The sprightly Aussie, Mirinda Carfrae, returns for her fifth appearance at the Rev3 Quassy event. We chatted with this world champion on the appeal of Rev3 races, advice for age groupers to succeed at Quassy (along with a workout) and her goals for this year’s race.
Rev3: Congrats on this being your fifth time in Quassy. What is your favorite part of this race?
Carfrae: Thanks so much! I can’t believe it’s my fifth year already. I must be getting old! I love this race because it usually draws the best half-distance athletes, which always makes for a fantastic race. It’s also a very tough course; there is no hiding out there on the bike or run. The hills are relentless, to say the least, which makes for a tough day of racing for everyone. If you haven’t prepared properly, then this is a race that will definitely show your weaknesses.
Carfrae: Rev3 does a great job at creating an environment that feels friendly. You can bring your family and friends along to watch and know they will have things to do during the down time in races when you are out on the bike or run course. They also do a great job at looking after the pros—giving us our own area to rack our bikes is something relatively small but can enhance our experience at the races immensely.
Rev3: Do you remember what year you had your best race and why?
Carfrae: My best year would have to be the year I beat the Dibmaster (Julie Dibens)… not sure when that was, maybe 2010? Julie always brings out my A game and that day I definitely had a good one. Everything came together just the way I had hoped. It also didn’t hurt that Julie packed her walking boots for the run; unfortunately she didn’t make that same mistake in 2011 when she came back to show me who’s boss.
Rev3: What is your goal for Quassy this year?
Carfrae: Every year the aim is to try and win the race. Obviously there are variables outside of your control like other athletes just being faster than you on the day. So outside of winning I would be happy with a solid performance across all three disciplines. If I can do that, then I know I am on the right track for races later in the year.
Rev3: Have you been doing any special preparation for it?
Carfrae: No specific training just for Quassy. This time of year I am just laying down the foundation for the year…getting back into shape and addressing any imbalances. I will definitely do a couple of key run and bike sessions specifically for this race once I get a little closer to the event.
Rev3: What is the most challenging part of the course that age groupers should be aware of?
Carfrae: I think the last three miles of the run are the most challenging. I find that last section quite tough every time I do it. I think the reason for this is that mentally you feel like you are so close to finishing since you run right by the transition area, but three miles is still quite a long way and it’s not an easy three miles. The last hill is an absolute killer. If you can get through this run without the wheels coming off, then you are definitely in fantastic shape.
Rev3: What are recommendations you have for age groupers to have a successful race at Quassy?
Carfrae: PACE YOURSELF and mentally prepare to suffer. This course is no joke from the moment the gun goes off to the second you cross that finish line; you will earn your stripes at this half. I would also recommend doing some hilly run sessions. There isn’t much of the run that is flat. Uphill and downhill running is different from running the flats, so make sure you have spent some time in the hills.
Rev3: Any specific workout regime they could do leading up to the event?
Carfrae: Find a hilly road or trail to run on. I believe build runs are extremely relevant to what we are doing, so I would suggest a 45 minute build as follows:
Warm up 20 mins with some strides
15 mins at IM pace or easier
15 mins at slightly slower than half pace
15 mins best average pace
Warm down as you feel
(Watch the video below to see Julie Dibens in her walking boots- 2:45 on the video)