Interview with passionate triathlete
and PUMA Employee Petra Sticker

„I was determined to prove those who had written me off wrong and show that giving up should never be an option.“

July 27, 2023

„I was determined to prove those who had written me off wrong and show that giving up should never be an option.“

July 27, 2023

Petra Sticker’s history in triathlon is impressive. But her comeback after several knee injuries and directly qualifying for the Iron Man 70.3 World Championships in Finland is nothing short of inspirational. We had the chance to sit down and chat with Petra about her journey back into Iron Man competitions, balancing her career at PUMA and her passion for sports, and her recent success in Luxemburg.

Congratulations, Petra! You reached the 3rd place in your age group at the 70.3 Iron Man in Luxembourg and qualified for the World Championships in Finland!

Can you tell us how you decided to participate in the Luxembourg Iron Man?

Petra: Thank you! Being a triathlete for a long time, my last “real” Iron Man was way back in 2001. Despite facing knee injuries and doctors advising against it, I could never really let go of triathlon. After almost 20 years with different focus – raising my son and fostering my career at PUMA – I was determined to prove that I can still do it, and that’s what got me back into the game.

Can you share how you felt throughout the Luxembourg Iron Man?

Petra: It was tough, but I deliberately chose the Luxembourg event in June, since this way it was giving me ample time to prepare. The competition was thrilling, with the swimming part taking place in the beautiful Mosel River. The heat on race day was intense, and while the swim and bike went very well, my knee made the run a real struggle. However, I pushed through it and secured the 3rd place in my age group (98th of 420 total ladies)! So, I was automatically qualified for the world championship.

At the starting line

What an incredible achievement! How did you decide to start training for such an event again, despite the advice against it?

Petra: People called me crazy, but I couldn’t let triathlon and that kind of competitions go away. So, I started training again, understanding that I might not run the full marathon distance with my knee anymore. But I planned to start on a 70.3 Iron Man. My coach and I worked on a training plan focusing more on strength and endurance, with less emphasis on running.

Your training approach sounds intriguing. Could you tell us more about it?
Petra: Absolutely! I train almost every day of the week. My training routine includes gym sessions twice a week, focusing on strength training to support my knees. I run twice a week as well, alternating between interval runs for an hour and longer distances, around 12 km. Additionally, I do a lot of long bike rides, at least two times a week, to build endurance and stamina, which I can’t fully achieve through running with my knee.

Let's go!

1,9 km swim

That’s impressive! What motivated you to take this approach?

Petra: I wanted to show that success doesn’t always come from following the conventional path. There are alternatives to achieve greatness, and being systematic and consistent in training and mentally strong can make all the difference. I was determined to prove those who had written me off wrong and show that giving up should never be an option.

You have an impressive history in triathlon! Could you share some of your previous experiences?

Petra: Triathlon has been my passion for a long time, and I used to actively compete in various competitions earlier in my career. In addition to my triathlon pursuits, I’m an active member of our Herzogenaurach Sport Club TS Herzogenaurach and take responsibility in organizing our annual triathlon event, the PUMA Herzoman.

90 km bike

21,1 km run

How does working for PUMA as an amateur athlete help you in your journey?

Petra: Haha! It’s fantastic! Having the employee discount is an advantage for sure. I go through running shoes quite frequently, so it’s a great perk. Plus, I get to try out new shoe models every once in a while, which is always exciting. Additionally, I proudly wear PUMA training clothes as an active member of the Herzo Sport Club.

Which PUMA running shoe is your absolute favorite?

Petra: I absolutely love the Deviate 2! It’s my go-to shoe, and I promote it every chance I get. In fact, I even convinced colleagues of the club and friends to give the Deviate 2 a try !

Very well! So, what are your goals for the upcoming 70.3 Iron Man World Championships in Finland?

Petra: My primary goal is to have fun! Qualifying for this event was a dream come true, and I want to savor every moment of it. There will be 2200 women from all over the world competing, 132 from Germany. The atmosphere is great, and I am just looking forward to going on the starting line with all the Pro Triathletes. It’s been an incredible journey to competing on this level again, and I’m excited to see where it takes me next!

With her determination and perseverance, Petra is a perfect example of our PUMA spirit! As she gears up for the upcoming championships, one thing is certain: we can’t wait to see where Petra’s journey leads her next and wish her all the best in Finland on the 26 August 2023!

All the best and good luck for Lahti, Petra!

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