World-class triathlete Timothy O’Donnell is in Kansas City to kick off the Garmin Marathon tomorrow morning. Before the race begins, Tim took time to answer questions about his journey to the top of his sport and inspired many at Garmin Headquarters before the big race tomorrow.
Which sport do you enjoy the most out of the three disciplines? I love running. I was a swimmer growing up. Now I do the minimum amount of swimming to stay in that front pack of racers. I used to hate running when I started and I didn’t start running until college. It’s therapeutic for me now. I just love getting out there and soaking up the mountains when I’m at home in Boulder. It’s a nice way to relax a little bit.
What motivated you to pursue becoming a professional athlete? I started doing triathlons when I was in college and I fell in love with the sport. It really wasn’t until a few years later that I realized I could do this professionally. It wasn’t so much about being a professional athlete as it was doing something that I love for a career. I think loving what you do is pretty special. I don’t think everybody gets to do that.
What do you do to get mentally prepared for these races? The mental side of Ironman is probably the toughest of them all. When it comes down to it, everybody’s fit and everybody’s ready to go. I do a lot of visualization and self-meditation. It’s such a long day that you have to break everything down. The biggest thing is to just stay in the moment.
When you’re tired at any point in the race, is there anything particular that helps bring you back around to perform better? It’s really just getting back to the basics. I think about form, whether it’s relaxing my shoulders or figuring out my cadence. I think when you make it simple on your mind it takes away the distractions and brings you back to what you need to focus on.
What has stood out to you about the Forerunner 920XT that’s supporting your training to get to the next level? I really love the features, like the Ground Contact Time, where I can get any extra data. It’s neat to see how the body the changes whether you’re tired or whether you are doing intervals. Having a couple more data points to focus on is always fun.
Tim is preparing for a big race himself as he will be competing in another Ironman in the beginning of May. Make sure you click here to follow him on Twitter to follow his progress!