Liz Blatchford speaks to Velomotion
Posted on July 2, 2012 - 1:00am by Mike Smith
As part of the All3Motion competition to win the chance to train with world-class triathlete Liz Blatchford, we had a chat with Liz last week to discuss her plans to focus on long-course triathlons, training advice and whether she can take over ChrissieWellington's place at the top of the triathlon ladder.
Hi Liz. What will you be doing with the competition winner today?
We're taking Sue out for a bike ride first of all to some of the local streets around here. We're going to a little cafe for lunch, which should be nice. I'm going to pay attention to her technique, anything that I can pick up and give her some adviceto help her cycling. After that we're going have a chat and I'll answer any questions she wants to ask and she's going to have a Gait Analysis at All3Motion also.
How important is bike fitting for a cyclist?
Bike fitting is crucial for training and racing. If you're in the wrong bike position not only do you not have enough power and you're not going to go as fast, but it's prone to cause injuries. Your bike fit is essential and that's what they do here.
Have you got any tips for budding triathletes?
I think you've got to find something you love and find the enjoyment in it – and that's crucial. You're not going to continue in something if you don't enjoy it. And I think getting good advice from people that you trust, following the good advice andthings like getting good bike fits and a suitable training programme. They are all really important factors.
Out of the three triathlete sports, which is your favourite – bike, run or swim?
I grew up in Australia so started off doing surf lifesaving and swimming at the beach, so I've always been a bit of a water-baby. The swimming side of thingsI've always loved.
You are someone who has competed at the very top. How do you deal with pre-race nerves?
It's a hard one. I still get nerves and I've been racing for 17 years now and I still get nerves race morning. I'm glad I do, because the day I don't get those nerves is the day I don't care as much. I just focus on processes, the things I have to do andjust get on with it, rather than worrying about the nerves and letting them get to you. Think about things you've got to do and get them done.
So you're making the transition to long-course triathlons. What races will you be competing in over the next few months?
Next week I'm heading to the USA and doing a three month stint in the US. Got a string of races lined up, first in New York City with one of the Olympic distance 5150 non-drafting and then I'm going to do Boulder 70.3 and do some training up in Boulderfor altitude . My main focus in the next few months is the hi-vi Des Moins race – the final of the 5150 series. And I'll finish with a 70.3 down in Cancun, Mexico.
Have you set any goals for these races?
Well the 70.3's I'm doing this year are going to be a bit of a test and I'm going to see if I really like that thing. I have done that sort of thing in the past, I've really enjoyed them and pretty happy with how it went. The Ironman's a whole differentlevel and I know that. I haven't set any goals yet and I'm going to think about that over the next few months and start to put a plan in place for the next year. Whether it's next year or the year after when I do my next Ironman, but I know it's in my futuresoon.
What areas will you be focusing on as you make the transition to 70.3 and eventually full Ironman's?
I think the main difference between what I have been training for (the ITU series) and the long course stuff is the biking. It's such a dominant part of the non-drafting races and you spend a whole lot more time on the saddle doing the same one-pace time-trialtype efforts. That's going to be my focus in the next year and being competitive in an Ironman is what I need to work on.
Nutrition is going to be an even bigger factor for you as you will be competing for longer. What will you be doing?
I have quite a bit of experience with nutrition based on the halves that I've done. I've also been working with my own nutrition sponsors and they have fantastic products and can give me advice where I need to. The nutrition is slightly different witheach race: if you go into a hot race you need to think about salts and hydration a lot more than not. I'm going to get a good team around me with good advice and hopefully I'll get things right.
Chrissie Wellington has dominated the long-course triathlons over the last few years. Is your aim to take over where she left off while she takes a break from the sport?
You know what, that would be a dream. Chrissie's achieved so much in the sport and she's incredible. To get anywhere close to Chrissie's level would be a dream and absolutely that's what I'll be aiming for.