Australia’s all-conquering Kona queen Mirinda ‘Rinny’ Carfrae believes that she ‘still hasn’t reached her ceiling’ in terms of performance, and plans to keep returning to the Big Island.
Replying to a 220 reader’s question in our live Q&A last night on what her next goals will be in triathlon, she said: “My goal has always been to try and find my potential in this sport and particularly in Kona. I still don’t feel that I have reached my ceiling and while I feel that way will continue to return to Kona and see how fast I can go! You can never have too many world titles.”
She also admitted that she feels the pressure improve her swim and bike to the point where they match her stellar run (Rinny reached T2 more than 14mins behind the leader in Kona this year), saying: “Definitely don’t want to find myself that far back off the bike again anytime soon.”
Reader Stephen Collins asked what many of us were wondering – just how does she push through the pain barrier? What are her mental strategies?
“Honestly it’s become second nature to push through the struggles in training and in racing. We as endurance athletes are masters at pain management. I don’t have any super secrets here, just the fact that I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I gave into the pain.
“It does help to focus on the little things when the going get’s really tough.. breathing, pacing, hydrating & fueling properly.. Fill your mind with productive thoughts and there will be little room to focus on the pain.”
Favourite run workouts and nutrition
“Don’t tell my coach I told you this and it’s just between you and me right… I love a set of 20 x 3mins on the treadmill or 20 x 800m on the track. When I can nail this session and still feel fine at the end of the session I know I am getting close to Kona shape.”
On the subject of nutrition, ultrarunner Ruth Goddard in Kent wanted to know if Rinny has days off in terms of nutrition, and what her favourite treats are. “Us IM athletes love our treats and like you ultra-marathoners have earned them,” Rinny replied. “I eat ice cream most days and at least one glass of wine per day..
“Actually there isn’t much that’s off limits during the season. Half the battle is keeping the weight on when you are racking up the training hours. The only time I do have a restriction is about 6-8 weeks out form Kona. I cut all wine and ice cream from my diet. It’s more a mental shift that helps get me into race mode.”
And finally, one bike kit question came in from a fellow Felt IA owner – why didn’t she use electronic Di2 shifting in Hawaii? “Well you don’t really need electronic groupo for Kona since there isn’t much out of the saddle climbing – plus I am a proud Zipp/SRAM athlete and am patiently waiting for them to release their electronic TT sets. Great choice on bike by the way – the IA is by far the best bike I have ever ridden.”
(Images: Paul Phillips)
Thanks to everyone who sent in questions, and to Mirinda for kindly agreeing to take part!