Known for her spectacular come-from-behind victories and blistering marathon pace, Australian triathlete Mirinda Carfrae (34) has become one of the biggest names in triathlon. Not only has she podiumed in all six of her showings at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, but she literally ran away with the title three times.
ACTIVE.com caught up with the reining IRONMAN World Champion and talked with her about her new partner, PEAR Sports; the pressure of returning to Kona; the changes in women's racing and the recent doping scandals in cycling and track and field.
ACTIVE.com: How did you get involved with PEAR and how does it feel to be on a team with Matt Fitzgerald and Jenny Hadfield?
MC: I stumbled across the software maybe a year ago--I just sort of heard about it through friends. Christian Schauf works over at PEAR and he explained what the software does, and we started talking about potentially working together. I get requests from people all the time asking how I train and what my sessions look like, and it just makes sense to work with PEAR and get those sessions out into the triathlon public [to] let them try it out for themselves.
ACTIVE.com: So how does PEAR differ from other fitness trackers on the market?
MC: It's cutting edge--it syncs with your heart rate monitor, and the software will come [on] and say whether you're working too hard or too easy. If you're using one of my sessions, my voice will come up and will tell you to slow down if you're in Zone 3 and you need to come down to Zone 2 to complete the workout properly. I'm not aware of any other products that are that interactive. I think for a lot of people that haven't known any coaches, to have access to this for 99 cents--to go out and do a great run session--is a great opportunity and great product. They're coming out with more updates for the bike, too.
ACTIVE.com: Who is your target audience? Is it more for accomplished triathletes, or is it for someone who is just starting the sport?
MC: For my workouts, I've got some really entry-level workouts, but a lot of my run sessions are really advanced. I want to offer advanced triathletes and runners some sessions similar to what I do, but also, I'd like to be able to cater to the triathlon newcomer so that it's not too overwhelming. Right now, I only have three or four sessions available, and I'm hoping to get some time after Kona this year to lay down a few more tracks. The response so far has been pretty good, and we've only just announced last week that I've partnered with them. We've had happy customers so far, so I think we can do a lot more.
ACTIVE.com: I'm sure you're getting ready for the 70.3 World Championship in Austria right now. How has your prep been and how are you feeling?
MC: Well actually, I'm not going to Austria after all. About four weeks ago, my coach pulled me aside and looked at the travel and my training plan, and it just makes more sense to stay home and do a local race instead of going to Europe. As much as I'd love to go to Europe and race the 70.3 World Championships, it's not my big goal, and it's very hard to go into a world championship event without that actual hunger for the title. For me, I have that [hunger] for Kona, and I don't have that for 70.3 Worlds. It's almost disrespectful to go over there and compete knowing that it's not a race I'm super exited about and really gunning for. I'm going to do the Des Moines triathlon five weeks before Kona. I kind of like that timing, and it's an easy trip from Denver to Des Moines.