The Road To Nationals with William Krakow

This Tar Heel swims like a swimmer, bikes like a cyclist and runs like a runner!

  • Hometown: Chapel Hill
  • Sport / Competition:  USAT Collegiate Club Nationals
  • Twitter/@therealkrakes
  • Instagram/@therealkrakes
  • Facebook/Will Krakow
  • RM:  How many years have you been competing?
    I have been swimming competitively since I was 4, and began to run cross country and track during middle school. In high school I completed a few triathlons just for fun, then joined the club here at UNC the first semester of my freshman year. This will be my third year competing at Collegiate Nationals.
  • RM:  What have been some of the craziest things you have witnessed while training, competing or traveling?
    Last year's Olympic Distance race was quite an experience.... The forecast called for afternoon showers, but when my wave went off in the morning it was already pouring rain. We ended up riding on roads with standing water. There were so many athletes on the course that it was literally impossible not to draft. 

  • Over the summer I had the chance to travel around Europe and see some fantastic sights. While staying with my sister in Germany, I competed in a local triathlon that is quite famous over there. The bike finish takes you up a mountain, 6km averaging a 17% grade. The run course circles a lake and passes through several pastures. Either the Germans have a weird sense of humor, or one of the farmers forgot about the race, because there were cows grazing all over the course, even chasing some runners!  
  • RM:  What fuels your competitiveness? What color do you feel the fastest in?
    Seeing improvement over time is my greatest motivation. This sounds a bit twisted, but its a really awesome feeling when you're right next to someone that used to be way faster than you, and you can tell that they're suffering to keep up.  

  • I'm a born, bred, dead Tar Heel so Carolina Blue is my color of choice. Otherwise, black is always sleek and slimming.

  • 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?
    I've focused a lot more on strength work this season in order to carry me through. Over the winter a spent a lot of time in the gym, while recently my workouts have involved race-pace efforts with decreasing rest. Additionally, I've realized that I need a full day off or very easy in order to be rested for my most important workouts. 
  • RM:  What is your goal as you head to nationals? First out of the water? Top 10? Best split?
    I would like to place in the top 20 in the draft legal race. If I can make it out of the water in one of the top groups, I know my bike leg is strong enough to stick and push the pace. 
  • RM:  How are you feeling? Did you have any injuries you had to over come? Are you peaking at the right time?
    I had a strained hamstring in late February that took me out of running for almost a month. Since starting up again I've run over 5 miles only once. I'm not too worried about it though, since taking time off of running has allowed my swimming to improve dramatically.
  • RM:  What is your long view? Where do you see yourself in a few years? Still competing? Working professionals?
    After college I hope to diversify my racing a bit more. I'd like to compete in some XTERRA events and trail runs. Hopefully I'll be working for one of the many Bioengineering startups in Research Triangle Park or Silicon Valley.
  • RM:  When you think about Nationals... what gets you the most excited? The most anxious? Instills the most concern?
    I've always performed best on the biggest stages. After a disappointing fall season I'd like to prove that I deserve to be there. Since I'm a lot smaller than most guys, open water swimming has always been a challenge for me. I still t
  • RM:  What equipment changes have you made through the year and most importantly as you head to Nationals?
    I've spent more time on my road bike this year in order to simulate draft legal racing. I've also purchased a power meter, which has been huge in allowing me to analyze my workouts and see weekly improvement.

  • RM:  Training secrets? Care to share? Favorite quote?
    Swim like a swimmer, bike like a cyclist, run like a runner. A lot of triathletes try to just grind out yardage in the pool, and any swim coach can tell you this is not the way to get faster. Cycling in a group has taught me how to ride in a group and control your effort, as well as how to be tactically smart. I do a lot of trail running with cross country runners, and it allows me to stay light on my feet and (mostly) avoid injuries. Trail runs don't even feel like training for me sometimes, its just skipping' around in the woods!
  • RM:  What do you geek out on besides Triathlon?
    Anything math/science related. I'm a huge fan of National Geographic and Wired magazines.I've recently been obsessed with theoretical physics and ideas about multiple/parallel universes. Every day I do the crossword puzzle and sudoku in the newspaper... So yeah, I'm a huge dork. 
  • RM:  Training Tracks: Favorite songs to train/race to?
    7 years- Lukas Graham
    The General- Dispatch
    Iris- The Goo Goo Dolls
    The Nights- Avicii
    Adam's Song- blink-182
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