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Svelte Loves Strong Women: Kelsey Withrow

December 8, 2014

Svelte Loves Kelsey Withrow, TriathleteKelsey Withrow is an inspirational triathlete and mountain biker. She has competed all over the world and has won many awards for her athletic ability. Svelte loves Kelsey Withrow for being such a dedicated and powerful athlete, even when she faces adversity.

We asked Kelsey a few questions to help us understand what inspires her.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? When did you discover you wanted to be an athlete?
I grew up in Seattle, Washington as a swimmer and runner. From the age of 6, I was extremely dedicated to sport with the main goal of becoming an Olympian. My parents would drive me to the swimming pool twice a day until I got my license and there would be times during the season I would swim three times a day.

At the end of senior year of high school, I got pulled into the sport of triathlon. I quickly rose through the junior ranks and was invited to live and train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado as a member of the U.S. National Team. At the time, I had committed to swim on scholarship for a Division 1 University, so the following year I made the move to Colorado.

I spent 5 years at the OTC in hopes of making the Olympic Team. Unfortunately, a broken hip kept me from training to my full potential and I didn’t make the team. While running was my weakest link after getting injured, I started bike racing. In 2012, I got my pro license in mountain biking and started racing for the elite women’s domestic team DNA/K4 Racing. This season, I’m focusing on half and full Ironman Competitions in hopes of making it to the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

What is your best nutrition advice for active people?
I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with several nutritionists in my career. I follow a strict vegetarian diet, so making sure I get proper nutrition is very important.

I suggest always bringing a healthy snack, like a Svelte shake, to have after a workout. It has the perfect combination of fat, carbohydrates and protein, and they are super tasty.

What’s your favorite healthy snack?
Lately, I have been super into homemade oatmeal protein banana bread. I take it with me on long bike rides as it keeps me fueled and satisfied.

Preheat oven to 375
Mix all contents into large bowl
2 cups of old fashion oats
3 ripe bananas
2 scoops of protein powder or ¾ cup Svelte shake
½ cup raisins or walnuts (optional)
1 spoonful of almond butter (optional)
1tsp baking powder
2 eggs
Pour into bread pan
Bake 25-30 min

What does a typical day look like for you?
I always start the day with a few cups of good coffee. Then, I complete my first of 3 workouts. I work all day on the weekends so most of my quality training is done throughout the week. If I have time, I also enjoy having coffee dates with friends and going to the beach to surf.

Cardio versus Strength Training is a hot topic. How do you strike a balance in your training schedule?
In the past, I’ve put my focus on mostly cardio training. But as I get older, I’m realizing the importance of strength and keeping bone density levels up. I hit the gym at least 3 times a week for lifting and try to do core work everyday. Training for the Ironman requires a lot of strength and endurance.

What are your favorite workouts?
I love to do big days on the bike. A few weeks ago, I rode from Santa Cruz to Fairfax; 125 miles one way; and back the next day. Last week, I rode to the Big Sur Bakery and back home, which was 130 miles. I also like shredding on my mountain bike in the forest. It’s so fun to get lost and explore new trails.

Do you have any suggestions for monitoring health and fitness progress while training?
I suggest getting a coach if you are a competing athlete or a personal trainer if you are looking to stay in shape. It’s always easier to train if you have someone to report to. Also keep a training log or diary. I’m very specific in my workout details so I can see the progress I’ve made or my coach can make necessary changes to help me move forward.

What struggle(s) have you encountered in your athletic career?
In May, just before my race season began, I was hit by a truck while cycling. I was life-flighted to the Stanford ICU Trauma Center where I stayed for several days. I broke 5 ribs, 2 toes, 3 fingers, shattered my hand and had terrible road rash.

Throughout this whole ordeal, I stayed positive, hoping to inspire others not to give up when things get bad. I’m still in the process of getting my body back to one hundred percent, but with the help of my awesome coach Torsten Abel, I am confident I will be ready for 2015.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
2nd place at Canadian Pro Nationals 2004
4 time Junior/U23 National Champion
Junior Duathlete of the year-2001
4 time USA World Championship Team member
10k Open Water National Champion
USMS All American
1st 2012 Rainbow Cup International Triathlon-Tobago, W.I

Do you have any questions for Kelsey or want to know more about being a triathlete? Leave a comment below or head over to our Facebook page!

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