American Olympic medalist says David Goggins book helped her bounce back to World Cup success

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After a disappointing race, it is only natural for negative thoughts to sometimes feel overwhelming. For Katie Zaferes, bouncing back from a DNF at the Americas Triathlon Championship in Miami was a tall order.

However, after successfully finishing on the podium at the World Triathlon Cup in Hong Kong last weekend, the American said that the words of author and ultra runner David Goggins helped her overcome her self-doubt.

Taking inspiration from Goggins’ best selling book “Can’t Hurt Me”, the Tokyo Olympic medalist managed to get back on track and shared on Instagram that she is raring to go and ready to continue chasing her goals.

“Bad races can cause a lot of doubt”

Having taken time off from the sport to give birth to her first child, Zaferes has been working hard to rise through the rankings since last season and put herself in contention for a spot on the Paris Olympic Games team.

Katie Zaferes, Alice Betto Paris Test Event 2023 run

In her first race of the season in Miami, the former world champion led off the bike, but then struggled in the heat and humidity and eventually withdrew from the race and missed out on valuable Olympic ranking points.

“Bad races can cause a lot of doubt and a lot of these last weeks was managing the mental side of things after Miami and not letting that doubt takeover.

“This week my choice of reading was David Goggins “Can’t Hurt Me” and while I have conflicted feelings about him and his delivery (he’s very full on and explicit so it was hard for me to read), I did happen to find a lot of nuggets that definitely resonated.”

“Excited to have another go”

Thanks in part to the wisdom of Goggins, Zaferes managed her doubts in Hong Kong and came home in second behind Britain’s Sian Rainsley. Not letting the result in Miami consume her, she said, played a big role in the positive outcome.

Katie Zaferes World Triathlon Cup Vina del Mar press 2023 Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo
[Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]

“Not letting that race define me, and going back to the times in my career where I’ve rebounded after the biggest disappointments helped to shift my perspective and set me up to execute in a way I envisioned by coming into this race more confidently.”

Zaferes said she is “excited to have another go” and will now focus on making the start list for WTCS Yokohama in May, where the two remaining slots on Team USA for Paris alongside Taylor Knibb will be decided.

Watch Potter, Brownlee & Beaugrand as these triathlon superstars take on the world in the build up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.


Tomos Land

Written by

Tomos Land

Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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