Congratulations to Sade Smith, this week’s Athlete of the Week! This season, Sade’ has been working hard as usually, but she has been fighting through breathing difficulties and has has some tough practices and races as a result.
Rather than give up or taking it easy, Sade’ has been working through it and giving everything she can to improve and overcome.
She’s been putting extra time in the water to improve her swim, and working to further strengthen her Bike and Run for Tri by undertaking several Duathlons this season. She raced Duathlon Nationals in Bend Oregon, this past weekend, and placed 4th on Day 1 and qualified to race for Team USA at 2018 Duathlon Nationals in Denmark. Day 2, she raced the draft legal race and placed 3rd!
From DU Nats in Bend Oregon, Sade’ and family will be heading to Monroe Washington, for the Youth/ Junior elite qualifier cup race.
We had the opportunity to speak with Sade and and get to know her story a little better.
- How many duathlons have you participated in?
I have only started doing duathlons this past spring. Prior to going to USAT Duathlon Nationals, I have only participated in two duathlons. I started to do duathlons to cross train for triathlons and help build both my endurance and strength.
- What do you like most about bike & tri?
I really like triathlons because I can train as well as race in three different sports–swimming, cycling, and running. In addition to swimming for my high school, I run cross country and participate in cycling races including cyclocross during the fall. Being a triathlete is challenging but a lot of fun.
- How/Why did you start?
I was introduced to triathlon at the age of 8 and participated in a local youth triathlon. I was hooked and I have done many triathlons since then. After deciding between travel soccer and triathlon, I joined EF in 2012 and did online coaching with Coach Parker for two years. Afterwards, I became a member of the Prince William County EF location and have been training under the Prince William Coaches.
- I understand you’ve been having some breathing difficulties? Tell me about that. Is that why you have been participating in duathlons over triathlon? Or do you simply prefer duathlons?
This triathlon season has been a challenging one for me because I have been having some breathing difficulties. Working closely with my doctors and knowing that many elite athletes, including Olympians, deal with similar breathing difficulties, I stay motivated to continue to do my best in both my training and races. Duathlons help me with endurance and helps me be a better triathlete.
- What is your favorite thing about bike & tri? Least favorite?
My favorite thing about triathlon is that I’m doing three sports in one. I do not get bored because my training is a variety of workouts.
I do not have any least favorites about triathlon. Working with my coaches, I try to work on my weaknesses to improve my overall performances. I treat triathlon as a journey for I desire to race at the collegiate level and become a professional triathlete.
- If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?
If I could do anything in the world, it would be to have a career in sports medicine, be a professional triathlete traveling the world, and continue to introduce the sport of triathlon or multisport to youth who do not know the sport.
- Who inspires you most in life?
Gwen Jorgensen inspires me because she is a great triathlete that has accomplished so much in a short period. She was determined to get a gold medal in the Olympics and she did.
How do you maintain mental strength?
I maintain mental strength by visualizing my race and thinking through what I need to do to meet my goals and outcomes for each race.
- What do you consider most difficult about race day?
What is most difficult for me on race day is finding the right balance with nutrition–my pre-Race meal. I want to make sure I have the right energy and fuel. I know not to try anything new on race day for I have had bad experiences doing so. I try to eat extra healthy and be hydrated leading up to race day.
- How do you prepare for race day?
In addition to eating a good meal and getting to bed early, I prepare for race day by reviewing my goals and I visualize each leg of the race.