To succeed in her new sport, her mother says, Tatyana will need technique, cardiovascular endurance and brute strength — which she has to spare. "She is the strongest wheelchair racer in the world," Debbie says, "but I don't really think I understood until I saw her in the snow, pushing. She has a power that is unreachable."
And her intense marathon training will translate into the new sport, which requires similar physical skills and determination.
If she qualifies for Sochi, Tatyana will join a short and elite list of athletes who have competed in the Paralympics in multiple sports. And she'll still be having a good time. "It's great crossover training," she says. "It's going to be fun training in the snow and getting better."
But before any of that comes the New York race.
"It's a very different race — lots of climbing and downhills," says McFadden. "I'm nervous and excited. It will be tough for all of us."
Watch McFadden's next race
To watch Tatyana McFadden at the New York City Marathon, tune in to ESPN2 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3.
Tatyana McFadden's Advice
A dedicated and determined athlete, Tatyana McFadden's mental approach is a big part of her success. Here, she offers some advice:
Be confident: Though McFadden was exhausted as she approached the end of the Chicago Marathon, she continued to push and had faith that her body would carry her across the finish line. "My arms had the muscle memory of the training," she says. "I just went as hard as I could."
Take care: For any athlete, training is demanding and requires a high level of awareness of physical health. She warns that it's necessary to pay attention to your body and, sometimes, stop training or racing. "I think the hardest part is training or if you injure yourself," McFadden says. "You have to take time off, and you worry about things that could really affect your performance."
Get back up: "We all have failures in our lives," says McFadden. "It's just how you get up and what you learn to make yourself better." When she loses a race, she learns and adjusts. "You can't just stop because you didn't win. You have to keep going."