Monday, November 7, 2011

Interview with Leonie Campbell

If you've been following the blog at all, you've heard me mention my best buddy, Leonie Campbell.  She and I work and train together (ok, she trains and I try to tag along when I'm not afraid she'll run me into the ground!).  I thought it would be interesting and informative to do an interview with her, as she is as close to a professional athlete as I can get right now!!  
Getting ready to start the swim at the Hard Corps Sprint Tri

Q1: How long have you been running? 
A1: I come from a family of runners.  I grew up with a dad that ran 8 miles a day and a mom who ran 3 every morning.  My brother and I would bike with Mom when we were little on the weekends, and then started running with her when we were in middle school.

Q2: When did you begin doing triathlons? 
A2: I did my first triathlon in 2008 in North Carolina.  My first few were relays since I could only swim (busted ankle) and worked my way to a full race by the end of the season with the Wilmington Sprint Triathlon.

Q3: What do you consider to be the toughest part of a tri? 
A3: Going to sleep the night before and waking up the morning of a race! The first part of the run is typically the most awkward.  Your body has to adjust from being on a bike for miles to running in a matter of seconds.  Things can feel rather discombobulated.

Q4: How many miles do you average in a week?  
A4: Swimming, biking, or running?  Swimming - about 10000 yds.  Biking - 100-150 miles.  Running - 20-25 miles

Q5: What makes tris so much fun?  
A5: I'm addicted.  Addicts need to feed their addiction.  I enjoy the combination of the sports, the people you meet racing in different places, and being outdoors.

Q6: What one piece of advice would you give to a runner looking to get a PR in their next 5k?
A6: Find a track.  Do intervals....6x400 at your goal 5k race pace will work wonders.

Q7: What nutritional supplements do you use specific for endurance training? 
I use Hammer Nutrition's Daily Essentials Kit.  However, I do not think that anything substitutes a well rounded diet based on whole foods.
Leonie and me trying to take our own picture :-)

Q8: How does someone go from running to the world of triathlon?  
A8: I'm originally a swimmer (water polo player) which probably makes the transition a bit easier since swimming is the most technical of the three disciplines.  So, I asked my husband, Knight, for his answer to this questions since he is a runner who has become a triathlete.  His simple answer - "Buy a bike. Suck up the swim." In a few more words, he added that if you find that you like your first race, finding a swim class or swim coach can really help make the swim more manageable.  As a runner, he may get a little behind on the swim, but spends the bike and run hunting people down.  I end up running in fear of being caught.  Being the hunter rather than the hunted is usually preferred.

Q9: What is your favorite gadget to train with?  
A9: Does my husband count?  For me, having a training partner far out paces any gadget out there.  That being said, I do train with a Garmin 310 and use Training Peaks to track my workout schedule and load.  I like the Garmin over the Timex because of the ability to easily move it from your bike to your wrist for the run.
Leonie with her favorite training "gadget", her husband Knight!

Q10: What is your most embarrassing moment (race or non-race related) 
A10: Race related - miss counting laps of the bike course for the TritonMan Sprint.  I got a number of phone calls and Facebook post the next few days asking how I do my job if I can't count to 3.

Q11: Tri gear is expensive. What do you splurge on? What do you save on?
A11: Hmmm....The only two places you can "buy time" is the swim and the bike.  Getting a triathlon specific wetsuit for swimmer or non-swimmer will make you faster.  The difference for non-swimmers (ie someone who isn't a competitive swimmer) can be upwards of 10 minutes in an olympic distance race (1500m swim).  Wetsuits run from $100 - $700. My go to wetsuit this season is a sleeveless that cost me less than $150.  Patience, coupons, last season's models.

After a couple races or maybe an entire season, you may decide it's time to upgrade from a mountain bike or road bike to a triathlon specific bike.  It's a big investment and doing the research or finding a friend that can help you is a must.  Buying a good bike is worth the investment if you are making that leap.  Do not buy a bike based on the brand.  Ultimately, the most important factor in the bike is that it fits you.  There are dozens of manufacturers that manufacture a variety of different frames.  Find the bike that you are comfortable on and fits you in your price point.  If you have a choice between flashy wheels or better components, go with the components.  Wheels are easy to upgrade later.

Q12: What's your favorite post-race meal?  
A12: Chipolte Burrito Bowl

My favorite picture of Leonie!!!!

Here are some of her amazing race performance highlights:

USAT All American Honors Female 25-29
All Marine National Triathlon Team
1st Alternate Armed Forces Military World Championships
La Quinta Desert International                     7th Overall
Super Seal                                                       9th Overall
Armed Forces Championship                      7th Overall
Wildflower Olympic                                       11th Overall
Orange Country Triathlon                             7th Overall
Escape from Alcatraz                                    15th Overall
Breath Of Life Ventura Triathlon                  2nd Overall
Camp Pendleton Sprint                                 3rd Overall
Santa Barbara Long Course                         5th Overall
Oceanside Pier Swim                                    1st 25-29 Age Group
Tri Rock Olympic                                            1st Overall
Orangeman 70.3                                            4th Overall
SharkFest San Diego                                     1st 25-29 Age Group

Las Vegas Triathlon                                       7th Overall
Marina Del Playa Triathlon                           3rd Overall
Blue Water Triathlon                                      3rd Overall
Oceanside Pier Swim                                    3rd 25-29 Age Group

Solana Beach Triathlon                                12th Overall
Pendleton Sprint Triathlon                            6th Overall
Surf Town Triathlon                                        3rd Overall
Orange County Triathlon                               9th Overall
San Diego Classic                                          7th Overall

1 comment:

Brittany said...

Good interview! I've only done one sprint tri but I was SO nervous. During my swim, all my training went completely out the window. And she is right, the transition from bike to run is so awkward. Different muscles, different movements, it takes a while to get your running 'groove' on

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Love the feedback and the motivation. Thanks!