Our athlete of the week is Jenna Free! Jenna trains with the Youth High Performance team, and has been with Endorphin Fitness for the past four years. Her growth as an athlete has been amazing to watch. Her first results of the season, a perfectly executed race the East Coast Triathlon Festival, were awesome to see. But her season began long before that with diligent practice and conditioning.
Jenna started doing triathlons at the age of seven, and began training in triathlon and cycling. Even from a young age, she raced and looked forward to the start of every season. Jenna says that EF teaches her to be disciplined and focused during her workouts even when her schedule is tight around exams or holiday breaks. However, the reward of finishing a workout pushes her through. Through all of this, Jenna says that EF has helped by making her feel like family, and giving her every opportunity to perform at her best in and outside of sports.
Jenna races at the youth elite race distance currently, but her goals this seasons are to complete an adult sprint length, and improve her transition and run times. She plans on racing junior elite as well as the full sprint distance this season.
Her most challenging race was in the Iowa qualifier in 2017. She says that she didn’t feel well and dreaded the race in many ways, and ended up doing poorly. However, she learned from this that your attitude going into a race can have a huge impact on your performance. Keeping that in mind, one of her best races was in Claremont, where she nailed two races and felt extremely proud about the outcome. She says that this feeling drives her to practice and focus on training even when the last thing she feels like doing is working out.
What makes it all worth it for Jenna is the feeling immediately after finishing a race. She says that the feeling of coming down to the finish line, when her tank feels empty but then finding that last push to sprint through the finish line is what makes her feel proud and accomplished. It is, in her words, “the best feeling in the world.” Her advice to beginners is to relax and have faith in all the work you’ve done to get to that moment, and to enjoy it.