Mirinda Carfrae - 4 x World Champion
Episode Name: Mirinda Carfrae
On this episode of BE with Champions, host Greg Bennett interviews fellow triathlete Mirinda Carfrae. Mirinda (or “Rinny”) is an Australian triathlete who holds three Ironman world titles and an Ironman 70.3 world title, as well as many other world championship podium positions. Growing up, Mirinda loved basketball, and at age 13 she aspired to be a professional athlete. Though she didn’t end up succeeding in basketball, Mirinda had always been a natural runner, and the sport of triathlon intrigued her. She finished high school in 1998 and raced her first triathlon in 1999. The race was a short, local course, and Miranda finished third. Though she remembers feeling “horrible” during this first race, she knew she could do better and her competitive spirit came alive.
In 2001, Mirinda made the Australian junior team, and finished second in the Australian junior championships, a position that enabled her to race in the junior world championships. In 2002, she placed second in the under-23 world championships in Cancun. This race made her realize that she could make something of herself as a triathlete, so she left university to pursue triathlon full-time. After years of training and improvement, Mirinda won the 2007 70.3 Ironman world championships, gaining her a couple of small sponsorships. She went on to stand on the podium of the Ironman world championships in Kona seven times, winning first place in 2010, 2013, and 2014; second place in 2009, 2011, and 2016; and third place in 2012.
Mirinda met her husband Tim O’Donnell in 2009, and they had their daughter Izzy in 2017. Mirinda had always planned to have children after her career was over, but, after having Izzy, found that she still loved the sport and wanted to continue. While pregnant with Izzy, she stopped training, wanting to honor that her body was growing a human. After taking a full year off, Mirinda says that it took 18 months before she felt like she was running like her old self. However, she has found that her new life with Izzy is more fulfilling and energy-giving than she could have imagined.
Sleep and nutrition are two of the most important aspects of an athlete’s life. As a new mom, Mirinda tries to align her sleep schedule with Izzy’s. Since Izzy has been born, however, Mirinda tries to take less naps so she can do all of her training during the day and spend time with her family at night. Mirinda says that her family doesn’t follow a strict diet; they simply try to eat organic, non-GMO foods as often as possible. Because they train so hard, Mirinda believes that athletes should be able to eat whatever they want. She says she doesn’t deny herself ice cream or chocolate or wine, and that the only time she “diets” is when she limits those things weeks before a big race. Mirinda does take natural supplements, including a multivitamin, coenzyme q10, fish oil, vitamin D, and magnesium.
Similarly to other triathletes, Mirinda has found that the secret to a good race is mindset. In preparing for a big race, she visualized the race itself and the mindset she wants to have in that race. She strives to get her mind into a space where she is ready to hurt, and willing to take every next step. This mindset, she believes, is necessary for greatness. Though she raced in 2018 and 2019, Miranda looks forward to a comeback in 2020. For the first time, she has to qualify for the world championships, so she plans to race in the St. George Ironman in early May before returning to Kona.
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