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Sat 15th Jun 2019
© John Levison
Jodie Swallow interview
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Friday 30th July 2010

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Early this year Jodie Swallow made a big decision. In order to enhance her chances of racing the Olympic Games in 2012, she re-located to Switzerland, changed coach, and changed training groups. Having secured her best World Champonship Series result last Saturday in Hyde Park, Jodie continued to show that she can be a force over the longer distances too. Already ITU World Long Distance Champion, and ETU Long Distance silver medal winner, Jodie won the Alpe d'Huez Long Course Triathlon on Wednesday, leading from the very first stroke and crossing the line almost 29 minutes clear of Rebekah Keat.

I spoke to Jodie immediately after her impressive display on the iconic mountain of Tour de France racing.

Jodie exits the swim at Alpe d'Huez 2010 ©John LevisonJL: We spoke on Thursday (pre Hyde Park WCS race), and you said you wanted to get a top-10 there. You did that (7th), and now you have won Alpe d'Huez Long Course. You must be pretty happy with the last four days?!

JS: I think I've got to ride home! To be fair, I was thinking about that during the run - my coach was saying "switch off, switch off", and I thought "I think I might, I've got to ride home tomorrow!"

JL: How far is home?

JS: 300km...

JL: Ouch! Does that mean you get away without doing a race at the weekend?

JS: Yeah, I've got no racing this weekend and then I'm back into it with the World Cup (Tiszauvaros, Hungary) the following week. The target was the World Series race (London), and so this was just a fitness race really, but I'm good at this type of stuff...

I'm going to Budapest (WCS Grand Final), which is a real target. I'm only apparently 70% fit now...

JL: It was no surprise at all to see you coming out of the swim first, but you also looked really strong on the bike. At the top of the second climb you were 9:30 clear, and by the top of Alpe d'Huez it was 14 minutes. How did it actually feel going up Alpe d'Huez?

Jodie close to the summit of Alpe d'Huez 2010 ©John Levison

JS: I can't believe that - it felt absolutely awful! It's a steep climb, but I've got this attitude of mind where I don't give up, and I always think I'm going worse than I am and that I'm hurting more than everyone else, but I'm not. That's quite encouraging, and when I got to the run I could relax and switch off - it's a bloody hard course though, really hard!

Jodie on the first major climb ©John LevisonJL: I know one of the important things for you the last few years, making your way back towards the top of the sport is to really enjoy it and have fun. With a race like this - three random distances, no ITU points, no qualifying, no records or times important - does that help given that you just go out, swim / bike / run and have fun?

JS: Yeah, we've come here as a team and obviously James won, Scott (3rd) did well too. One of my best friends is Harry Wiltshire (5th) and it is good to have all of my friends around me. Bek Keat who is finishing second now is probably my best friend, so it's fun but high performance as well so it is cool to come here, plus it is very close to where we train in Leysin as well. Perfect really!

JL: So, any more long distance racing on the schedule for the rest of the year or is it all back to focus on the build-up to Budapest?

JS: Definitely a focus up to Budapest, but then I've also got Clearwater (Ironman 70.3 World Champs) as well. It's up to my coach what races I do, but I guess I'll do long distance towards the end of the year. I don't see a problem in mixing them up. It's a demonstration from Saturday to Wednesday that I can mix them.

JL: I think you've proved that! Well, enjoy your rest - and if you can, the 300km ride home - and enjoy the rest of the year.

JS: Thank you very much, cheers.

A happy Jodie at the finish of Alpe d'Huez 2010 ©John Levison

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