Meet Tyla Lumley, an IMPI Warrior redefining what success looks like both off and on the track. We caught up with Tyla while she was back home, taking a break from competing and studying in the US at Drake University.
When did you first begin running?
I've enjoyed running since I was young, however I only started training properly when I was in grade 9 and racing competitively from grade 10 onwards.
I had always seen a local squad training and approached the coach after one of their sessions near my house to ask if I could start training with them - and it all kind of went from there.
What do you enjoy most about running?
I enjoy running for many reasons, it is a great outlet for whatever is going on outside of running and although it hurts sometimes, you always feel good after.
It's also great socially, as I run with many of my good friends.
When was your first official competition? Do you remember how you did?
I had run small races such as school cross country and athletics when I was younger but my first real stand out race was QLD 3k champs in 2018.
It was the first race that I really became competitive and I dropped over a minute from my time, coming second.
What’s been your favourite moment of your running career so far?
My favourite moment of my running career so far would have to be signing to a US college and getting to run on our home track in the Drake relays as a freshman. Although it wasn’t my best race it was still an unreal experience.
Also, winning my first collegiate race and breaking 10 mins for the 3km for the first time was a moment I won’t forget.
Has sport taught you any important life lessons?
Running is a difficult sport and it comes with many life lessons but the biggest being that you have to be tough and keep on going even if things are hard or hurt because the difficulties always end and the reward of finishing is always work it. The harder you work the more you get out.
Do you have any tips on staying motivated and overcoming setbacks?
Having goals that you are actively working for helps to keep me motivated especially as someone who has been through quite a few injuries. It can be hard to stay motivated and get back into things but you can always come back stronger if you believe in yourself and love the sport.
You’ve recently been living in the US on an athletic scholarship with Drake University, how does the training environment in the US differ from the environment here in Australia?
The training environment in the US especially being on an athletic scholarship is completely different to anything I had experienced in Australia. There is a lot more pressure but you also have a great team environment and good support systems as you go into much more competitive races.
What about the competition environment? Are there any differences between the US and Australia?
The level of competition in America is insane, everyone there is good. In Australia the competition is good but we only really have a few standouts per age whereas in America at the D1 level there is rarely a standout at competition as everyone is running well.
Do you have any advice for other young athletes who are aspiring to a USA scholarship?
My biggest advice would to start early - look into the schools you are interested in, see what sort of times you need to run and establish a good relationship with the coach.
We hear that you’re also studying actuarial science and accounting! How have you found balancing running and your studies?
Being in a double major of actuarial science and accounting is definitely full on. At the beginner being so busy with running and my studies was hard to manage. However, as time went on I got much better at getting things done early, finding balance and becoming more efficient with my time so I could get everything done and do it well. It is definitely doable!
What are your current races and times in competition?
- 1500m - 4:40
- 3km - 9:55
- 4km cross country - 14:28
- 5km - 17:34
- 6km cross country - 21:52
Quick-Fire 5 with Tyla:
1. What’s your favourite pump up song for training?
There are so many its hard to choose one but anything with a good rhythm to run to and good lyrics.
2. What do you enjoy doing outside of school and running?
I enjoy walking and hiking, going to the gym, when I’m at home I love going to the beach and I love going to new places for brunch, lunch and dinner!
3. Where's your favourite place to compete?
It is super cool to compete at Drake’s home stadium as I love the track we have and am used to running on it however other than that the Arkansas track was super nice! For cross country I loved most of the courses we competed on but my favourite was probably Mizzou.
4. Are there any athletes that you look up to, or who inspire you?
There are so many athletes that I look up to and who inspire me a few being, Genieve Lacaze, Karissa Schweizer, Colleen Quigley, Emma Coburn and Courtney Freidrichs
5. What’s your favourite piece of IMPI Sportswear?
I love all of the IMPI sportswear pieces but my favourite would probably have to be the teal set that has been brought out in a few of the ranges.