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Back 2019-10-09

ZippCast Live from Kona: Mirinda Carfrae on Lessons from the Big Island

This is the first in a series of podcasts recorded live at Island Lava Java (our fave post-ride coffee and breakfast stop) in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. To start, we welcome three-time Kona champ Mirinda Carfrae. Mirinda starts by talking about her preparations for this year’s Kona World Championship.

Edited Excerpts

On final race preparations the days before Kona

“Sticking to a routine. I do the same thing I do before any race…. Monday I did a little tune-up session, hard get-outs on the bike, 4 x 5 minutes or 4 x 8 minutes at race pace or above. Then I do 4 x 3 minutes on the treadmill. It’s not much work. It’s just really a reminder that you still have to go fast! You still have to switched on and primed to tackle the race. Doing things like, having your routine, knowing what you’re going to eat is helpful.

“This is my 10th start in Kona. My first race was here in 2019, and I feel like this year for the first time I feel relaxed. I feel just grateful to have the opportunity again to come out here and race on the world stage against all of the new faces coming up in this sport.”

On lessons, in sports and life, from racing on the Big Island for a decade

“The major takeaway from this race is patience. You never know what can happen on race day. In 2014, I was 14 minutes behind the start the run and was pretty devastated to be down being the defending champion. I made a choice to just focus on putting together the best marathon I could, and I ended up having a third world title that day. Patience and persistence.”

On being married to fellow pro triathlete Timothy O’Donnell

“We both are going through similar journeys. We plan our year around this race, so we’re able to travel together. When he’s having a great race, I can celebrate that great race with him and vice versa. If we have harder times… we share those, we lift each other.”

How she deals with those demons telling her to quit when the race is at its toughest

“I have a new little mantra that I learned this year from a friend. It’s, ‘Not today, Satan.’ When that little devil pops up on your shoulder and says, ‘You need to stop. You can’t do this. This is hard’ You just say, ‘not today, Satan. That makes me smile."

Photo by BrakeThrough Media


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