Exclusive interview: Ironman 70.3 World Champion Daniela Ryf
AsiaTRI: How do you see the role of the former ITU athletes in the long distance races from now on?
Daniela Ryf: I believe ITU racing helped these athletes to build up a good fitness and speed. Going long still is quite a difference, but even doing Olympic Distance the training volume is not much less than doing long distance. So I believe that’s why it’s the perfect background to come from ITU racing.
AsiaTRI: Do you think the Ironman races will also change a lot like the 70.3 races?
Daniela Ryf: I believe I can’t answer this question yet. I have only done 2 Ironman and have no idea how the whole Ironman scene roles. Last year was the first year I watched some of the race in Kona, but I barely knew any athletes, as before that I have not given many thoughts about Ironman. I believe it’s a great sport and it has the potential to grow extremely. Every person likes to be fit, even some might not adjust it, cause they are too lazy to get into sports. To do a triathlon seems to be the trend to find motivation to get fit. This is a great way to go.
AsiaTRI: You’re still very young but decided to move from ITU to long distance. Why?
Daniela Ryf: I always liked the non drafting races. 5150 are a great format. I didn’t really decide to go long, it just happened. I did IM Zurich as an experiment, as my coach always told me I have been playing in the wrong sandpit. IM Zurich turned out great and I was surprised how well I coped with the distance and recovery. I still like 70.3 better, as you can go all out from the start and in IM you really have to pace yourself a little, as I’m not fit enough yet to go hard from the start. But I can’t wait till I’m ready to go hard from the start.
AsiaTRI: Do you intend to race in ITU short races again?
Daniela Ryf: I have no plans yet. My focus is on the next 4 weeks and then I wil sit down with my coach and we decide what’s the next challenge.
AsiaTRI: Let’s talk about your incredible race series. You won 2 Ironman, 2 70.3 and one 5150 in 2 months. How did you manage your body’s fatigue between those races?
Daniela Ryf: I was lucky to not have any muscle problems and was healthy. I believe cause I was so fit, I could recover from it quite well. The training between those races has been quite constant and I was actually surprised myself, how quickly I recovered. I believe it took me longer for my head to recover from the surprising success, than the actual physical effort.
AsiaTRI: For you, what’s the difference of racing an Olympics and a long distance world champs?
Daniela Ryf: Olympics is every 4 year, Worlds every year. Going to the Olympics was a great experience, meeting other athletes from other sports and the Olympic village was really something special.
In long distance the pros are racing with all the Age Group athletes, which makes it a very unique atmosphere.
Going to Beijing and London everything was planned by the federation. Going to Kona you plan your own trip, which is kind of exiting.
I am looking forward to see how the experience in Kona will be like.
AsiaTRI: What’s gonna be your final preparation to Kona?
Daniela Ryf: I’m going to Cozumel (Mexico) for a training camp and then fly straight to Kona.
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