She’s a two time Ironman World Champion, a course record holder, and owns the fastest Kona marathon record. Also, she “handily” won Challenge Roth this year.
Say anything you want about our next SBR.ph In[FOCUS] Pro Edition feature because for us, she’s now the undisputed Queen of Kona.
Without further ado, the reigning Ironman World Champion herself, Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae!
In a super-duper-konafragilistic SBR.ph exclusive.We’re still getting goosebumps talking to her and calling her Rinny :P
PS: She’s also our 2013 SBR.ph Annual Awards Women’s Elite Triathlete of the Year (Foreign Category)
SBR.ph : We still cannot not believe we’re saying this, but here it goes! Welcome to SBR.ph, Rinny! A absolutely HUGE honor having you here. Thanks for the time! We know you’re busy preparing for Kona. Anything you want to say to your Filipino fans and everyone who voted for you in our 2013 SBR.ph Annual Awards?
Rinny : Wow – thank you so much for voting for me, it’s a honor to receive the women’s elite triathlete of the year award.
SBR.ph : We will find a way to get you that trophy, Rinny! But first of all, congratulations for winning Challenge Roth! 3 Filipino’s also joined Roth this year (I was the 4th one supposedly, but wasn’t able to!). They always say Roth is a “fast” course. Is it really? Tell us about your race there.
Rinny : Roth is a pretty fast course, the awesome racing weather (although they had a heat wave this year) combined with the super smooth undulating roads on the bike and the softer run surface on the run which doesn’t’ beat up your legs as much as running on concrete or pavement make for some fast times. I was super pleased with my day in Roth, having never done a long distance triathlon in the middle of the year I really wasn’t sure what to expect, I knew I was in pretty good shape but still building my fitness towards Kona. With the incredible field assembled I knew it would take an exceptional performance to win the race.. To be honest I was mostly focused on enjoying the event and everything it had to offer – Roth truly is a special race. The challenge family do an amazing job with that race every year. Obviously I was over the moon with the result, was amazing to run into the stadium in first place and be greeted by the 10,000 fans.. Definitely a special moment I will remember for a long time.
SBR.ph : Among the following, which victory is more special to you and why? Challenge Roth, your first Ironman Kona victory, and your second Kona win?
Rinny : Wow super tough to pick which was more special, they were all AMAZING days. I would have to say the my 2nd Kona world title would be the most special because when I crossed the finish line I was greeted by my fiancé who also had a great race & we were only 2 months away from getting married. The things that make races most special are the people you get to share them with.
SBR.ph : This is the first time you’ve done a full I.M. distance this close to Kona, including Ironman St. Croix. Is that part of your Kona prep for this year?
Rinny : St Croix was only a 70.3 distance. But yes Roth is the first time I have done a full in the middle of the year. It’s a race I have wanted to compete in for many years and after winning the world title in Kona in 2013 I thought I would be a great opportunity to try some different races – Roth was at the top of my must do list.. It’s been a different preparation this year but I feel confident that I am again in good shape for Kona.. But time will tell.
SBR.ph : It’s well documented that you switched coaches a few months after your first Kona victory and went back to Siri Lindley after a year and a half. What made you decide to go back to Siri?
Rinny : It was actually in 2011 after I finished 2nd in Kona that I decided to step away from Siri’s program and seek advice from some different coaches, I just felt that I needed to go out on my own for a little while and learn some different approaches to training. It was a fantastic learning experience that I believe has made me a better athlete. But in the end I felt that I was always at my best when working with Siri – we have a special connection that goes beyond triathlon.
SBR.ph : Triathlon is really starting to grow here in the Philippines. In fact, next year we’ll have at least 9 half-ironman distance races! That includes two from Challenge and two from the Ironman brand. Any chance we’ll get to see you race here in the Philippines? :) I think most of us would prefer seeing you in person than your life sized cardboard image next to the Felt IA display at the Ironman 70.3 Philippines expo.
Rinny : I would absolutely love to race in the Phillippines, I have actually never been there and am always looking for new places to visit. It’s just tough (and expensive) to make the trip from the US where I base for most of the year.
