American triathlete Desiree Ficker took time to answer questions for readers at Nytimes.com. She provides insight into her diet, her training and her life in Austin, Texas.
Here’s a couple of excerpts from the Q&A session:
Ficker on her diet: “I typically maintain a healthy diet strong in vegetables, rich carbohydrates, good fats, lean meats and fish. I have celiac disease so I do not eat any gluten and that keeps me away from most things overly processed. Staple foods include grapefruits, almond milk, rice bread (before a race), chicken and fish, rice (either brown or white), sweet potatoes, cucumbers and yogurt. I don’t consume large amounts of dairy with the exception of yogurt and occasional ice cream. I like to eat small meals and eat often, as I am often hungry!”
Ficker on dealing with pain during a race: “Our entire lives we are taught to shy away from pain. I am going to be perfectly honest and say that racing hurts and the person who wins is often the one who is willing to deal with the most pain. Rather than shy away from this, I actually like to imagine this pain pre-race. I think it is important to realize that this feeling will only last for so long. Before you know it you will be back in the recovery area in the comfort of your loved ones wishing you had gone a little bit harder if you did not meet your goals.”