We caught up with Åsa Lundström who is actually at Playitas Resort. Hours of training and 2015 Orca photoshoot form part of her day-to-day activities. She is working really hard and keeping a cool head as she prepares for the new incoming season. The battle is on!
Why do you start in triathlon?
I can’t really say why, it was more a coincidence. I moved to Denmark to study medicine and the guy I started studying with was also Swedish and a triathlete. He convinced me to go running or swimming and also meant that I would like triathlon. I wasn’t sure about it because it might be too hard and I´m not a good swimmer. But he helped me to learn the basics of freestyle swimming and then I tried my first triathlon in 2009. And I was really hooked.
Did you practice any sports before?
I’ve always been active. I played soccer, did cross country skiing and alpine skiing as well as all kind of different sports. I also used to teach classes in the gym. But to be honest, I was always active but nothing concerning the three different disciplines of triathlon.
What do you think is your secret of success?
I think there are few thinks that should be part of the recipe for success. One, and maybe the most important thing, is to have a passion for what you do. If you don’t like training and the things you do you won’t last for the amount of time that is needed to build a strong athlete. The second ingredient is persistence: making overtime experience and muscle memory will help a lot.
Are you studying?
No, I’m studying part-time only.
No. Well, working on the bike (laughing).
And training…are you doing anything else?
I just quit doing teaching classes because I was travelling too much. Right know it’s divided into 95% triathlon and only 5% medical school.
How many days do you travel to a race in advance?
It really depends where the race takes place. If there is a time difference I want to travel there as many days in advance as there the time difference is. For example, Melbourne has a time difference of nine hours that means I want to be in Melbourne at least nine days before the race.
You are a Swedish, living in Denmark but your second home is Playitas. Is that right?
Yes, when I’m walking from my room to the Swimming pool or to the Gym I meet a lot of people that I know or that know me. It’s more than at home when I’m walking through the streets. So maybe this here should be called my first home (laughing).
Do you have some tips for training?
A general tip could be to get as much variation as possible in the training. Don’t do only four hour rides or long rides, don’t run the same loop or the same distance all the time and don’t be used to swim always the same session. Try to do as much variation as possible! Everything from few 20 seconds sprints to half an hour runs in your race pace to stimulate the muscles as much as possible!
You finished on the 2nd position at the Ironman in Klagenfurt in 2013. What can you tell us about the race?
It was really a good race for me; I was feeling that I had a good day. Of course, since I am staying so often Playitas, I like the hilly biking a lot. The conditions were also perfect in Austria and I felt really strong. It was the race where I set my best personal time and also the Swedish time record for the Ironman distance.
What would you like to do when you finish your triathlon career?
I want to be a doctor (laughing). This is a dream I’ve always had. Even though, it’s been on hold for a while, it’s still my dream that I want to accomplish. This is one of my main goals!
What kind of remarks do you have about Playitas?
One of the things I can say about Playitas that hopefully most of the people already know is that Playitas is a really good place to train for. It´s so accessible from Europe; the time difference is small and the weather is quite stable. But people who are come to Playitas should also know that you don’t come to this island because it’s very pretty. You come here because it makes you strong and it really does! The atmosphere I experience when I walk through the Plaza Rambla is really familiar. It’s like a family atmosphere which makes you feel like home even when you are far away.
What is your favourite meal?
It’s probably steak from my dad’s hunting because I know where it comes from.
What is your favourite place to live?
For training it could be anywhere. I am Swedish and I’ve been living in Denmark for 7 years. Right know I miss Sweden that’s why I would have to say Sweden. But it’s definitely not the perfect place to train.
How many hours do you train in a week?
If I am at Playitas or have big training weeks I train up to 35 hours. When I am at home it’s more around 20 or 25 hours. After an Ironman it’s two hours (laughing).
Swimming, biking or running?
As long as I‘m in good company it really doesn’t matter!
How many hours do you sleep?
I try to sleep never less than 8.5 hours.
How many bikes do you have?
(Thinking and counting) Right know…5 or 6. I’m not quite sure.
What is your favourite distance?