Norden puts Swedish Triathlon on the Map
Before returning to Gold Coast and the scene of her world championship silver medal for the start of training for the 2010 season, Lisa Norden enjoyed some down time in her home town of Kristianstad in Sweden where she could reflect on a magnificent 2009. The former ITU Sport Development athlete took some time out to speak to her local newspaper whilst showing off her culinary skills.
Interview edited from Skanskan.se
Lisa Norden holidays at home with mother Kerstin and her two dogs in her house in Torp. But between a triathlon camp in Falun, a speedy trip to Mallorca for reconnaissance training opportunities and then a longer run training stint in Kenya she did manage to get a few days of vacation… if one can call it vacation.
“I have started to secretly train a bit. We should have a training camp in Kenya soon and I don’t want to go completely untrained.” She laughs and the recent World Championship silver medallist takes out all the necessary ingredients for a tasty apple pie.
Speaking of which, second place in the World Championships back in September was well above Lisa Norden’s own expectations for the recently completed season.
“We had scheduled a relaxed year without major goals,” she says. “I had never dreamed that it would end like this. After the podium places in Madrid, Hamburg and London, I was sure I had exhausted all my results, but then I went and won the next event in Yokohama. Absolutely fantastic!”
Before the Grand Final on the Gold Coast in Australia in September she was second in the series, and even had a chance to overtake the overall leader Emma Moffatt.
“It was a spectacular final and very tactical. I was forced to finish two places ahead of Moffatt to take home the gold, but it didn’t happen; Moffatt also won the final and I was second.”
The secret behind Lisa Norden’s success this year may sound strange, but it was largely due to a knee injury which destroyed her season build-up and ensured that she had to devote much more time to the swimming pool.
“The injury started in January, my knees started creaking when I was out running, but it took me until March before I could locate what was causing the damage - my cycling shoes. My new shoes were thinner which meant that I could not move my feet on the pedals, which in turn loaded the front of the knees more when I rode,” explains the 24 year old.
“But before we figured it out, I could not run. While all my training buddies were out on long runs I had to swim. And it paid off. In the final in Australia I kept up with the world’s best swimmers. I tended to be far behind after the top athletes come up from the water,” she continues enthusiastically.
But next season, Lisa Norden, will have to become stronger than her previous year.
“I will focus on the races and be more like a runner than a triathlete. In order to seriously compete for gold at the London Olympics in 2012 I have to make running my secret weapon. I’m going down about half a minute per mile.”
So the Olympics in London is your next big goal now?
- Yes, absolutely.
And of course, you will set your sights on gold…
- Yes! Then I will be a strong swimmer and also run like a Kenyan. In fact I will go to Kenya for some run training now,” she says with a big laugh.
While Lisa turns her attention back to the apple pie in the oven, she talks of another dream.
“I would like to open their own café. During the season, I usually pick up recipes from my training mates. My coffee shop would be Sydney-inspired and so there would be a menu with breakfast and lunch options and a page of desserts.”
Lisa is nominated for the ‘Annual Women’s Athlete’ at the Swedish Sports Gala which takes place in January. She is up against cyclist Emma Johansson, biathlete Helena Jonsson and swimmer Sarah Sjostrom.
“It’s a tough competition, and I do not really think that I will win. But it’s pretty cool to have my name next to these great sporting girls,” says Lisa humbly, and adds: “It is really cool, I have seen the Sports Gala on TV before with all the talented athletes, and now I have a chance to be there. My little sister was jubilant when she heard: “At last we’ll see you in high heels, Lisa!”