Our athlete of the week is Mikaela Garza! She has been with EF for four years and in that time she says that she’s grown from a recreational athlete to a high performance athlete. She came to the sport of triathlon after trying several different sports, including a bit of cycling with her parents and gymnastics. However, after her first triathlon she had so much fun that she began training shortly after that!
Mikaela started coaching with us in Prince William, but moved to San Antonio with her family and now coaches with us remotely! Despite the challenges of not being able to see her coaches face to face consistently, Mikaela remains diligent in her practice and is still hugely encouraged by the team from afar. She says that nothing beats the feeling when she’s reunited with her teammates at Iowa and Nationals, and she can race and hang out with her friends!
Mikaela has been working hard this season, especially focusing on her swim technique as a core strategy for her upcoming races. She hopes to place well at nationals this year, and has been working diligently at this goal with great results so far. Mikaela said that one of the best things that EF has taught her is how to manage her time well in the midst of this focused training. Between training, school, socializing, music practice, and sleep, she has a full day every day. Keeping this all in balance has been a very important skill for her to learn, but one she said she’s grown a lot in.
Mikaela’s favorite event in triathlon is the run, but she is also a proficient biker. She recently qualified for Nationals at her first draft-legal tri, so her skills in every event are sharp. She has has also set several run records for her middle school track team. She has had some truly challenging races too, including the Rookie Tri in Texas. In one race, she had to deal with sharp rocks in the swim, sticks and thorns in between the water and T1, a bike crash, and finally more thorns during the run! However, she pushed through and finished strong.
Mikaela has had some excellent results and strong determination to improve all throughout the sport. Her advice to beginners is to visualize success in a race and not focus on the things that can go wrong, and to pick up the pace if you feel like you’re going fast enough! We can’t wait to see where her hard work will take her!