This past weekend Sarah Haskins won the first-ever USA Triathlon Elite Sprint National Championship and became the top American female finisher of the 2011 Clermont ITU Pan American Cup. Senior Editor Jennifer Purdie chatted with her about her win and upcoming goals.
Triathlete.com: Congrats on winning the first-ever USA Triathlon Elite Sprint National Championship. Can you walk us through how you were feeling during the race?
Haskins: Thank you! This was my first race since last September, so it felt great to get out on the start line. It was a little shocker to the system once the gun went off and getting back into the rhythm of race mode, but I am looking forward to improving my fitness from this starting point.
Triathlete.com: You were hampered by injury in late 2010. How long were you out?
Haskins: I was off running for two months, so that was the longest I have had to take time out of running. I did not realize muscle tears took quite so much time to heal, but I wanted to make sure it was 100 percent before I got back into training. I have been able to build back up in volume and slowly working in the intensity.
Triathlete.com: What kind of training were you able to do in preparation for this race?
Haskins: I have not done a whole lot of speed work yet this year, so I knew the 5K may feel like a bit of a shocker. I seem to respond pretty well to building fitness with sub-threshold running, so that is pretty much what we have done the past couple of months. Now that race season is here, I will add in more race-pace efforts. The swim and bike have been a gradual build as well. Since the season is so long, I don’t want to peak too early and make sure my body is peaking this August.
Triathlete.com: This was the first event of the 2011 USA Triathlon Elite Race Series. What is in store for you this year?
Haskins: My main focus this year is the London WCS race in August. I will also be competing in other WCS races, the Lifetime Fitness Toyota Cup Series and also wish to qualify for the Pan American Games.
Triathlete.com: Currently you are training to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. Are you doing anything differently now that you’ve had an Olympic experience behind you?
Haskins: I always learn more about myself and my training every year. The experience in my racing and training will definitely help prepare me for the trials and Olympic experience. I feel anytime you have that experience it helps the second time around.
Triathlete.com: You travel quite a bit for races. What is the international racing experience like for you?
Haskins: Racing internationally has been an awesome cultural experience; however, it’s not easy traveling multiple times over the course of the race season. It takes planning and preparation to know what the best travel, training venues and recovery for you is prior to and returning from the trip. I don’t enjoy jet lag, but I love the international racing competition and representing the USA.