This article first appeared on the Femail website titled ‘Genevieve La Caze Steeplechasing Interview‘.
She staged bombed Kylie Minogue’s performance at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, and now she’s back and in fighting form, setting a string of personal bests in the lead up to the Rio Olympics where she will represent her country in Steeplechasing.
Interview with Genevieve La Caze
Question: What inspired your passion for Steeplechasing?
Genevieve La Caze: I truly believe that the steeplechase was an event that was made for me. When I was growing up, I did every sport under the sun while I wasn’t great at all of them, it definitely allowed me to develop my coordination and athletic ability. The steeplechase is quite the mix – it’s aerobic running – combined with agility and power. I stumbled into it at college and fell in love.
Question: When did you know you were passionate enough to pursue Steeplechasing at such a high level?
Genevieve La Caze: Similar to above- I fell in love with the sport straight away, and genuinely enjoyed the challenges that came with completing this event.
Question: What are you doing to prepare for the Rio Olympics?
Genevieve La Caze: Intensive training and racing – I’m about to head off to Italy for another 1500m meet at Lignano, before altitude training in Mt Laguna, California. I’ll then join the rest of the Australian Olympic team in Rio at the beginning of August. Along with competing, I’m still training every day and ensuring that I’m at my very best ahead of the Olympics.
Question: Can you talk us through your recently achieved personal bests?
Genevieve La Caze: Diamond League Meet: 9:23.19 seconds
Oslo Diamond League: 9:30.52 seconds
Question: What do you hope to achieve at the Rio Olympics?
Genevieve La Caze: I was only 22 at the London Olympics and felt like I was a baby of the squad and unfortunately I didn’t end up making it to the final. This year at Rio I not only hope to make it through the heat, but also to make it to the steeplechase final.
Question: At such a crucial time, how do you manage injury prevention?
Genevieve La Caze: I’ve been injured in my career and it really shook my confidence and took me quite some time to recover mentally and physically I always make sure I listen to my body and try not to overdo training when I am not feeling at my peak.
There are also a few things that I like to keep in my weekly routine to have my body ready for high demands of the exercise I do. Stretching is first and foremost and I mainly do this before sessions. Second would be trigger points and foam rolling. I use a firm ball (lacrosse ball) to trigger point my glute muscles, high hamstrings and lower back. I also like to foam roll my quads, ITBs and hamstrings. This is usually all after training. Third would be massage. I get treated once a week for an hour. Fourth would be compression tights. The night before and after a hard session I like to wear compression tights to help flush the muscles from any soreness.
I also use a great topical gel called Flexiseq, which really helps with relief from pain and stiffness, while also helping to improve joint function. Finally, ice baths are a good recovery method and I take them frequently around racing to reduce any inflammation.
Question: Can you give us your top five tips on recovery for runners?
Genevieve La Caze: In addition to the above – what I do to prevent injury is also what I tend to do to aid in recovery pre and post training sessions
Question: What’s a typical day like, for you currently, in the lead up to the Rio Olympics?
Genevieve La Caze: It really depends what day it is, there is no average day for me in the lead up to the Olympics! I train every day except Fridays, which I take off completely as a rest day.
For example, on Thursdays we do a threshold running day. This is where we run within a certain set heart rate zone, which we usually do for 18km. It doesn’t stop there – I also usually add a gym session in after my training, before taking an ice bath and popping on some compression tights.
Question: What advice do you have for young sportswomen?
Genevieve La Caze: At the end of the day I can truly say I love my job. I love training, I live for racing and I cherish the good performances. I think that is important in anything you dedicate so much time to – you have to enjoy it and appreciate the opportunities that arise.