The Brigitta Poór interview
MERIDA supported Hungarian triathlete, and XTERRA specialist Brigitta Poór is looking back onto a hugely successful 2018 season, in which she managed once again to secure the European title in the XTERRA cross-triathlon discipline. But with summer starting to make an appearance, we got together with Brigitta to talk to her about her past successes, her training regime, her aspirations for the upcoming season and about her favourite bike.
MERIDA: Brigitta, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. We want to go back a few years and hear a little bit about how you got into the sport and specifically how you seem to have made the XTERRA events a strong focus in your racing calendar.
BRIGITTA: I was only seven years old when my 'sports career' began as a swimmer! I entered my first triathlon race at the age of eight. After more than ten years on the road triathlon circuit, I tried the XTERRA format. My first off-road tri race was in Hungary, and it was a very hard and long competition. I spent more than six hours on the course, and during the race, I said to myself 'never again'. I think I run a longer distance pushing my bike than I rode it. After I crossed the finish line, I quickly changed my mind. XTERRA is so different, I was hooked! The atmosphere of the race, being out in nature and the fact that you need to concentrate and be alert the entire time. Plus the fight and the struggles you go through. In XTERRA, you have to fight with yourself and with the elements. I don't know why I love the challenges so much. Maybe I'm a bit crazy. But I went to my next XTERRA and then to the next, and now, here we are.
MERIDA: Triathlon is a very time-intensive sport. How do we have to imagine you spend a 'normal' day in the 'off-season' versus a 'normal' day when you are in deep preparation for the races?
BRIGITTA: Huhh, my season is very long, from April to October. After the last race of the season, I get three weeks rest! During this period, I spend more time with my family and friends. I like reading and walking. Then we start the preparation step by step. In the winter time, I have more swim and run training, most of it is long and slow. My first training camp is at the end of January, and after that, I have more bike training and spend less time swimming and running! I have two half rest days during the week. On Mondays, I go for a short run and a core training session, and on Fridays, I only go for a swim. I have 5 swim, 5 run, 4 bike and 2 core training session (20-30 hours) per week. Easy:)))
MERIDA: We get the impression that the biking part is your favourite sub-discipline. Are we on the right track here, and if we are, is this purely down to the fact that you are a naturally strong cyclist or is there any other reason for your love affair with the bike?
BRIGITTA: Yes, I agree the bike part is my strongest! I think it's part genetics, of course, a lot of training and part because I love it! Easy to be a fast biker if you have a good bike! ;)
MERIDA: You had a great season in 2018 which must give you real confidence for what is lying ahead. How has your pre-season training gone and what are your aspirations for 2019?
BRIGITTA: I had some health issues last year which led to problems with my training and motivation, so maybe this year I will start a little slower. But of course, I still want to win all my races! I want to compete in as many events as I can while staying healthy. I hope this will include about 10 European XTERRA races, as well as the XTERRA Kunming off-road triathlon in China this September.
MERIDA: You probably have a hectic racing schedule, and your sport takes you all over the world. Have you got a favourite event and which event are you looking most forward to in 2019?
BRIGITTA: Impossible to choose only one! Every race is very different, and I love all of them! XTERRA France and Germany are the two biggest races, and they have a World class organisation! But I like XTERRA Malta and Portugal too. This year I am planning to compete in the XTERRA China. I never raced there before, so I am very excited!
MERIDA: Going back to the bike. We assume you have a few in your stable. What can we expect to find in your bike-shed, and which of them is your favourite?
BRIGITTA: At the moment I have a MERIDA REACTO 6000 aero road bike. It is my training bike, but my favourite is my MERIDA NINETY-SIX TEAM 29er MTB!! It is the first full suspension bike in my life, and I love it!! It has proven the perfect choice for the kind of racing I do!
Thank you very much for your time, and we hope that the preparation for the upcoming races is continuing well and that we can report about more great results in the upcoming months.