Katie Archibald is a professional runner who has represented Scotland in international competitions since 2009. She recently took part in the 2019 Track World Championships as a member of Team GB, and her medal-winning performance helped to inspire fans all over the world. Katie talks about how she got into running at such an early age, why music was so important during those years, and what it means for runners now that sports have been transformed by technology like never before.
At Tokyo 2020, Katie Archibald won gold in the Madison.
|Roubaix, France is the location of this event. Dates: October 20-24|
|Live on Four, Red Button, iPlayer, and the Sport app|
Katie Archibald, Britain’s Olympic gold medalist in track cycling, doesn’t need to be hyped up for the Track Cycling World Championships; just don’t ask her a question while she’s wearing her headphones.
Archibald, 27, wants to keep flourishing beyond Tokyo 2020, despite a demanding schedule.
She will compete in at least three events at the championships in Roubaix, France, which will be broadcast live across the world, after winning gold and silver at the Olympics and days after winning three European crowns.
When it comes to her sentiments when racing, she adds, “one emotion is not to be too overwhelmed.” “It’s difficult to turn off.”
Music is one of the ways Archibald puts herself into the zone. So, what kind of music helps her channel the ferocious intensity she needs to win on the track?
“I don’t want to hit my head,” she said. “I’m looking for anything to lower my heart rate. I’m already anxious enough!
“It varies each competition, but it might be a Laura Marling record or anything.”
“For racing, you’ll need a large set of headphones to let others know you don’t want to be bothered. People continue to sit and converse. How could you possibly be unaware?”
Despite the fact that Archibald is ready to compete, the British side travelling to France will be missing a few key players, including Jason and Laura Kenny. However, this allows others to flourish, such as Ethan Hayter of the Ineos Grenadiers.
Olympic medalists Neah Evans and Josie Knight, as well as Megan Barker and Ella Barnwell, are compete in the elite track World Championships for the first time.
And after Archibald’s headphones are removed, she intends to improve her performance during the five-day tournament, which was relocated from its intended host city of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, due to constraints imposed by the coronavirus outbreak.
“These realms offer new chances, so I’m both terrified and excited,” she remarked.
“I’m doing the team pursuit, Madison, and Omnium – with the possibility of doing the points race, which I haven’t decided on yet.”
“The madison was a new challenge for the Tokyo Games, and I partnered with Laura [Kenny] for it [in which they won gold].”
“Individual objectives have always been the source of the most stress for me, so the omnium at the World Championships would be that for me. However, I just won the European championship and was the omnium world champion during the last Olympic cycle.”
Archibald, who has nine medals from track world competitions, says that the anxious energy she has before races is all part of the game as she strives for victory.
“We frequently have chats with team-mates about hanging on to the barrier before the start – I can feel my arm trembling before the gun goes off, but it all simply floats away,” she remarked.
“I’ve definitely had those unimaginably wonderful days when you can’t put your finger on why you can’t do it in training.”
“I try to keep track of when such times occur in my mind. ‘Oh my gosh, this is what I was designed to accomplish,’ says the pistol most of the time. It’s a sensation I’m always on the lookout for.”
However, feeling well on the morning of a major race does not automatically equate to victory.
“I’ve had it happen before, and the race ended up being a disaster,” Archibald remarked. “It was for a madison,” says the narrator. That morning, Laura and I were on the turbo [trainer], and I was putting out this insane amount of power like it was nothing, and I thought to myself, “That’s me triggered.”
“Listen, today’s going to go great, I feel wonderful,” I told Laura, “then I used it all on the first 10 laps and blew to bits!”
What does Archibald think about when fending off the competitors if she’s having a good day? Of course, there are more tracks…
“Are you familiar with the tune ‘One guy went to mow…’?” ‘However, there are ten more laps to go…’ It’s even better if I don’t finish my song by the time I finish [my goal], because then I have, like, a free 10 meters.
“At the very least, that’s one stray notion I can offer…”