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In Her Shoes: Paula Findlay

5-minute read

Who’s walking around in Poppy Barley shoes? Here, we spend 5 minutes with our customers to find out who they are and what they do.


Paula Findlay


Boulder, Colorado

(Hometown is Edmonton, AB)


Canadian Olympic Triathlete


The Chelsea Boot in Black and The Slip-on Oxford in Black and Snakeskin

In Her Shoes: Paula Findlay in Poppy Barley shoes

As a triathlete, you must be incredibly dedicated and focused. Have you always been that way?

I’m a pretty focused and stubborn person when I have a goal and want to succeed at something. I suppose I get a bit of that from my parents, they are dedicated in their pursuits and have instilled that value in me.

In what aspect are you the same person you were as a 10 year old?

I have always been a fairly goal-oriented person, even as a 10 year old. I like getting the absolute best out of myself, and I’ve been that way most of my life.

How did you get into triathlons?

I started competitive swimming when I was 11 years old, and ran on the track and cross country teams in high school. My track coach suggested that I get a bike and try a triathlon, so I did a local Edmonton race in 2006 and have been in it ever since.


What's your training schedule?

I train about 25 hours a week, swimming 6 times, riding 5 times, running 6-7 times, and 2-3 hours in the gym. This was much more demanding when I was a full time student in University, and I honestly don’t know how I did both! Now that I’m pursing triathlon full time, I have more time for proper recovery, therapy, and sleeping. These little things have made a big difference - it’s not all about the training hours!

What's the longest break you take from training?

I take a 2-3 week break after each season, usually at the beginning of October. This usually includes at least a week completely off, and a few weeks of unstructured activity to keep my body moving.

Where's your favourite place to travel and train?

I love training in Boulder, Colorado, which is my training base for most of the year. It’s the absolute perfect place for riding, running on trails, and being at altitude. I love traveling to Europe to race - my favourite place is Kitzbuhel, Austria. Poppy Barley - In Her Shoes: Paula Findlay

What is it that you tell yourself in the moment that you're in pain during a race; what's your "mantra”?

I always think about how how hard I’ve trained and how many hours I’ve dedicated to being the best I can be. The pain is temporary, but there is nothing more satisfying than having a good race and all those hours paying off.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of being an Olympian. Although my result at the Olympics in 2012 wasn’t what I was aiming for, I had an incredible experience and I love inspiring the younger generation and other Canadians through sport.

What's next on your life to-do list?

Qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympics is my current goal and what I’m putting all my focus towards at the moment. After that, I’ll re-assess if I want to aim for another Olympics (2020 in Tokyo), go back to school, or switch to long-course triathlon racing.

In Her Shoes: Paula Findlay in Poppy Barley shoes

If you could be an animal, what would you be?

I’d be an Eagle! Big and majestic and able to fly.

If you could walk in anybody's shoes for a day (dead or alive), who would it be?

I would LOVE to walk (run) in Paula Radcliffe’s shoes (marathon World record holder) when she was in her prime. It would be so cool to feel what it’s like to run that fast, while making it look effortless. We have the same name, so she has always been one of my sport heroes!

What's been your experience with Poppy Barley?

I absolutely love my boots and flats, and the people are wonderful. I used to think that I had to wear running shoes to be comfortable, but Poppy Barley has proved me wrong! I can be comfortable and stylish at the same time.

After all the training and racing - how do you care for your feet?

I actually get a lot of massage work done on my feet by my massage therapist. They are the structural base for everything, and I find that if my feet are tight or off balance, it can cause other injuries throughout my body. So I definitely make sure that they are in good shape so that I can put them through hours and hours of training.

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