The Road To Nationals with Christina Yang

Eat well (food is fuel!), stretch often, and smile :)

  • Hometown: Porter Ranch, CA
  • Sport / Competition: Triathlon
  • RM:  How many years have you been competing?
    I am brand new to the (multi-) sport, having just joined the team in September 2015. 
  • RM:  What have been some of the craziest things you have witnessed while training, competing or traveling?
    While waiting for my wave to start during Regionals at Cal Poly, I witnessed a deer trot directly through the swim course to get to the other side of Lake Lopez. 
  • RM:  What fuels your competitiveness? What color do you feel the fastest in?
    Seeing improvements in my times is the ultimate feedback to know the hours of training are paying off. Even though the changes might not be noticeable on a day-to-day basis, comparing myself now to when I first started gives me the motivation to keep going. The toughest competition I face is against myself. 

  • Anything heather gray gives me wings. 
  • RM:  How has your approach changed from the beginning of the season to the end to make you a better at each stage as you head to nationals?
    When I first joined the team, I came in with the mentality of wanting to “just finish” a triathlon, but after my first one I was hooked and wanted to train harder and more competitively. I fell in love with biking and started doing longer rides. As someone with only an I-won’t-drown swimming background before joining the team, I found myself looking forward to swim practices. I’ve also learned a lot more about the importance of good nutrition and taking care of myself mentally and physically.
  • RM:  What is your goal as you head to nationals? First out of the water? Top 10? Best split?
    I’m looking to PR my times from Regionals and leave Clemson feeling like I left everything I have out on the course. 
  • RM:  How are you feeling? Did you have any injuries you had to over come? Are you peaking at the right time?
    I’m at a good point right now in my training. Two days after I found out I made the Nationals team, I developed bursitis in my knee and was completely out of running commission for a couple weeks. Coming back from that injury was quite the process, having to rebuild my running base from a couple painfully slow laps around the track to one mile, then two, then dropping straight into the 10K at Regionals. Tweaking body mechanics and shifting focus to technique has really helped in the recovery process for me. Now I feel more ready than ever to face the Nationals course.
  • RM:  What is your long view? Where do you see yourself in a few years? Still competing? Working professionals?
    In a few years, I hope to be in medical school and eventually go into cardiac surgery or emergency medicine. I probably won’t have time to compete as frequently as I currently am, but I do plan on keeping up with triathlon training as a lifelong fitness goal. For now, I have my sights set on completing Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz this September.
  • RM:  When you think about Nationals... what gets you the most excited? The most anxious? Instills the most concern?
    I’m stoked just to have the opportunity to compete at Nationals this year. This will be next-level competition, and I am a little nervous but mostly excited to be racing in a field of competitors who will push me to my limits, far beyond what I could have ever imagined just eight months ago when I joined the team.  
  • RM:  What equipment changes have you made through the year and most importantly as you head to Nationals?
    Since this is my first year doing triathlons, I suppose any new hardware is a “change.” The biggest game-changer, though, was probably installing my aero bars. Those are fun. 
  • RM:  Training secrets? Care to share? Favorite quote?
    Take care of your body and your body will take care of you. The three most important pieces of advice I could give are to eat well (food is fuel!), stretch often, and smile :)
  • RM:  What do you geek out on besides Triathlon?
    Science, Whole Foods, fun crew socks, and free parking. 
  • RM:  Do you have a dream race you want to create?
    An alternative team triathlon: the swim leg would be rowing a boat, biking would be done in a four-person surrey, and the run portion would be on roller skates!
  • Training Tracks: Favorite songs to train/race to?
    1. I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Seeb Remix) – Mike Posner
    2. Brother (feat. Gavin DeGraw) - NEEDTOBREATHE
    3. Money On My Mind – Sam Smith
    4. Stay a Little Longer – Brothers Osborne
    5. Confession – Florida Georgia Line
    6. Seeing Stars - BORNS
    7. First – Cold War Kids
    8. Hold Back the River – James Bay
    9. The Fear – Ben Howard
    10. Heading Home (feat. Josef Salvat) – Gryffin
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