RefreshinQ is proud to work with athletes who never quit. Today we talk with Jana Richtrova, amateur triathlete, professional coach and self-motivator.
Q: You’ve spent several years now competing in triathlons. Have you always been a natural athlete?
A: Yes. I’m originally from the Czech Republic, and I first came to the United States on a basketball scholarship for college. Playing basketball had always been my dream. After I graduated I ended up staying and getting my master’s degree, and I then I found work in Boston…and suddenly, my basketball years were over. I could have gone back to the Czech Republic and played professionally, but I wanted to stay. But in terms of athletics, it was like, “what now?”
Q: So how did you discover triathlon?
A: I was always a runner and a biker. Around 2009, a friend of mine had participated in triathlon and suggested it to me—but I couldn’t swim! At least not competitively—I wouldn’t have drowned in the water or anything, but triathlon seemed like a non-starter at first.
But then slowly I thought, “well maybe I can do this.” I saw it as a way of meeting new people at first. I got better at swimming, I competed in my first sprint triathlon and I ended up finishing near the top of my age group. And that really awoke my competitive spirit again, which hadn’t happened since I was playing basketball.
Q: What’s one of your biggest personal accomplishments since you’ve been competing?
A: My goal was to make it to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, and I got my first shot at it in 2012. I was able to qualify with my time from a half-Ironman distance, which you can’t actually do anymore. But at that point, I’d never raced a full Ironman distance. My coach didn’t think I was ready, but I built up my endurance the best I could because I knew it wasn’t an opportunity I was going to pass up.
My coach was kind of right. I finished that race, but my first thought afterward was “I am never doing that again.” But that feeling faded pretty quickly, and I’ve been back four times since then. I placed 2nd in my age group in 2015, and 4th in 2016. My goal is still to get to the top of that podium.
Q: How big of a motivation is that? Getting to the top of the podium in Kona?
A: It’s big, but it’s not everything. Yes, I want to win. But mostly, I just want to get the best from myself. I can feel that there’s still more in me, and that there’s always room for improvement. There’s no such thing as perfect, but the beauty of triathlon is that you can always work to sharpen your running, your biking or your swimming.
Q: Do you have any role models that inspire you?
A: This is going to sound weird, but I’ve always been a self-starter, and I’m not big on trying to be like anybody else. For me, it all comes down to how much you want to achieve something. If you’re trying to hit a goal, you’re going to get there if you want it badly enough. Because you’re not going to quit. You’re going to make it a priority.
Q: What do you love about RefreshinQ products?
A: Right now I’m using the Workout + RecoverinQ Pack, which is great because I don’t have to worry about separating a bunch of different things—it’s all ready when you need it. And I love the patches because I’m not a huge fan of swallowing pills, and it’s a lot easier to slap on the Vitamin D Support Patch than remembering how many different vitamins I might need to take to get the same effect.
Want to hear more from Jana? Check out her personal blog where she details her triathlon experiences. Also, be sure to check out Jana’s favorite RefreshinQ products, Vitamin D Support Patches and the Workout + RecoverinQ Packs.