American Sarah Haskins is unquestionably the top female American at the Olympic distance right now. We caught up with Haskins the day before the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis, Minn. to talk about defending her Lifetime Fitness Series Race to the Toyota Cup Championship and what her plans are leading into the 2012 London Olympics.
Competitor.com: How are you feeling about your 2010 season so far?
Haskins: I’m feeling great, but it has definitely been a busy year. I’ve done a lot of international travel, a lot more than I’ve ever done. I started off the year with a couple of non-drafting races that went well. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
Competitor.com: How difficult is it to balance the ITU World Championship Series with the Race to the Toyota Cup?
Haskins: The balance can be tricky. The key is to take it one race at a time. I make sure to stay on top of staying healthy and not getting sick. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. The fortunate thing for me is that all of the Race to the Toyota Cup races are here in the United States. It’s nice to race at home.
Competitor.com: Does your training differ if you’re preparing for a drafting race versus a non-drafting race?
Haskins: There’s a little bit of a difference in preparation. Before a non-drafting race I’ll get on my TT bike and ride. Sometimes it’s only a week before the race, which isn’t ideal. As far as everything else, the preparation is very similar. For an ITU race I’ll do a little bit more high intensity on the bike and more surges on the run. Non-drafting racing is more steady. I truly feel that non-drafting races provide a good base to get ready to go into a training block for a draft-legal base. It will make you very strong. That base is helpful going into the high intensity jumps on the bike and the run.
Competitor.com: What is the biggest key in staying healthy with all of the racing and traveling that you’re doing?
Haskins: For me I have to make sure that I’m recovering properly. When I get back from a race, especially international, I just get really tired. So, I have to make sure that I don’t get back into it too quickly. Also, nutrition is really important. If I’m feeling like I have something hurting me I see a sports therapist right away. I also make sure to include lots of stretching and strength training.
Competitor.com: What’s the plan for the rest of 2010 and leading into the London Olympics in 2012?
Haskins: The rest of this year I want to try to defend my Toyota Cup Series Title and finish well in the ITU World Championship Series. I’m fourth right now, but there are two women that haven’t done all of the races, so I’d say I’m more like sixth. I want to finish with a great score. I really want to focus on winning a medal in 2012. For that reason I’m going to cut down on international travel a little bit because we have a trials race in London next year. That race will be an A race for me. I will use more of the non-drafting races here in the United States a little more frequently as key races instead of having to travel so much.