Jen Annett finishes third at IRONMAN Arizona in 2017.

Last week, Canadian professional triathlete, Jen Annett received her ticket to Kona, Hawaii, for the IRONMAN World Championships in October. Annett has raced in Kona once before, but this year will be her first time competing on the professional stage. Following the news, we were able to catch up and discuss her plans to be Kona ready in October.

TMC: Is this your first time going to Kona as a professional? And how many times have you been to the Hawaii Island?

JA: I have only been to Kona as a competitor once before in 2008, and this was as an age grouper. I did qualify in 2009 and 2010 but was not able to go. In 2011, I did make the trip to Kona to watch my brother.

TMC: Looking at your Instagram feed, you mentioned it had been three hard years of training to get here. What were your emotions when you got the news?

JA: It’s been ten years since I’ve competed there, but this (qualifying for Kona) has been my goal for the last three years. To have fulfilled this goal/dream is such a fantastic feeling. I feel that it’s so hard for us “up and coming” athletes to be able to get enough points to qualify. To have attained this confirms that I have improved my performances enough to be awarded this opportunity. It is a result of a lot of hard work, and I’ve finally done it! I am very excited but also terrified at the same time.

TMC: What has gone into this accomplishment?

JA: A lot of hard work and racing! I’ve had some good races and some not-so-good ones, but the secret is learning from each experience to better my chances of improving each performance.

TMC: Rest of the season plan, now that you have qualified?

JA: Right now, I am enjoying some downtime. I want to ensure I’m rested enough to attack my Kona build and assure I will be in the best shape possible! I am doing an Ultra Swim next weekend (11.8K). It’s a local race and thought it would be fun to do. I’m also hoping that it will improve my mental strength around swimming as this is my weakness. I figure if I can swim 11.8K, 3.8K will feel like a breeze. I also may do a fun race in September, but as of now, I don’t have anything planned.

TMC: What are your plans for training for Kona? Past experiences in Kona and how you’ll use this to help you in October?

JA: I think my focus will be swim/run as these are always the deciding factors in my placings. I feel that my bike fitness is where it needs to be right now. I will also have a significant emphasis on keeping life simple and ensuring proper recovery. As the race gets closer, I will also make sure I do some heat adaptation training. This will more than likely be very similar to my training for Texas, lots of indoor training sessions in the bathroom (mimics a sauna).

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