Preparation is key.
With the TORQ Performance track cycling team due to take part in the World Track Masters, we took a bit of time to ask Janet Birkmyre about the preparation that goes into this sort of event.
Janet is renowned in the track cycling world, with over 37 World Masters Championship titles, 28 European Masters and over 57 National Masters titles across individual, scratch and team pursuit disciplines.
Thanks for answering some questions, Janet! Firstly, how do you prepare for an event like the World Track Masters?
“That’s not a quick one to answer because I have been working towards this championship for two years now! The World Masters were in LA for 2017 and 2018 but life, work and family commitments made it impossible for me to travel.
“I hated not defending the titles I won in 2016 but my coach seeded the thought of us working towards a World Masters record in the individual pursuit and so everything I have done has been about getting faster over 2k.”
Do you get nervous, if so what part makes you most nervous?
“Oh yes, I get really nervous and it starts weeks out – it’s exhausting! As I get closer to the championships things that really set me off are the publication of the rider list or posts on social media. So I try to avoid that and I lean heavily on my husband, David, and my coach, Steve Cronshaw, who seem to have incredible patience and confidence.
“On race day it is off the scale but I calm myself with the idea that nerves mean adrenaline and that will help me go faster.”
Do you have a diet and nutrition plan, if so did you manage to keep to it?
“Nutrition is critical for anyone trying to get the best of out themselves – if you make poor nutritional choices you will pay the price, it’s as simple as that. I have always eaten well, my parents were both very knowledgeable and I was lucky enough to know nothing else but healthy eating when I grew up.
“Now I try to understand and balance my energy and recovery needs and that is where TORQ nutrition has served me so well over the years.”
Do you have a pre-event ritual or lucky charm?
“No, happily I am not superstitious and I genuinely believe in the well worn maxim the harder I work the luckier I get. My father, who was an Olympic oarsman and so no stranger to competition at the very highest level, once told me that he never wished for good luck, just an absence of bad luck and honestly, that is all I hope for.”