SBR.ph : Ha! We’ll make sure someone reads this and gets in touch with you You’ve won Challenge Roth, countless 70.3’s, and Kona two times. Including a course record and a marathon record last year. What’s next for Rinny? Should we expect a Kona back-to-back this year?
Rinny : I am just striving to be the best athlete I can be, I still think I can improve on my performance, hopefully that will mean another world title.
SBR.ph : You do a lot travelling for races, sponsorship commitments and the likes. How do you balance everything including your personal life? More importantly, how do you get your training in?
Rinny : It is a very delicate balance, luckily my husband is on the same path as me so we get to travel together most of the time. Sponsorship commitments are very important but we try to schedule them around my training schedule and in the offseason.. Training needs to be the number one priority but unfortunately sometimes it has to take a back seat to other commitments. We just try to be smart with our scheduling so that missed training sessions are limited.
SBR.ph : A lot of Filipino athletes are doing Ironman Langkawi this year. What advice can you give those pain seekers doing the full monty for the first time? Being a multiple 70.3 champion, how different is the training for an Ironman compared to a 70.3? Which is harder?
Rinny : IM is so much harder – you can’t even compare it to a 70.3. 70.3’s are closer to Olympic distance events. You can get through them on much less training. There is no hiding in IM, nutrition becomes so much more important, the number one advice I can give is to figure out your nutrition strategy and practice it in training as much as possible.
SBR.ph : It’s not everyday that we get to talk to an absolute legend and a two time Ironman World Champion. Can you give us a peek of what your typical 1 week training block looks like? I’m sure all our readers would like to have a glimpse of how a world champion trains!
Rinny : A typical week would mean about 30 hours of training, I swim 6 days a week, ride 4-5 days per week and run 6 days per week. Plus 2 strength sessions and at least 1 massage. Not all sessions are hard, I’d probably do 2 quality sessions of each discipline per week the rest is base training or recovery.
SBR.ph : Nutrition is one of the toughest things to nail in an Ironman. We’ve never seen you run with a hydration pack. When I last did an Ironman, I had a banana with me, at least 10 gels, and probably 2-3 energy bars! In short, I looked like an Ironman buffet table Do you just always rely on on-course nutrition? Without giving too much away, how to you stock up and refuel during a race?
Rinny : I try to super compensate on the bike so that I start the run with the least nutrition deficit. But you still need calories to get through the run so I carry 2 gu flasks with 3 pineapple roctane gu’s in each – I sip these throughout the marathon and take on as much water and coke as I can from the aid stations during the run.
SBR.ph : Who do you think is your biggest threat in Kona this year?
Rinny : Where do I start – there are about 10 women who I think could take the title on their day.. A few that come to mind are Rachel Joyce, Jodie Swallow, Daniella Ryf, Carolyn Steffen, Mary-Beth Ellis, Meredith Kessler.. The list goes on!!!
SBR.ph : Talk to us about your sponsors for the 2014 season. We noticed that you have a new shoe sponsor :). Also, you were quoted as saying “after riding 650’s in Kona this year I wouldn’t go back to 700c”. Now you’re riding a 700c size 48 Felt IA. What’s the reason for the switch? We miss your huge 58t chainring!
Rinny : HA!! Yeah Felt created a super bike – the IA – and it was only made with 700c wheels.. I loved my 650c bike but we took my Felt DA with 650c wheels into the wind tunnel and compared it to the Felt IA with 700c wheels.. The IA was so much faster and more importantly I was able to get into the same position as I was in on the DA 650c bike.. So I chose the faster bike & I LOVE it. Felt truly outdid themselves when building this bike. It’s fast in wind, handles extremely well and looks super cool..
SBR.ph : Any last words to your Filipino fans?
Rinny : I really hope to get to the Philippines in the near future to meet you all! Sending my love to all you beautiful people.
SBR.ph : Thanks for the time, Rinny! Good luck in Kona! We’ll be rooting for you!
Images Sourced with Permission From Rinny’s Social Media.