Kate is pretty much super mum! She was back winning races less than 12 months after giving birth to her son Finlay and recently recorded joint 7th fastest GB female of all time for a 25 mile TT… 51 minutes and 51 seconds of sheer awesomeness!!
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to set up Compete PR? Following university and a year spent living over in Vancouver, Canada I joined the team at sports retailer Decathlon UK, on their retail management grad scheme. Here, I was later promoted to PR Manager, helping with the launch of several of their new stores. I went on to join the IRONMAN UK team for a short period, before taking on a role at the London 2012 Olympics working on the triathlon event. I set up Compete PR as I really wanted to specialize in the sport of triathlon – and really enjoyed the fulfillment and flexibility of working for myself.
What’s been your proudest achievement? It’s a cliché – but being a mummy.
I’m proud of how bubbly and energetic a little character Finlay is.
I’m proud to have been able to keep my business running, even through a four-week hospital stay when Finn was in neonatal care and with all the associated pressures that come with having a new baby.
And I’m proud of how my body has taken to my return to training and competition. It’s been the hardest 12 months of my life, but the most rewarding and it’s certainly transformed me as a person. Your perspective changes completely. And I feel with me, it’s made me a better person (albeit a tired and frazzled one!)
Coming from a triathlon background how did make the transition to cyclist? And what are your plans for this season? I discovered cycling was my strength when I started working with Matt (Bottrill). He told me I had real potential and that it was something I should explore as a stand-alone sport. It’s difficult to know if my shift to the single discipline would have come about so quickly had I not have had Finlay, but it seemed like the perfect time to give it a go, as I would have struggled to balance the three disciplines, and race to the level I knew I was capable of. This year I am hoping to compete in the National 10, 25, 50 and 100 Time Trial Championships, and otherwise race local time trials as the logistics of travelling with Finlay, and our dog Alfie, means that a trip further afield is a massive logistical effort which means I end up knackered on the start line!
You manage to balance work, motherhood and training with incredible success, What are your top tips for other mums and mums-to-be out there? Life becomes one big balancing act.
On the one hand, it’s really hard work, and I have without a doubt found it to be the most challenging period of my life to date. Lack of sleep, the inherent uncontrollable nature of a baby, a different body, feeds around the clock – everything changes. I’ve had lots of wobbles and there are days where I question if I am going to be able to keep it all up.
But, at the same time, it’s the most incredible thing ever – and the motivation of having little Finlay, along with time to myself being super precious, has helped me find determination and focus I’ve never had before.
Tips wise – accept that it is going to be a tough ride, but don’t try to fight this or plough along in a haze of denial. Keep focus, take help when you are offered it and use the new strength of being mummy to your advantage.
What advice would you offer around training pre and post pregnancy?
When pregnant – mainly, relax and enjoy it!
This is no time to be thinking about performance or PBs. Take advantage of the mental and physical break from the demands of a structured and regimented training program. I actually really enjoyed training through pregnancy for this very reason – it was fulfilling in an altogether different way.
After being pregnant – take it slowly to begin with, and don’t rush to get stuck back in. Regardless of your birthing experience, your body has been through a lot. It might feel and look okay on the surface, but your inners take a beating. Remember the rule of ‘one step forwards, two steps back’. Listen to your body, enjoy being mummy, and if anyone offers you help, grab hold of them with both hands and take it!
Something which might surprise us about you…?
I started out as a long distance runner and have completed eleven marathons, countless half marathons, and a 50-mile ultra.
I used to head and do 20 mile+ runs in the hilly trails of the Peaks District most weeks when I lived in Sheffield. I never competed to a particularly high level, but really enjoyed it. I only got on for a bike for the first time properly in 2011, and this was when I caught the triathlon bug.
And finally, tell us a bit about your favourite bike and why?
My first triathlon bike is definitely up there – I bought a Quintana Roo Dulce in 2011, which had a retro camo-pink frame and I used to travel silly distances on. This involved commuting 60 odd miles into London regularly – bonkers – and once leaving home at 4am in the morning to cycle across the country to attend a friend’s wedding. I had no concept of a structured training routine at this time, and simply enjoyed getting out on my bike whenever I could. It’s given me a pretty good endurance base though, which I hope will stand me in stead in the longer distance time trials, for which I’ve limited experience of.