Thursday, May 16, 2013

Meet the Pro - Malaika Homo

Looking forward to seeing Malaika dominate this weekend at IMTX.  Saw her on the run course at last years Rev3CP.  I was doing the half and she was doing the full. Really cool to see pros run right by you! (and humbling when they are running much faster than you and have gone twice as far :)  

Good luck this weekend Malaika and thanks for the interview!!!

You race a lot, what are you favorite recovery tips/rituals?
Recovery has become an essential part of my training, especially now that I'm getting older and (hopefully) wiser!  My favorite recovery tool is the Recovery Pump system; I could sit in my boots for hours if I had the time.  On a typical day I'll wear the Recovery Boots for at least an hour in the evening while I'm winding down.  For additional compression I'll wear compression sleeves or socks, particularly when I'm flying or spending extra time in the car.  I'm also pretty religious with using a foam roller to work out any knots---I work at a gym where foam rollers are readily accessible plus I have two or three rollers at my house, so I have no excuses!  If my legs are especially worked I'll take an ice bath and sleep with my legs elevated.  Oh yes, and let's not forget that "s" word---SLEEP!  I'm not much of a napper but I do aim for a solid 8 hours each night.

Any tips for us sea level people training for altitude racing?
Well, I'm in the reverse situation these days so I may not be much help!  I guess the most important thing is to recognize that it's going to be more challenging on your lungs to race at altitude and then just make sure you arrive physically fit at your race.  It wouldn't hurt to do some specific training that especially taxes your lungs, like hill repeats for running and biking, and maybe doing some hypoxic swimming sets or swimming with a snorkel.  If you're not used to altitude then definitely breathe more during the swim leg of the race if you feel the need! 

Winning Rev3CP 2011
Before you relocated to Utah, you lived in Indiana, any favorite Midwest races?  and why?
Memphis in May has always been one of my favorite Midwest races; the event just has a good laid-back vibe and the triathlon community in Memphis is super friendly.  One of the first times I did that race I actually camped across the river in Arkansas and there was a tornado!  I literally woke up floating in the middle of  the night and spent the rest of the night sleeping on the floor of the ladies bathroom.  I was sure my tent was going to fly away but it was still there in the morning---in about 3 feet of water but all the pegs held it in place!  My other favorite Midwest race is the Muncie Endurathon (now the Muncie 70.3).  I did it once as an impromptu part of a relay whose runner didn't show up, then a year or two later I did it again as my debut at the half iron distance.  I had no clue what I was doing but clawed my way through and ended up placing pretty well. 

What is one of the hidden perks of being a professional triathlete?
That's a good question, and a hard one to answer!  It's honestly not as glamorous as it sounds---it's not like being a pro ball player with million dollar contracts floating around.  I think one of the best things for me about being a professional triathlete is that it's something I've chosen to do, no one else is breathing down my neck telling me to do it, and that's a very liberating thing---like being your own boss.  I've worked hard to get where I am and I really enjoy the process, and the satisfaction of putting it all together and having one of those rare magical days when everything just clicks is a pretty awesome feeling.  It's not really a hidden perk, but it can be an elusive one!

Malaika's  BLOG  and TWITTER

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