KATIE ZAFERES

She’s one of the fastest fe­male Olympic-dis­tance triath­letes in the world and she’s here to share her top tips for get­ting the most out of this awe­some sport!

220 Triathlon Magazine - - CONTENTS -

1 TAKE DOWN TIME AS SE­RI­OUSLY AS IN-SEA­SON

Once your sea­son is over make sure you take a cou­ple weeks off to re­set both your brain and your body. Both things need time to re­cover and get ready for the next sea­son. I al­ways make sure dur­ing this time that I dis­en­gage, and only do phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity if it’s some­thing I re­ally want to do.

2 DO YOU!

Be con­fi­dent in do­ing your own thing if it’s what’s best for you. Don’t get caught up in run­ning too fast or do­ing too much be­cause you’re com­par­ing your­self to oth­ers. If that tim­ing isn’t right for you don’t force things if the cost out­weighs the ben­e­fit.

3 GET TO KNOW YOUR BRAIN

In my opin­ion, the phys­i­cal part of triathlon is the easy part; it’s the men­tal strat­egy that re­ally dis­tin­guishes ath­letes. Get to know strate­gies to help you get the most out of your­self in train­ing, rac­ing and just life in gen­eral. This can be things from vi­su­al­i­sa­tion, med­i­ta­tion, self talk, etc. One of the things I’ve learned is the more strate­gies the bet­ter, and the more con­sis­tent work I put into this the bet­ter I be­come as an ath­lete and per­son as a whole.

4 EASY DAYS EASY, HARD DAYS HARD!

It’s easy to get caught up in want­ing to do things fast and ef­fi­ciently. How­ever, with three sports, it’s im­por­tant that on easy ses­sions you let your body re­cover so it’s pre­pared for the fo­cus ses­sion of that day/week. Run and bike at a con­ver­sa­tional pace and have re­cov­ery swims im­ple­mented through­out the train­ing pro­gramme. And when your coach, if you have one, says easy – do easy! It’ll make you bet­ter on the hard days, and add more longevity to your triathlon life!

5 STUDY UP!

With all the re­sources avail­able nowa­days you don’t have to wait un­til you get to a place to start scout­ing out the race cour­ses and venues. Get to know where you’re go­ing be­fore you ar­rive! Go through the course on Google maps so you can re­ally get to know it, I even map it out on a gmap-pe­dome­ter. com or Garmin to know el­e­va­tion gains and such. Look for places to stay that suit your needs, whether that’s be­ing close to the course or in a place where you don’t have to go far to find food and what­ever else you need. Prepa­ra­tion equals re­lax­ation upon ar­rival.

DAR­REN WHEELER

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