Karsten Madsen is gearing up for a big year of off-road triathlon racing. The Guelph, Ontario native has been in the sport since he was four years old, with his first introduction as a Kids of Steel race. With a background in mountain bike racing, Madsen gravitated towards off-road triathlon as he began to get more involved in the sport. TMC checked in with him to see what he’s hoping to accomplish in 2016 as both an ITU and XTERRA triathlete.
TMC: How’s your 2016 training going so far?
KM: I started my winter training at the end of October after some much-needed time off. It’s been going very well. I am seeing improvement across all three sports and have been ever since I started working with my coach, Craig Taylor, over a year ago.
What races do you have planned for 2016?
In March, I’ll race the Clermont and Sarasota ITU Continental Cups. Shortly after, I’ll race at some XTERRA events including Costa Rica, Oak Mountain, and hopfully defend my title at Milton’s Mine Over Matter. I’ve also got ITU Cross National Championships in Penticton planned for August and XTERRA World Championships in October.
What are you most looking forward to in the triathlon world in 2016?
I am very much looking forward to the Olympics and continuing to train with the group of people who I‘ve grown up racing and training with in triathlon since I was 15. Many of them are now front-runners for making the Olympic team. Time flies…
Any specific goals for the year?
I am looking to defend my title as ITU Cross Elite National Champion. I want to podium in all my Xterra races for 2016 and also hope for a top 10 performance at Xterra World Championships.
What does a typical training week look like for you?
I am training anywhere from 22-26 hours a week. In that week I will have six to seven swims, three to four rides, five runs, two strength sessions and many little rehab sessions to keep me injury free… knock on wood.
Are there any specific challenges you think you’ll face this year?
The biggest challenge I face is I still have a few jobs. I co-run an online training company called Dynamic Coaching. I am also a sales rep and do marketing and event management on top of a 22-26 hour training week. So at times things are pretty crazy for me.
How will you tackle these challenges?
It really sounds a lot worse then it is. Most of my work is done from home (laying in a bed with laptop and phone). That’s how I like to conduct business and it’s on my time. Most people that know me know I’m in bed by 8:30 PM and asleep by 9:00 PM so getting a full night of sleep is so important to being able to be a full-time athlete and part-time worker.