Sleekand glossy black, this tri shoe offers a stiff, super low- profile carbon sole for first-rate power transfer. In fact, the outsole stiffness makes it feel more like a road shoe than a tri shoe. Two Velcro straps and a wide, accessible heel loop make getting in and out of the shoe quick and easy even on a f lying mount. Both the straps close towards the outside of the shoe, which prevents them from hitting the crank arm – a thoughtful feature. The fit is wide despite the narrow look of the shoe. In fact, they fit about a half size large. Scott’s ErgoLogic Insole includes an adjustable metatarsal button and arch, which minimizes muscle fatigue and makes for comfortable fit and no hotspots.
The heel cup cradles the heel for support and stability. There does seem to be extra material in the upper, which bunches slightly when fastened tightly, but for a high volume foot that might be perfect. The synthetic mesh upper is great for ventilation, but might require a sock in cooler conditions. The standard three-bolt pattern gives the Scott Tri Carbon an array of pedal options.– SZ
TMC: Was this a planned entry into motherhood after your Ironman Canada win last year? Gillian Clayton: Definitely planned. We’ve waited on the parenthood front while I was busy competing in 2012. I really didn’t expect to do so well in 2011, and then that rolled into competing professionally in 2012, which was more than I ever dreamed of. So, as tricky as
My limitations are in how hard I’m able to push myself. There are some guidelines around heart rates in training, and I use a heart rate monitor now, but these aren’t absolute rules. My doctor and I have talked about going on rate of perceived exertion and lactate threshold as my guidelines for training, as well as being very careful not to overheat in training. So, I don’t go past the “controlled” breathing stage, which leaves a lot of room at the upper end of the intensity scale. I didn’t realize how hard I was pushing myself until now. I really miss that now too, the total body obliteration feeling. But that knowledge, and missing it, is a huge motivator. TMC: You did a triathlon in May while pregnant. Why did you decide to do one? Describe that experience. I assume you couldn’t go all out and had to be careful? GC: I did a sprint triathlon in Courtenay, B.C. at the end of May. I was about 26 weeks pregnant at that point. Months before, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, but didn’t have a great reason why other than ‘people don’t usually race pregnant.’ Then the closer I got to it, the more I wondered, ‘why can’t I do it?’ and then I really just wanted to prove to myself that I could. It was also a political point to prove that pregnant women can race if they want to. And I finished fourth overall, too.
The race was terrific. I had so much fun waiting for the gun to go off, going through transitions, passing people on the bike and run ( I never pass anyone in the swim so nothing new there), and getting cheers from wonderful volunteers and family members. I felt strong. The one thing that has irked me a bit during my pregnancy is the sideways glances I sometimes get from passersby while training, so to be celebrated as a pregnant athlete at that race was really heartwarming.
I couldn’t go all out, and as I mentioned in my training, I have my own rules to adhere to for training, and this race was done safely at training speed. I took it easy, smiled, encouraged others, and took my sweet time in transition (now I can see another reason for elastic laces – a pregnant belly). I was most careful on the bike for the obvious reasons, as a crash could have serious medical implications at this point. But I still bike to work daily in Vancouver city traffic, so really, racing in a triathlon was much safer than that.
I had so much fun I’ve signed up for another sprint triathlon in Vancouver in July with the Subaru Western Triathlon Series. I guess I’ll be about 33 weeks pregnant then, so I won’t be missed. I can’t wait. Although I’m not sure what I’m going to do about finding a wetsuit that fits – cut a belly hole in my old one? TMC: Provided that you are coming back to your pro career, how do you envision balancing training and child care? Do you have your jogging stroller all picked out? What will you do for the swim and bike? GC: If Simon Whitfield has become stronger for pushing a baby stroller around, so can I. I honestly don’t know how mom athletes do it, but I’ve been reassured that it is possible with wonderful family support. We have a stroller that we can eventually run with, bike and even more excitingly, cross country ski with. As if skate skiing wasn’t hard enough all by itself. I think for bike training though, it will be time to leave the baby at home for the long hours you need to put in on a bike. Swim training is a bit more efficient, time wise. I’ll be back to running before the baby is allowed to come along in a stroller anyways, so, I imagine that will be the first ‘me’ time I get after having the baby – I’m excited about that. TMC: GC: Ironman is my favourite distance by far. It would be wonderful to be able to come back and do a summer Ironman, with low pressure on results, and a focus on getting fit and enjoying the sport while balancing a very new life for us. I couldn’t really say where just yet, but I’m really attached to the Okanagan. It’s such a beautiful place on so many levels. I have been successful in Ironman racing, but I still have a lot to do to develop as an athlete, so I’m not in a rush. I’m happy to race more locally and watch our great Canadian race scene develop. I don’t think flying all over the world will be in the cards mostly because we’re real people with jobs, a child, and hopefully a house (and I would like a dog too), and we balance a budget like everyone else. TMC: Your baby could be born on the same day you won Ironman Canada. How cool would that be? Will your newborn be destined to triathlon greatness too? GC: I am definitely visualizing an August 25th baby. Who knows? My due date is August 28th with a hint that pregnant runners tend to deliver just a little bit early. I think it would be very cool, and then you’d have to think the kid would naturally lean toward triathlon too. I hope my child gets to experience triathlon, but it will be up to him or her how far they go in the sport. It’s such a natural sport for children, but a high performance environment isn’t. So, they’ll have to figure out what they want, but I’m happy to be one of their role models in sport. But I think it is pretty cool that my baby started a racing career at 26-weeks- old. TMC: For pregnant women who might be hesitant to partake in exercise, much less do a triathlon during pregnancy, what tips do you have? GC: I have very strong feelings on this topic, and that’s why I’m so happy to be able to be talking to you about it. It is a personal choice for everyone, but I don’t think women should be scared about it. It has to start as a conversation with your doctor because some people have more complications in pregnancy than others, and that is of paramount importance to sort out.
I wasn’t without anxiety when I reached the end of my first trimester (in which I was honestly so tired just going for an easy run, swim or bike was the most I could do), when I went into my doctor and started asking about lactate threshold training and speed work because I felt like I could train harder. We looked through the evidence and that made me feel better. But that information is not easy to find, which I think is a disservice to female athletes.
I think the bottom line is this is a time in your life that you become very attuned to your body. You will know if something is wrong when you are training, and for female athletes, I think that is a gift they already have in spades. So they just have to trust their bodies, and if you feel good – run, swim, bike, and if you don’t feel good, stop and reassess. Having support from family and a good medical team is of huge importance too. TMC: Anything else you might want to mention and that we haven’t covered yet? GC: Now going through the first six months of pregnancy, I really want to say that if I wasn’t able to be as active and as fit as I am now, that I think pregnancy would be a real struggle. You go through some massive physical changes, and to be able to keep up to them you need to be fit. Then, at the end, there’s this thing called labour and childbirth and I think the fitter you are for that, the better. I personally feel that continuing to go out and workout during pregnancy helps keep me in touch with the sensations of pain, discomfort, fatigue and perseverance that can only help down the line not only in childbirth, but in my future racing career. That, and I’d really like to thank Triathlon Magazine Canada for shining a light on the issue as I think it’s something more and more people are curious about, and for good reason. It would have been really reassuring to me to read an article like this before, or just as, I became pregnant.