By Peter Holmes on 10/09/09 at 9:42 am
Sweden’s Lisa Norden sits second in the Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Series with just the Grand Final to go. A win for the Swede would mean that Emma Moffatt would have to finish second if she is to lift the World Championship title, so it’s all to play for come Sunday afternoon.
How have your preparations been leading in to the Grand Final?
It’s been one of the best training blocks for me so far. As I had a very slow start this year (due to my knee injury) I’m still coming good. We have moved in to a slightly different phase of training with most of the big endurance work already done over in Europe and I’ve been enjoying the faster workouts. To come over here, to Australia, after Japan was also really smooth. Gold Coast is almost like a second home to me now, I have a great support team to look after me and my bike and I also know where the best cafés are!
Given your position in the rankings, how does that affect your race plans and mindset in catching Moffatt?
Well, there is always only one thing I can do out there and that is to focus on my own race and my own performance. If I start to think too much about points and places I would go mental and it wouldn’t really help me to race any better.
Emma’s preparations have been hampered by injury, so would you say you are perhaps the favourite?
Emma is a very strong girl supported by a strong team of coaches and medical staff. I believe they have done everything possible to give her the best possible preparation for this race. I know from my own experience that you can maintain and improve your fitness level well from only swimming and biking, my race in Madrid was a good example of this. Not to forget the massive support Emma will receive out on the course being her home race.
As the season is drawing towards a close, how is your body holding up physically?
As I mentioned earlier I’m still coming stronger every week and I haven’t had any problems once I got me knee sorted out. Mentally I’m still hungry for racing and competing and I’m enjoying being in the phase where I can start to work with the details and not only the bigger picture and underlying fitness.
Every time you step outside to go training, what is going through your mind?
At the moment I really enjoy my training. I’ve been smashing my old times and records which of course, is a big bonus. I don’t think I put too much into each session but trying to do the best job I can every time I go out.
What are your personal expectations?
I would love to cross the finish line being happy with my performance feeling I have gotten everything out of my body. I love when I manage to find the small pockets of hidden strengths, just like with 400m to go in Yokohama. I train very hard and I expect myself and my body to lift another level when I race.
What would winning the title mean to you?
I guess a medal at a senior world championships would be a massive step in my career. I’ve come a long way starting from the very back of the results lists slowly making my way up. A medal any colour would be more than I ever dared to dream about when I first started out.
How do you cope with the nerves and pressure of racing on the big stage?
Darren, my coach, is pretty good with keeping my head around the important things and not worry too much about the other things. There are some things I can control and other things I can’t. I’ll just have to keep remind myself about that. I made a promise to myself early in my triathlon career that I would stop the day I didn’t enjoy racing. I tend to do a better job if I allow myself to relax and enjoy the process. I’m looking forward to this race and don’t see any reason to put too much pressure on myself. My goal for this year was to race without too much pressure but to gather experience on high level racing. I didn’t expect to find myself in this position, and don’t find a reason to stress too much about it now.