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Kona Confidential

Kona Confidential

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Published by: Holly Bachman Bennett on Oct 27, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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I eii wld cam Miida Caae culd ak ayti te wma w’ w Ka me time ta ay tee, wat wuld e wat t kw? Wat adice wuldTim DeBm, te lat Ameica t wi Ka, ie t a tAmeica ect? Ad wat uique iit ca Ciiead Cwie excae a etea Ka cami?F ti yea’ Ka eiew iue, we did’t jut wat ttalk t te w’ w  te t—we wated tem t talkt e ate. We iited fe aii  tiatl’ elite tae itimate, e--e dialue wee we wee iyt eey wd. Excet  eac ceati llw; iewte ull-let cat at Tiatlete.cm.
edited By holly Bennett
photographs by nils nilsen
tiate my training. That when we go outeasy, it’s
easy. It was to a point thatwe would be dropped by age-groupers.But then when I went out to really go, Iwould go! I learned to make my traininga little bit more black and white in termso intensity, which I think is a big issuein triathlon: a triathlon epidemic, theperpetual hammering. But that’s egoand greed every time. Nobody is goingto give an inch, so give them a mile. Be-cause then when your time comes you’rea mile ahead o them.
Do some o the parameters thatChrissie’s set—run splits, bike splits—doyou and [coach] Siri [Lindley] look at thatand plan accordingly?
I watch all the results in Ironmanracing across the world, and I see whatpeople are doing. There are certain rac-es, Roth’s obviously one o them, wheretimes are ast. So I don’t put as muchweight into a race like that. Obviouslyyou look at it and think: Wow, she’s run-ning ast. But let’s look at what Chrissie’sdone in Kona. I’m going to race her inKona, and she’s never gone aster thanX-Y-Z. In act in my second Ironman,my rst place last year was a lot asterthan she went her second year. And she’sdone 10 Ironman races; I’ve done three.So you see those results, and i you don’tpull yoursel out o that “wow” actor,you can be written o right then. Youmay as well not go. Kona’s a whole di-erent ball game.
Mirinda Carfrae
Paula newby-fraser
From seeing theIronman and having a perception o it, toactually going and doing it, what was thedierence or you?
Early on, when Iknew it was years away, I thought,“This is going to be great! I know I cando X-Y-Z and that will put me in theront o the pack.” But then gettingclose to actually racing—and I meandays beore the race—I thought, “I can’tdo this distance! This is ridiculous!” Butin the moment, I was so well-preparedthat it wasn’t as hard. … I was denitelya little bit shocked at how—not howeasy it was, because it’s not somethingthat’s easy—but how in your mind itseems like a mountain in the days lead-ing into it. But when you’re actually outthere racing, it’s dierent.
How many hours a week do youtrain? … It seems people train so muchmore than they ever did.
Right now in the peak o it I’m ataround 32 hours. I swim about 20–22K.I ride around 450K. And I run only 100K.…Those are my bigger weeks.
Wow! We used to think 20 hourswas hitting the big,
time. I remem-ber when Michellie [Jones] did Ironmanand we were like, “Whoa! You did 24
The reigning women’s world champion shares a candid conversation withthe woman who was queen—an unmatched eight times over.
hours o training this week! That’s sobig! It’s amazing!” We were blown away,because the average week was moretoward 16–18 hours. … I don’t thinkthere’s a right way and I don’t thinkthere’s a wrong way. There isn’t. As longas you believe—i you believe in your-sel and you think, “I just want to go outthere on race day and I don’t care howast anybody else is. I just want to havethat day that I have in training.” Youknow those days you have where yougo, “Oh my god, I rule the world! I
 the world!” I used to sometimes get o my bike, by mysel, and go, “That wasthe
ride! That was awesome!” Andthat’s all I wanted.
Don’t look at your log rom lastyear. Put it away. Because … it will grindyou down. Get a new book and startthere. Don’t pull baggage. It’s gone. It willnever be the same as it was last year.
