March 29, 2020

Episode 10: Triathlon Legend Karen Smyers

Episode 10: Triathlon Legend Karen Smyers

Today’s guest, Karen Smyers, is a triathlon legend. With a pro career that lasted from 1985-2011, Karen has achieved many of the highest accolades the sport has to offer. Some of these achievements include being a 3x winner of the ITU World Champions...


Today’s guest, Karen Smyers, is a triathlon legend. With a pro career that lasted from 1985-2011, Karen has achieved many of the highest accolades the sport has to offer. Some of these achievements include being a 3x winner of the ITU World Championships, a Pan American Games Gold Medalist, and a dramatic come-from-behind victory at the 1995 Ironman World Championships. In order to have as long of a pro career as she did, she also had to battle through a freak storm window accident, being struck by an 18-wheeler, and thyroid cancer. In my interview with Karen, we discuss how she got into triathlon and endurance sports, her training routine and thoughts around nutrition (including an interesting pre-race beer taper), and of course some of her major achievements and how she persevered through so much hardship.

Timestamps

00:02:42 Athletic background and becoming a pro

00:15:28 First triathlon experience, strengths in triathlon

00:27:17 Pre-race warm-up routine, stretching and foam rolling

00:36:50 Over-training

00:40:13 3,2,1 beer taper

00:45:27 Fitness wearables/devices

00:54:16 Diet and nutrition

01:06:19 Nerves before racing

01:12:36 Most challenging race in her career

01:20:50 1995 Ironman World Championships

01:34:13 Storm window accident and starting a family

01:37:37 Getting hit by an 18-wheeler and thyroid cancer

01:55:50 Advice for aspiring pro triathletes

02:00:52 Daily routine

02:06:50 What's kept her driven as an athlete

02:10:33 Advice for a first-time endurance athlete