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Takei Rikako’s Triathlon Inspiration


This is blog post 4 of our 6-part series on Takei Rikako's journey to Kona and the Ironman World Championships this year! If you missed the last post on why she runs the triathlon, you can read it here: (Takei’s Training Journal Link here) If this is your first time learning about Takei Rikako, start here:Introduction to Takei Rikako

Imagine; waking up at 5 in the morning to swim for 2.6 miles, then bike for 112 miles, and then run for 26.2 miles, every day for a month, at 56 years old! It sounds impossible. But for people like Takei Rikako, impossible isn’t going to get in her way. As she prepares for her 5th IRONMAN World Championship, that is how her morning starts. And she’ll be the first to tell you; it isn’t easy. So we had to know what keeps her going, and what advice she’d give to others who want to follow in her footsteps.

This is what she had to say:

What is your motivation or drive to challenge the triathlon?

Takei: I always imagine my goal, I visualize myself on the podium, and I shut down my negative thinking. Visualizing is so important. I imagine myself winning first place on the podium all the time in Kona. It’s the biggest goal I have for myself, and I’m always trying to achieve it.

Oh, and negative thoughts! I push out my negative thoughts in the morning. I just shut them off, I have to. Sometimes I shut them down by going on Facebook to watch other athletes train, and I keep visualizing myself winning. It motivates me to get up in the morning. It’s key.

Who are your favorite athletes?

Takei: Well, I know Yuki Kawauchi is my favorite athlete. When I train for Kona, I definitely follow his advice: “To do long distance, you have to do it. A lot!”

What other sports do you play?

Takei: I love all sports! I did volleyball as a kid, and I’ve played basketball too. Really, any kind of sport I can play I will!

What advice do you have or would you give to someone who wants to train for the Triathlon?

Takei: You need to have confidence, and relax, and enjoy yourself! Smile no matter how hard it gets. It’s like dancing, you gotta show what you got!

What advice would you give to your yourself now that you wished you would have known when you first started training to compete?

Takei: I would tell myself to watch my nutrition, because I would always get nauseous during the races. It really is about the nutrition. I have a nutritionist now, but I wish I had one then. It can be a real challenge to get a new nutrition strategy. For me, I’ll always be able to find ways to run faster. But learning and dealing with my changing body will always be my biggest challenge.

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