So then, how do you make the stepsorward in training? Do you just believethat the years building up on each otheris enough to get aster every year?
Yes. And the biggest lesson that Ilearned, that turned it all around romthat level where we were going around9:40 and then made a jump right to thenine-hour level, was learning to dieren-
“In my second Ironman, my rst place last yearwas a lot aster than Chrissie went her secondyear. And she’s done 10 Ironman races; I’ve done three.”
—Mirinda carfrae
tiM o’donnell
tim deboom
 America’s next great Hawaii Ironman hopeul, in his rookie Kona season, gets advicerom the last American to win (2001 and 2002).
“In every picture you see o Macca he’s out there smilingaway, grinning ear to ear. So there’s got to be somethingto that. Just have un with it. And it will change you.”
 —TiM deBooM
anything. Focus on yoursel. And thinko the word “strong.” Strong on the bikeand the run—more than ast. I’d go do Austria or Frankurt, and that was ast.Man, we were fying! But Kona—it wasalways just strong. Mentally strong andphysically strong.
I think the men would have brokeneight hours by now i we paced it better.… I always preach to mysel when I’mstarting a run, even i I eel great: Holdback. Just hold back.
That was the one thing in Texas—Ielt ne at the beginning o the run.
 You usually do. I you’re trained right,you should.
My heart rate wasn’t up, I wasn’tbreathing hard. But then all o a sudden,at 18, 19 miles, the brakes went on.
When you start the run, holdyoursel back. A six-minute pace shouldeel pretty easy to run, compared towhat you’re used to, but that’s a 2:36marathon. People don’t do that inHawaii. So run 6:30s. Pull back and thenslowly build into it. I ran 2:43 there, and Istarted at a seven-minute pace.
Nutrition was my big-gest concern going into Ironman Texas[May 2011, O’Donnell’s rst ever Iron-man], and I think it will be my biggestconcern going into Kona with the heat.
My main ocus was alwaysto create a strong stomach to be able tohandle anything that’s out there.
I read that Peter Reid [three-timeKona champion] would eat a big plate o nachos beore a run. Would you do thatkind o stu?
Oh yeah. I’d go out or my second runo the day, shove a huge peanut butterand jelly sandwich in on my way outthe door, just to get used to having thatmuch ood in my stomach. I you canget through that, then you pretty muchknow you can handle anything. I don’tthink I’ve ever done an Ironman whereI haven’t thrown up, or where I haven’tthought: Oh god, here comes a cramp.
What’s the biggest dierence I needto look out or in Kona?
The hype leading into it. Turn yourInternet o once you get over there.Watch bad movies or bad TV. Don’t read
In terms o the pressure, it’s kind o the fip side or me, going in with Rinnyas the deending champ. I should maybeask Nicole [DeBoom, Tim’s wie and or-mer pro] this, but what’s that vibe like?It’s going to be a circus around her.
The best thing you can do is stepaside and take care o yoursel. As muchas you’ll want to be there or her, youcan do that back in your condo. On theoutside, you need to take care o your-sel. You’ve got to hold that energy o your own the whole time you’re in Kona.I you’re giving it out, i you’re walkingaround the expo shaking hands, all thatstu—you’re giving away energy. I you’re thinking about your competitiontoo much, you’re giving away energy. You’ve got to just hold onto that oryoursel.
I remember you said beore Texas,“It’s your rst one, just have un.” I guessit’s the same with your rst Kona.
Exactly. Have un with it. Nicoletaught me that. She’d say, “Just smile.I you’re eeling rough, smile.” It makeseverything better. I had a shitty race lastyear, but I smiled a lot more than I everhave over there. That’s what made it aworthwhile day. Every picture you seeo Macca he’s out there smiling away,grinning ear to ear. So there’s got to besomething to that. Just have un with it. And it will change you. You’ll want to doit again.

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