Sif Bendix Madsen is the youngest athlete on the SAYSKY roster and a triathlete on the Danish national team. She's 17 years old and lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. Last year, she participated in the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she won team gold and took silver on the individual distance - only 11 seconds after the winner. You can read about it here.
Sif is without doubt a great talent, but what really sets her apart is the humble and extremely hard-working attitude. This weekend, she'll be taking over the SAYSKY Instagram stories and take you with her on training camp in Lanzarote.
So, if you're interested in keeping up with an Olympian on training camp (trust us, it's no easy walk in the park), then tune in. We've also asked her a couple of questions, which you can read further down.
INTERVIEW WITH SIF BENDIX MADSEN
Although you are the youngest member on the SAYSKY Team, you are already a Youth Olympic, European, and National Champion in triathlon. Other than genetics, what do you think have brought you there?
All the hard work that I put in every single day is definitely an important part of my success. I have some great training buddies in my triathlon club, KTK86, that motivates me and help me to push harder in the training. Probably, way more than I could ever have done, if I just trained all alone. Generally, I just think that I’m good at pushing myself, even when it gets really tough, because I want to achieve my goals so much.
What are you training for in 2019? And what are your next big goals?
I’m a part of the Danish national team toward the Olympics in 2020. Therefore, I have to collect enough ranking points for the next one and a half year, so I can qualify. I also have the junior World Championships this summer where my goal is to get on the podium.
What do you enjoy (and dislike) most about training for triathlons?
I enjoy the road to success. The feeling of becoming better and better day by day and the feeling of achieving a goal after so many hours of hard work.
I really hate injuries. I have had some injuries over the last 2 years and it’s really hard to keep the spirit high when your body isn’t working and you can’t train as much as you should and want to.
You and your brother, Thor, are both quite competitive in the triathlon. How has it been in the family that you both have big goals and train as elite athletes?
In my family, we have always enjoyed training together. I think that training has always been a fun activity and not just something we kind of needed to do. We have had so many great memories while doing sports and I think that’s the reason why Thor and I have kept doing sports. We motivate each other, when we are training together. It definitely motivates me knowing that my brother is also training hard to achieve his goals. I often think when training gets tough, that if he can get through it, so can I.
At the moment you are on training camp on Lanzarote (La Santa Sport), but can you explain why you have chosen to train there?
I’m on training camp with my coach Jens Petersen-Bach. We both really like the place because it has all the facilities that you need when you are on a training camp. It makes everything so much easier when you don’t have to think about when the local pool is open or where to eat every night.
When you are on training camp do you focus extra on something? Food, recovery or something else?
Besides the training sessions, I really focus on the recovery. When you are training more and harder than usual, it’s really important that you do your best to make your body ready for the next session. I try to take a nap after lunch, just around 20-30min and I focus on getting enough food so I’m filled up with good energy. In the end of every training day, I like to stretch and use a foam roller to just loosen up the body.
How many hours do your usually train per day? And do you spent more time on training when you are on training camps?
I usually train around 3-4 hours a day but when I’m on camp, I train 5-7 hours a day.
How do you balance being an elite athlete and studying?
It can be hard sometimes, because I really don’t have much time besides training and school. I have to wake up at 5am every morning so I can swim before school and when I come home from school, I just start my next session. Luckily, I’m good at planning my time and I make sure to use every extra minute I have on something relevant, such as homework instead of just watching Netflix.
What do you give up when you train so much and are as dedicated as you are?
I give up many things but when I think about, I get so much more in return. I don’t go to all the parties, but instead I train with my greatest friends who shares the same interests as me, and I get to travel to different countries to do what I love the most. I really don’t think I’m missing something that would be better than what I get from training.