One on One With Ironman Athlete And Bikini Competitor, Luly Guerra

Quick Stats

Name:  Luly Guerra
Age:  40
Height:  5′
Competition weight:  104 lbs
Current weight:  105 lbs
Current city:  San Antonio, USA
Occupation:  Nutritional coach

Give us a brief background on how you got into competing in Ironman competitions?

I have always been a gym enthusiast since high school. I really got into seeing myself as an athlete after completing a half marathon after I had my third child. I was suffering from post par-tum depression and running became my escape. Soon after, I started training for my first triathlon, which then became half Ironman races. I knew I wanted to become an Ironman and I then became an Ironman finisher in 2012.

Following that, I wanted to go back to another one of my goals which was to become a bikini competitor. The reason being when I was trying to get back into shape in 2009, after my third child I read all the fitness magazines and followed the nutrition and training plans. The competitors in the magazines were my inspiration and motivation.

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How do you stay motivated?

“Motivation is something I learnt is extremely vital on bad training days or when your life gets complicated.”

I find my motivation from women around me. I have always had the gift of uplifting or motivating other people. When they are uplifted it in turn motivates me to be a better version of me.

What do you love about triathlons/Ironman competitions?

I love that it’s three sports: swimming, biking, and running. Using the powerful vessel we are given to do these three sports and the challenge of juggling three sports in training!  It’s freedom. Ironman to me represents the holy grail of triathlon. I get chills whenever I watch one. Finishing an Ironman was a beautiful experience, I cried on and off the entire day.

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3 tips for someone entering their first Ironman?

1. Have a support system (coach, loved ones)

2. Keep life in balance

3. Make sure you keep up on your nutrition throughout your training

You’re a women over 40 with three kids. What would be your response to the women your age or younger who are mothers and use their age or the fact that they have kids as an excuse for not exercising? How do you manage everything?

Well, you just have to make the time for it, carve it out and stick to it. I plan my days around my training not the other way around. I taught elementary school full time and I woke up early to get my training done. I also trained a lot running stairs outside my apartment door. But I do give up a lot of other things in exchange like social events or outings for instance.

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What are your future plans?

One of my dreams is to become an IFBB Pro so that in the big picture I can support other women to become empowered, strong, and independent. I hope people will see that they can hit the reset button at any time in their lives.

Take us through an average day of yours:

  • I wake up for fasted cardio, then eat my breakfast.
  • Work; I do my weight training either during my lunch or evening depending on my work schedule.
  • Then it’s home for organizing meals for the next day, chores, time with loved ones.
  • Sleep Zzzzz

What type of eating plan do you follow?

I prep my meals on the weekends. I eat 6 small meals a day.

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Have you encountered any major setbacks in your training or in your life and how did you deal with them and move forward/keep moving forward?

Yes, I was diagnosed with Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) syndrome during my Ironman training. It is a genetic nerve disease that has resulted in severe nerve damage in my lower and upper extremities, and muscular atrophy. Running has become less frequent and so has high impact cardio. Frustrating is an understatement but I am more stubborn than it is!

What do you think are some of the biggest mistakes or myths that many girls fall prey to when starting out in the gym/exercise?

The biggest one I see is they want things to come QUICK and EASY. Results take patience and time.

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What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?

Four things: Each one of my three children and becoming an Ironman, in that order :-)

Is there anything that you would have done differently in your career to date?

“I can become so focused and driven, I wish I was more balanced during training.”

Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your training:

I train 6 days a week; a cardio session and a weight training session.

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How different is your training when training for a fitness competition as opposed to a triathlon?

It is very different! Bikini training is 24/7 and the training takes more gym sessions. The nutrition component is different in that my meals are VERY planned and CLEAN with no room for error.

Triathlon training however is tricky when you have to get out for your long bike rides.

What’s your favorite form of cardio?

Running, hands down, however it is now shorter and less frequent due to my disease.

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What are your 3 favorite exercises?

1. Squats

They make beautiful glutes while burning calories.

2. Deadlifts

Create gorgeous hamstrings and glutes.

3. Leg press

There are so many variations of foot placement to work different areas of your legs and glutes.

What are your top training tips?

  • For cardio, I like to do Hiit training (high intensity interval training)
  • I hit weights everyday even if my time is limited.
  • If I have to choose because my time is constrained I choose weights!
  • And lastly, you can’t out train a bad diet.

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Favorite female fitness icon(s):

Jaime Baird and Ava Cowan

Favorite Quote:

“She believed she could, so she did.”

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Advice for someone wanting to change their lifestyle and achieve their ideal physique?

I would first advise them to completely revamp the way they view food; that food is fuel for the body, and you’re eating for a purpose. To allow themselves during this change one cheat meal a week. That if they find themselves weak, to self-talk, ie. does this short term satisfaction meet their long term goal?

I also kept motivation pictures of physiques I admire, still do, to keep my eye on the prize. Drink lots of water and green tea at every meal also helps with weight loss. Which reminds me the only sweetener I use is liquid Stevia.

What competitions have you competed in and your placings?

  • Calaveras Duathlon | 2nd AG
  • Memorial Hermann Ironman | 70.3 finisher
  • Longhorn Ironman | 70.3 finisher
  • Ironman Texas | 140.6 finisher
  • Natural Bridge trail run | Overall female | 1st
  • Battle of the Beach | Masters | 4th
  • Texas Shredder | Masters | 15th
  • Adela Classic | 16th

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Where can people get hold of you?

  • Instagram: @lulymguerra
  • Facebook: Luly Guerra
  • Email: lmgconsul[at]gmail.com

Photography credits

Luly Guerra Gallery

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