Stiff Com­peti­tor

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Front Page -

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.

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