Jenny Fletcher is a fashion model, triathlete, and endurance coach from Texas. With a heart for athletics, Jenny’s love of sports and modeling intertwined and she became a professional athlete in 2010. Since then, she’s graced the covers of fitness magazines, won the Half Ironman in Branson, Missouri in 2012, and earned multiple top 5 and top 10 finishes. As an endurance and triathlete coach, Jenny helps others hone their skills and reach their fitness goals!
After filming her latest cycling series in Italy, Jenny chatted with us about her career as a triathlete, winning her first Half Ironman, filming in Italy, and the meaning of “living an adventure every day.” Get to know iFIT Trainer Jenny Fletcher!
You pivoted from a career in modeling to competing as a professional triathlete. What sparked that change?
I have always been an athlete to the core. My mom says I couldn’t sit still, so she enrolled me in dancing (tap, jazz, and ballet). Then, I got into tetrathlons and modern pentathlons, which include running, swimming, fencing, horseback riding, and shooting.
I played basketball, volleyball, and ran cross-country and track during school. Overall, this explains the dive back into sports after modeling for 18 years. The dream never left, so the transition came when I needed a shift in what I was doing. I found triathlons and never looked back.
Did you continue modeling as an athlete?
Absolutely. I had to give up many modeling jobs as a sponsored athlete, but it actually opened the doors for so much more opportunity. One of my first sponsors was Oakley and they used me for several worldwide campaigns. What I loved about it was that I wasn’t just a face on the wall or in a catalog anymore; I was doing work because I was an athlete.
When I first started modeling at 15, my agent sent me to New York to test with Ford Models. Eilene Ford told my agent, “This girl wants to be an athlete.” His reply was, “Well, she can do both!” I look back now and see that he basically prophesied about my future.
You won your first event as a triathlete in 2012 at the Half Ironman in Missouri. Describe that experience. How did you map out your training?
It literally meant everything. It was tough coming into the professional field of triathlons at first because I don’t think anyone took me seriously. To win my first Half Ironman felt like such an incredible validation. I gave my all to become a professional. I went to the best coach, trained with an elite squad, and made it my life. I trusted my coach with my training and pushed extra hard when training with the squad. My coach always knew how to taper us perfectly so we could go into a race ready to rock!
I actually wasn’t supposed to race because I was dealing with a knee injury, but I told my coach, “Let me do the swim and bike segments, and then if it hurts in the run, I’ll stop.” I got off the bike with a 6-minute lead, and there was no way I wasn’t going to finish that half marathon. I will never forget the feeling of breaking that tape at the finish line.
Were there any takeaways from that win that stuck with you for the rest of your competitive career?
Yes, ANYTHING is possible!
Your latest “Italy Weight Loss Cycle Series” has been a great success. Do you have any favorite locations or moments from that filming experience?
Wow, there were so many amazing places. It would sound vague to say all the castles, but truly, all the castles were mindblowing. I really loved San Gimignano, riding around the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and revisiting Sienna. Plus, The Torciano Winery was incredible. Let’s be honest: EVERY ride and everywhere we went was a dream. Italy is the BEST!
You often use the phrase, “Living an adventure every day.” What does that mean to you?
Even you asking me makes me smile. It’s a simple reminder to remember that life is short, and we don’t really know how many days we have, so live life to the fullest. Do something every day that makes you smile. Even if it’s adventuring to your favorite coffee shop, walking the dog, meeting friends, or driving to a new trail to hike or run. You can do limitless things that don’t really cost a thing, but memories are made and life is lived.
What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a triathlete but unsure of where to start?
The best place to start is to find a local triathlon club, run club, cycling club, or Masters swim team. Get some friends to join you or meet new ones as you adventure into this incredible sport. For me, it was very important to learn from someone who knew what they were doing, so I hired a coach. If you want to do it and feel unsure of everything, a coach is a great source of endless knowledge, guidance, input, and direction.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Sharing the adventure with every person riding with me. Although I am riding by myself while we film (besides my cameraman), I literally envision myself talking to whoever is riding with me. The iFIT community is incredible, and I am so blessed to be a part of it.
You’ve achieved so much as a professional triathlete and model. Do you have other big goals planned for the future?
Always! Here are a few:
1. I’m currently learning to mountain bike, as I want to try to qualify for Xterra World Championships.
2. I have some more Ironmans in my near future in 2022.
3. I started this fun, little apparel line called “The JV Life” (JOYVIBES) during 2020. I kind of put it on hold last year but would love to keep being creative with that.
4. I got married in November 2021, and my husband owns a bike store. We have talked about building a training center in the back where I can train my athletes.
5. Write a book. I started it in 2018, but was going through a lot of changes in life and put it aside until I could focus on it again. It’s never too late to try. Even just writing about writing has motivated me.
Go on your own adventure with iFIT Trainer Jenny Fletcher in her iFIT bike workout series! She’ll coach you from beginner to race-ready athlete in these exciting workouts.
- Italy Weight Loss Cycle Series
- Southern California Cycling Miniseries
- Gran Fondo Hincapie 55-Mile Race: 5-Part Series
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFIT assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.
Opinions of iFIT Trainers are not necessarily the opinions of iFIT.