#bikeschool: 2012 Talks

As I’m sure you are aware this week’s #bikeschool class is being hosted by two special guest Professors; Joe fromĀ @ryderseyewear and Canadian Olympian Lauren Campbell (@gunzycampbell). Having both hosted a class before I’m sure they will be very comfortable with the format but we wanted to find out more from the lady who will be pinning her hopes on selection to the Canadian Triathlon squad for London 2012 and hoping for some retribution dating back to Beijing!

Stevie Dexter – An athletes’ first Olympics can notoriously be a nervous and overwhelming time in their career. Having experienced the 2008 Olympics and the added media pressure that comes with that, are there areas of your life, training or racing that have changed because of those experiences?

Lauren Campbell - There’s no question that the Olympic experience was like none other and it’s something that has definitely left some lasting changes. The added media pressure really did affect how I carry myself, as I find that I am more comfortable speaking publicly and being interviewed. I used to be an incredibly shy person, nervous to even speak with sponsors or interviewers over the phone, but since I’ve come out of my shell a bit and put some of those fears behind me. As for training and racing, I guess you can say I’ve been carrying some unfinished “Olympic business” and have had that on my mind over the past four years! (I was involved in a bike pile-up in Beijing, resulting in a broken elbow and a DNF).

 

SD - Within the cycling peloton there are riders who are allowed to boss the race due to their experience, calibre or both. Is the same true within Triathlon and how do other athletes react to seeing you on the start list?

LC – There are definitely some more dominant riders in the pack, those that tend to be the stronger riders and want to see something happen, rather than sitting in and waiting for the run. The packs can be quite large in some events, often with the entire field of a World Series race, with over 60 women, so you can imagine some of the stronger personalities can emerge in those conditions. There are some women who are known to make some noise out there to get the group organized, which I respect (as I am often one of them), but the races are tactical so none of us want to work more than we have to get in position for the win.

Being away from racing for most of the past two years, I’m no longer a “big name” on the start lists. As a past podium contender and decent runner, I might be on the minds of some, but there are so many other potential winners these days. I’m still working my way back up to the top!

 

SD – Your blog mentions some of the ups and downs you’ve had in the last couple of years from ‘marriage, to injuries, crashes, sickness, surgery, frustrations, comebacks, and everything in between’. These are things that might happen to all of us, but how does a professional athlete cope with them?

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