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★FitStars: Triathlete Mirinda Carfrae

fitstarmirindaWe seem to be really into triathletes lately, eh? There’s just something so fascinating about those who push themselves so hard! Today we’re featuring an interview with Mirinda Carfrae, a serious wonder woman who has a whopping 15 Ironman 70.3 titles to her name. Fifteen! Not to mention that she recently had the fourth-fastest time EVER at the Kona Ironman. Read on for an inside look at her training schedule, her tips for staying motivated and much, much more!

  • FBG: How did you get into triathlons?
  • MC: I actually used to play basketball, played for 11 years and thought that would be the only sport I would ever love. Then in early 1998, my basketball team trainer agreed to help me and a couple of my teammates out with some off-season strength and conditioning training. He also happened to be coaching a couple of triathletes at the time, and I was able to witness what it took to be a triathlete, and from there I was just hooked. I didn’t get a bike until the end of 1999 and did my first race shortly after that.
  • FBG: What’s your training schedule like?
  • MC: I typically train anywhere from 25 to 32 hours per week with two to three sessions per day depending on the year and what race I am preparing for.
  • FBG: What’s a typical day of eating like for you when you’re training? How about when you’re not?
  • MC: I am pretty normal in terms of eating habits. I do eat pretty healthy, but I also love my ice cream and chocolate—everything in moderation.
  • mirinda carfrae

    Credit: Eric Wynn

    FBG: What’s your most memorable race and why?

  • MC: That would have to be my most recent race: the Ironman World Championships. Just to compete in this race is pretty memorable in itself, but to actually win the thing? That is a dream come true and a day that I will never forget.
  • FBG: Do you have a motto or mantra that you use to pump yourself up? If so, what is it?
  • MC: I guess my little motto is “If it is to be, it’s up to me,” but on race day and in training, I mostly use visualization along with my favorite tunes to get myself fired up and ready to go.
  • FBG: There are so many more women participating in tris of all sizes. What do you think about tris becoming more popular?
  • MC: It think it’s fantastic and inspiring to see so many women (and men) of all sizes getting out there and participating. I have raced in a couple of women’s-only triathlons and am always blown away by how positive and full of life all the ladies are. For a lot, it’s a first attempt, and the whole atmosphere is one of celebration. It just feels like a celebration of life, and it’s a good reminder as to why we actually started this sport in the first place.
  • FBG: Any advice for our readers training for a tri? What’s the one thing they should know/do?
  • MC: There are so many little bits of advice that I could give out, but I guess the main thing is to make sure you just enjoy it. Try not to get too caught up in all the numbers and never lose sight of the fact that you are ultimately doing the sport because you love it. Oh, and just an FYI: No need to wear underwear under your bike pants…
  • FBG: How was Kona? How did it feel getting one of the fastest times—EVER?
  • MC: Kona was as amazing as I could have ever hoped for it to be. That race is just something else—the energy, the excitement, seriously second to none. In regards to it being one of the fastest times ever, I just can’t believe it. Just thinking about it now gives me the shivers and naturally feels really good.
  • FBG: How did the Women’s Slice Bike help you maintain your energy on the run? What are the benefits of a women’s specific bike?
  • MC: The Slice is just a perfect bike for triathlon. Not sure of all the technology that goes into building a bike like that, but whatever they are doing over at Cannondale is special. When I hop off that thing I don’t get those heavy bike legs, and I actually feel like I run better off this bike than I do running fresh. It was also so cool to be able to ride the 47-cm frame—there are not many companies that offer the top-end bikes in this smaller frame size. So that was also a huge help to be able to ride a bike that actually fit me. It definitely makes all the difference.
  • FBG: What’s next for you?
  • MC: A few more lava flows here in Hawaii before I head back over to Boulder then back home to Australia in a couple of weeks. It’s time to give this body a little rest and think about how I want to tackle the 2011 season.

Talk about a tri rockstar! Have you run a tri? Would you consider it? —Jenn

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