We seek out information from only the highest quality of sources. In this interview, we had some questions from the newer triathletes coming out of high school and collegiate athletic programs. Pro Triathlete Kelsey Withrow, seasoned ITU Pro and Cat 1 cyclist of Park City, Utah, answered some of these questions for us!
AN INTERVIEW WITH A PRO
Q: What is your largest advice for the new college-aged individual looking to get into triathlon with intentions of gaining elite status?
A: Never give up. You will have good years and bad years but the biggest part is just not letting those bad races get to you. You will have two or three bad races or even a bad season but you have to keep the bigger picture in mind and stay goal-focused.
Q: The swim freaks a lot of newcomers out, especially those with no swimming experience, let alone open water experience. What is your advice for these athletes?
A: It’s pretty easy, swim as much as possible and try to link up with a coach who can help you with your form. I believe in training your weakness! If that means swimming four, five, or even six times per week then you have to do it! Maintaining a balance in the three sports is so critical, and you definitely want to make sure you bring any areas you are deficient in up to speed or you won’t have a race!
Q: If you were to recommend specific skill sets or drills for young triathletes to do more often to prepare for ITU, Draft-Legal style racing, what would they be?
A: I would definitely recommend mounting and dismounting the bike as well as jumps, or pickups while on the bike. You have to deal with very rapid changes of pace in the bike leg of an ITU race when another athlete may attack or it is your turn in the pace line. It is critical to be able to keep up with these movements.
Q: With that being said, would you recommend these athletes get involved with doing a bike race or two per year to increase skills?
A: More than that actually, I would recommend they do as many as they can. You are able to develop so much confidence in cornering, pack riding, and movement around others through racing. It can even be something as simple as the local weekly crit series but it definitely pays off when it comes time to race draft-legal events. That confidence is key.