6-5-1@SPARTA interview with Mirinda Carfrae

Edit – October 2013: She’s done it again! Rinny has just won the 2013 Ironman World Championship in Kona – which I was lucky enough to watch in person – and ran a blistering 2:50:38 to break her own run course record plus she also broke Chrissie Wellington’s course record. Her incredible run split was actually faster than men’s champion Frederick Van Lierde, making it the 1st time in history that the women’s champion ran faster than the men’s champion. Simply incredible!

Uber excited about this interview!

There is very little I can say that has not already been said about Mirinda Carfrae.

She (seemingly) burst onto the scene in 2007 when she won the 70.3 (Half Ironman) World Championship. 2 years later she stepped up and finished 2nd in her first Ironman race – breaking the run course record in her first marathon in the process – which race just so happened to be the 2009 Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

A year later she went onto win the 2010 Ironman World Championship, breaking her own run course record in the process.

The Ironman World Championships this year saw Mirinda finish 2nd and, for the 3rd year in a row, set a new run course record (which currently stands at a smokin’ 2:52:09).

Throw in over 15 other 70.3 victories & countless other races, Mirinda is changing the face of women’s triathlon – and ‘chicking’ a lot of men in the process!

Welcome to SPARTA Rinny!

1/.       What is the biggest challenge to your motivation & how do you overcome that?

I don’t have a lot of trouble with motivation, I think the reason for this is that I truly love my sport and what I am able to wake up and do every day.  But like anyone somedays you just don’t feel like busting out a hard session.

I think the key to overcoming any lack of motivation is to have a solid training and racing schedule. I try to pick races that will challenge me and in the end hopefully help me become a better athlete. I also have a few key/test sessions I will repeat in training to plot my progress throughout the year/s.  

It’s also really important to plan out a few breaks throughout the year, a week off here and there during the season isn’t going to slow you up one bit, but can really help with getting that fire inside going again. 

 2/.       Aside from training for the 3 disciplines, what other training do you do (eg, strength, stretching, core etc) and how important is it to your performance?

I don’t do any stretching but do get regular massage (1 to 2 times per week), and I try to do a little core work 3 times a week.  

I haven’t touched weights in about 5 years but am thinking about adding that into my off-season program for this upcoming season.  

Although I think you can incorporate a lot of sports specific strength training into your S/B/R training but it’s really important to make sure your core stays strong so that you have a good base to work from.

 3/.       You are one of the strongest runners – male or female – in the sport? What do you visualise or think about on the run leg?

When I am run training I do a lot of visualization.

I thinking about different races and running against particular competitors – whatever gets me fired up.  

But in races I am not really sure what I visualize. It’s like my mind is blank. I am just trying to be as efficient and fast as I can be at every moment of the race. 

 4/.       Who is the person (or people) who have had the most influence on your sporting success?

When I first started I was fortunate enough to do a couple of sessions with Loretta Harrop.

She was the first pro triathlete I had ever met and I learnt a lot just from the few sessions she let me join in with.  

She really gave me a good picture of what it takes to be the best in this sport.  

To this day I think she is the toughest athlete I have ever met.  

Looking back now I can see that I was very lucky to have met her and I think she has played a huge role in that athlete I have become – and I am not sure she even knows it.  

 5/.       If you weren’t a professional triathlete, what would you do & why?

No idea – lucky I made the cut in triathlons hey!!!  

 6/.       If you could go back in time & give one piece of advice to yourself when you were 18, what advice would that be?

This is going to sound kinda cocky but I think I was on the right track at age 18.  

I had massive ambition but realized that it would take years of consistency and hard work before I would see any results.  

The main stress back then was always money and that question ‘am I on the right track?’, “am I wasting my life on this sport?’.  

Luckily I followed my gut and stuck with the sport long enough to see some of the rewards. 

Be sure to check out Mirinda’s website or find her in the Twitterverse at @MirindaCarfrae.

Thanks for your time Rinny 🙂