Fueling The Pursuit

2x Olympic Triathlete Katie Zaferes on Adopting an Explorative Mindset

Episode Summary

We speak with 2x Olympic Triathlete Katie Zaferes about her rocky road to Tokyo--which included covid, crashes, and her father's sudden passing--and how she's adopted an "explorative mindset" for racing.

Episode Notes

“I call it an explorative mindset for racing… ‘Let's see what I can do,’ rather than, ‘This is what I need to do.’” - Katie Zaferes

Today's guest is Katie Zaferes, a two-time Olympic Games qualifier and 2019 ITU World Triathlon Series Champion.

For Katie, the road to Tokyo has been anything but smooth. We not only explore her mindset as a world class triathlete, we also talk about what’s been going on in her life since the onset of the pandemic, including the unexpected passing of her father earlier this year. 

According to Katie, it was the combination of the “try it and see what happens” attitude instilled in her from both of her parents, as well as her father’s sneaky plan to get her into triathlons, that contributed to her becoming one of the world’s best. As we talked about her current preparations for Tokyo, we got insight into how she’s taken and applied the lessons she’s learned since her disappointing finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

We’re really excited to share our conversation with Katie with the summer Olympics just a few weeks away.

Show Notes

(2:34) Three different time zones and training in Spain…

(4:00) A truly international training team…

(6:09) Grocery stores, logistics, and technology…

(9:06) How has it been in Europe with Covid regulations?

(12:22) “It's also been really cool because in 2019, almost everyone on our team had been on the podium for the world triathlon series. And in 2018 Joel had four out of six of the overall podium spots with our squad. All three men were on the podium for the overall, and then I was on it for the women. So it's a really cool squad to be a part of.”

(14:24) When competitors push you to be great...

(16:36) A community of support during a challenging time…

(19:02) “So I was like, okay, I'll do this with you, only to find out years later that he might've had a little sneaky insight that maybe I would be good at triathlon. Cause at that time I was running track and swimming and he was thinking, oh, well this could go somewhere.” A dad’s influence and a start in the sport…

(23:44) “I call it an explorative mindset for racing… ‘Let's see what I can do,’ rather than, ‘This is what I need to do.’”

(26:54) The many lessons from Rio and the benefits of a sports psychologist..

(30:07) How tools in the toolbox made a difference on the bike…

(33:19) Taking ownership and communicating effectively…

(34:21) Crashes, training, and Tokyo…

(37:55) Navigating a rocky road…


2019 Tokyo Qualifier Crash - Olympics.com

Katie's Coach Joel Filliol - website

Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor - Amazon


Katie Zaferes - website | Instagram | Facebook

Katie's fav UCAN product: Cran Raz Energy


Jon Rankin - gobemore.co | @chasejonrankin

Bryan Green - maketheleapbook.com | @maketheleapbook

Learn More:

UCAN - ucan.co | @genucan

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