Finnish triathlete Kaisa Sali has always had her eyes on the prize – she finished 5th last year at Kona, and has been working with triathlon legend Siri Lindley since to take her training to the next level. She took third at the Boulder Peak triathlon, and is always clear eyed about her strategy and approach, and her ability to dig deep.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
From a very young age one of my biggest dream has been to win the IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii. At twelve years of age I heard about this brutal endurance event, went out for a ride on my pink little mountain bike and ended up doing the whole Ironman distance, which is 180 km. After this ride I knew that by doing endurance sports I will find so much joy into my life.
What is on your mind as you prepare for Kona?
This year I have been preparing for Kona with my new coach Siri Lindley. Siri has been coaching some of the former world champs and it has been just an amazing experience to work with Siri as I feel I have already learned a lot. Kona is definitely the most important race for me and I will do my everything to prepare as well as possible for the tough conditions in Hawaii.
What are three of your travel essentials?
- Super comfy hippie style leggings.
- ColdZyme inhaler which decreases the chance of getting a flu.
- Normatec boots right after traveling to recover the swollen legs.
What do you see as your biggest strength going into Kona?
Sisu power. Sisu is a Finnish word which can be roughly translated to guts, perseverance, determination, and doing your very best no matter what and exceeding your limits.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
A book called “Mielensäpahoittajan Suomi” from a Finnish author Tuomas Kyrö. It is sarcastic humor about Finnish culture and society.
What makes Kona different from any other race?
The biggest difference must be that this race has grown to a legend and the World Championship title is the one that every single long distance triathlete is eager to win! I just love the mix of the sharp excitement and relaxed aloha feeling you can experience in Kona around the race.
What is your favorite Rudy Project piece of equipment?
The Tralyx bike/run glasses. The transition lenses work very well so you can use the glasses in any conditions which is very handy.
What do you love about the triathlon community?
This sport attracts very same minded people, who love to be active and follow a healthy lifestyle. I think that the biggest goal for most of us is exceeding our own limits and even when racing I feel that we pro athletes are not just fiercely competing against each other, but more like supporting our fellow competitors on this mission of beating ourselves and finding out how strong the human body can be.
What would make this a perfect season for you?
Definitely doing my best ever race performance in Kona. The highlight would be to stand on the podium.
How do you like to spend a day off?
I always try to sleep late but it is very seldom that I end up staying in bed as usually I am just too excited about doing something else than spending the whole day in training and rehabilitation. I like to see friends and family, prepare a nice dinner or then just do some office work which balances the daily physical exercising.