After a standout collegiate career in both swimming and cross country running, Gwen Jorgensen (USA) wasted no time blasting onto the international triathlon scene when she switched to the sport. Just two years after competing in her first competitive triathlon, Jorgensen earned silver in a World Triathlon Series race and claimed a spot on the 2012 US Olympic Team. This year she has continued to make waves when she became the first American woman to win a WTS race with a blistering race in San Diego.
What has been your favourite ITU race so far?
“Because I’m so new almost every race is new and exciting and fun. I really enjoyed the Tiszaujvaros World Cup. The crowd and atmosphere is just incredible, lots of fans. The whole town shuts down for the one-day event and it was also my first World Cup win so it was a pretty exciting day.”
Tell me about your very first triathlon…
“I did a local race in high school with one of my friends on a mountain bike. That was technically my first triathlon. My first triathlon after that was in 2010 in Claremont, Florida. It was an elite development race through USA Triathlon. I went into that race and didn’t have as good of a result as I wanted to. I had kinda been prepping for it for a few months and that’s when I really got the itch and decided I wanted to really focus more on triathlon.”
Where do you want to be in five years?
“In triathlon my big goal is Rio 2016 and so everything I do in triathlon leading up to that will just be focusing on that. I think it’s really important to have outside hobbies. Right now I have a huge passion for food. I love making food, trying new foods, things like that. I’m going to try to enjoy everything that comes with triathlon in the next few years. I mean, I get to travel to some of the most iconic places in the world. It’s amazing to have that and get to experience different cultures, I just want to experience that as much as I can.”
Favourite training destination? Wisconsin
Best holiday destination? Italy
Do you have a favourite motivation song? I don’t have an ipod or anything
Favourite blowout food? Peanut butter and ice cream
Best coffee? I’m not a coffee snob, I will even drink instant coffee.
What’s your favourite and least favourite training drill?
“Every day you are working on something. In every session you are focusing on at least one thing you need to improve on. I think that’s what’s exciting about the sport. There are so many things to focus on, so I don’t know if I have one favourite. Anything I’m bad at, I probably don’t want to do. But when I finish working on it I’m always excited that I’ve done it and I’m happy.”
What’s the number one triathlon tip you would give to age-group athletes?
“I think it’s really important to set a goal. Then once you have that goal, work around that. Be realistic, you know if you have to work 40-50 hours a week, know that going in and know what’s manageable. After that, make it fun.”