Surely you have heard of the Zwift Academy Tri team by now, right?Maybe not?
Well, at least you have heard of ZWIFT!? RIGHT!?
Virtual train and race your way to KOM in their make believe cycling hell, I mean world. Personally it's been my go to for winter, and will remain my go to during the season week rides for various reason, but this post isn't about me.
It's about Rachael Norfleet!
The ONLY American on the team of ONLY 4 PEOPLE!!!
Here's the low down of the app process and what the final team gets.
" If you’re looking to podium at Kona, we’re looking for you. Apply to join our team backed by Specialized, share your training journey with Zwift, and make it to race day at the IRONMAN World Championships. As one of four members on our elite amateur race team, you’ll have access to unprecedented support from our partner: Specialized will provide bikes, helmets, clothing, cycling shoes, and accessories. We’ll fly you to their wind tunnel in Morgan Hill for aero testing and a bike fit to ensure no watts are left on the road. Once you qualify for the IRONMAN World Championships, we will go even farther by covering your entry fee, flights, and lodging. It doesn’t stop there — you’ll also fine tune your training with race-proven mentoring from Lucy Charles, together with access to world-class coaching advice from Tim Don. Applications close March 18."
Neither is Rachael.
She's coming off a breakout year racing 70.3 Worlds in Chattanooga in 2017 (5:09) and the IM World Championship in Kona ALREADY in 2015. Her time at Boulder 70.3 in 2017 of 4:42 is getting down right speedy. She's up next at IRONMAN Santa Rosa on May 12th, skipping college graduation weekend. But hey, she still gets the degree.
And, since I live in KC and have ran several races with her and bumped into her here and there, I thought I'd reach out and share some insight into what makes this 24 year old endurance athlete tick.
Sit back and enjoy the Fast 11 with Rachael Norfleet:
- Who's was your Childhood inspiration? My sister. She still is.
- What's your favorite race? Favorite race distance is 70.3.. Favorite race in general is any race my parents are able to come to. I love having them with me on race day (no matter how old I get!)
- What's your favorite post race treat? Ice cold beer no question and Lays potato chips.
- What do you hate about racing? The clean up that comes afterwards... Getting your bike from transition when you're tired... Washing your bike, bottles, kit ect. Finding GU in your jersey pockets.. Sometimes months later lol
- Tip each for swim, bike and run that's helped you improve the most. Across the board: Consistency. Swim: Stroke work all. the. time. An efficient stroke is a fast stroke. Bike: Develop a large range of cadence. Widening my range of has given me a lot greater ability as a cyclist. Run: Run all of the paces. All of the surfaces. All of the grades. Variation is your friend!
- Does training improve or sink your love life? Definitely both. Steve and I are constantly finding balance. He tried to coach me once. That definitely sank our love life haha. We train a lot together so it is a great way we are able to spend time with one another. We just do our best to support one another and it usually helps to improve our love life!
- What’s your most embarrassing career/race moment? Oh man definitely putting my wetsuit on backwards at my first race
- How do you push yourself through the pain? I always think about the time I spend away from my family and friends to train and race. I figure if I am going to take that time, I am going to make the most of it and give the best I can to it weather it is a training session or a race.
- Is winning everything? Winning to me is knowing I did my best. Any day I can walk away feeling that, I've won!! So... yes! :)
- Two of the biggest lessons learned from overall training perspective to make the transition to a KQ speed and endurance? I’m not sure I ever “made a transition” but I think, even as certain components of training have changed with time, I’ve always held true to a few core principles. - be consistent - do your best - show up (physically & mentally) - be good to your body (sleep, food, recovery and balance have always been a crucial pieces for me!)
- Biggest tip after racing IM 70.3 Worlds in Chattanooga to help 2018 athletes get the best race even though the courses are different, but same climate? Love the hills. Befriend the pain!!
There you have it! More insight into Rachael. Thanks for reading. As always, if you want to connect more, look up www.SetThePaceTriathlon.com and/or sign up for the email newsletter!