photo: Throwing Buckets

If you weren’t a professional surfer what would you be?
I would want to be an architect, a physical trainer, a pilot, an artist or a clothing designer.

Describe yourself in three words?
Energetic. Competitive. Creative.

Good luck Courtney and we look forward to seeing you back in the water soon!

Special thanks to the awesome THROWING BUCKETS for all Courtney’s surf shots. Make sure you check them out for surf stories, news and more great photos!

Follow Courtney’s Got Milk? surf fitness tips, to keep you water fit and mould that physique:

Courtney Conlogue surf fitness SaltyLips Salty Lips

Photo: Courtney Conlogue | got milk?
Directions: Start on all fours, aligning your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Lift your right arm to shoulder height and your left leg to hip height and hold for a few seconds. Reaching forward with your fingers and back with your heel. Lower to ground and repeat with opposite sides. Continue for two minutes.

Courtney Conlogue surf fitness SaltyLips Salty Lips

Photo: Courtney Conlogue | got milk?
Directions: Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips, keeping right knee bent at about a 90-degree angle with left leg straight. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle. Raise your arms to the floor and rotate arms perpendicular to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with opposite side. Continue for two minutes.

Courtney Conlogue surf fitness SaltyLips Salty Lips

Photo: Courtney Conlogue | got milk?
Directions: Either on the floor or with a Bosu® start in a pushup position, core and glutes activated. Lower each arm to a low plank position, forearms and elbows on the ball and repeat at a consistent speed. Be sure that during this exercise you always maintain an activated core to keep balance. Try for 3 sets with 20 – 40 reps.

Courtney Conlogue surf fitness SaltyLips Salty Lips

Photo: Courtney Conlogue | got milk?
Directions: Either on the floor or with a Bosu® start in a push up position, core and glutes activated. Raise either leg off the floor as high as possible and hold for two seconds, lower to ground and repeat with opposite leg. Try for 3 sets with 10 – 20 reps.
*To increase difficulty add a push up.

Photo: Courtney Conlogue | got milk? Directions: Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn't touch the floor. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down. Hold for 5 seconds, then walk forward out of the lunge. Repeat with opposite leg. Try for 3 sets with 10-12 reps.

Photo: Courtney Conlogue | got milk?
Directions: Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down. Hold for 5 seconds, then walk forward out of the lunge. Repeat with opposite leg. Try for 3 sets with 10-12 reps.

Courtney Conlogue offers five nutrition tips for a strong body this summer:

1.       Fuel Up. Energy reserves are important for maintaining stamina during high endurance workouts. Start your day right. Steel cut oats with milk, dry fruit and nuts are a great way to energize. Snacks and small meals can also help rev up your metabolism during the day. 2.       Keep it Balanced. On your surf board and your plate, balance is key. Your diet should be made up of fresh and wholesome foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean meats and healthy fats like avocado or olive oil. Try a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato; add an apple and a tall glass of milk for a balanced meal on the go. 3.       Protein Rich. Proteins, made up of amino acids, are an essential building block of life. Protein helps the body build and repair muscle, grow and helps organs and cells work properly. Power up with rich proteins such as lean meats, beans, lentils, nuts or a good old-fashioned protein shake. A smoothie a day can provide you with a convenient dose of protein before or after your workout. 4.       Resist Junk Food. Junk food does not contain any useful nutrients. Instead of stopping for French fries pick up some carrot sticks, a handful of almonds or a multigrain bar with milk to keep you going. 5.       Avoid Dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids to hydrate before, during and after workouts. Outdoor exercises under the hot summer sun will deplete your stores faster.

1. Fuel Up. Energy reserves are important for maintaining stamina during high endurance workouts. Start your day right. Steel cut oats with milk, dry fruit and nuts are a great way to energize. Snacks and small meals can also help rev up your metabolism during the day.
2. Keep it Balanced. On your surf board and your plate, balance is key. Your diet should be made up of fresh and wholesome foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean meats and healthy fats like avocado or olive oil. Try a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato; add an apple and a tall glass of milk for a balanced meal on the go.
3. Protein Rich. Proteins, made up of amino acids, are an essential building block of life. Protein helps the body build and repair muscle, grow and helps organs and cells work properly. Power up with rich proteins such as lean meats, beans, lentils, nuts or a good old-fashioned protein shake. A smoothie a day can provide you with a convenient dose of protein before or after your workout.
4. Resist Junk Food. Junk food does not contain any useful nutrients. Instead of stopping for French fries pick up some carrot sticks, a handful of almonds or a multigrain bar with milk to keep you going.
5. Avoid Dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids to hydrate before, during and after workouts. Outdoor exercises under the hot summer sun will deplete your stores faster.

For more of Courtneys free fitness tips check out Got Milk? or join her at the @GotMilk surf fitness tweet chat:

GOTMILK SURF TWEET FLYER V2

 

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