This week’s conversation is with 2016 Olympian Katie Zaferes, the #1 ranked triathlete in the world.

Katie recently captured her first ITU World Triathlon Series title.

The world title is years in the making for Katie, who finished fifth in the ITU World Triathlon Series in 2015, fourth in 2016, third in 2017 and second in 2018.

A native of Hampstead, Maryland, Katie began her career as a cross country and track and field athlete in high school.

Katie competed in track and field and cross country at Syracuse University, where she qualified for the NCAA Division 1 Championships in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.

Upon graduation in 2012, she entered USA Triathlon’s Collegiate Recruitment Program, which became the start of her professional triathlon career.

In recognition of Katie’s ascent, USA Triathlon named her its 2017 and 2018 “Women’s Triathlete of the Year.”

Katie now has her sights set on qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games.

In this conversation we discuss how she’s approaching the upcoming Games differently than her first appearance in 2016 – getting the results she covets while still finding joy in what she’s doing.

“I have an underlying feeling of confidence that no matter what situation I’m in, I have the ability to handle anything, adapt, and figure things out.”

In This Episode:

  • How she manages her demanding travel schedule and creates a competitive advantage
  • Being disappointed with her performance at the Rio Olympics… what went wrong in her preparation process
  • How she manages the tension between joy and comfort in her life
  • Becoming very intentional about where she spends her energy
  • Her breathing and visualization practices
  • What part of triathlon challenges her the most?
  • Why she feels more free while racing now
  • How she’s adjusted her preparation approach in the lead up to the 2020 Games
  • Her metrics for growth… it’s not about the outcome
  • Her pre-race mindset
  • Never seeing being a female as a limiter in what she can achieve
  • Why she doesn’t need to feel well to perform well
  • Imagery techniques
  • Why she started working with a sports psychologist full time
  • Her definition of mastery


Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | SpotifyStitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS



“The bike has challenged me the most in triathlon… challenged my comfort going fast downhill and cornering. I’ve used breathing a lot while I’m on my bike to bring myself back to the moment, relax my shoulders, and reset.”

“When I was in running in college, I was always thinking, ‘If someone needs to work on their mind, that means they’re weak, that means their mind’s not strong enough.’ And wow, has my whole viewpoint switched completely.”

“I think mastery is unattainable, but I think trying to attain it as everything. If it were attainable, then it would stop. You would master it and the journey would be done. It’s not attainable, but I’m still trying get better.”


Related Episodes:


Sign up for our weekly newsletter to receive the transcript to this conversation and additional premium content!


Please support our partners!!

We’re able to keep growing and creating content for YOU because of their support. We believe in their mission and would appreciate you supporting them in return!!

Click HERE for all links and codes to take advantage of deals from our partners.




Katie Zaferes is an American professional triathlete from Hampstead, Maryland. After finishing third at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Series World Championship, she won the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Series in Lausanne.