In Conversation With… Libby Smithson

I’m a big supporter of other women and to stop my columns being very ‘me me me’, as I want to use this space as a place to promote and not as a narcissist power trip, I thought this time around and during such challenging times I’d give mine a positive twist.

My twist – it’s all about the promising young female talent that is Libby Smithson! Together we did a Q&A about the situation we are all facing and Libby as a cyclist. So sit back and enjoy!

Charlotte Broughton (CB)

Libby Smithson (LS)

CB: Little bit of background info about yourself?

LS: I used to swim but stopped about 2 years ago as I started to really hate it. Then to be honest didn’t do much for a few years. Then in June 2019 decided to do cycling as one of sports for gcse as my brother did it very competitively and was very good, not that I really realised, but he was National omnium champ and national series winner, and thought it couldn’t be that hard, I was wrong, but I really started to love it although I did ‘give up’ about 3 times in the first month.

I like track and road equally just depends what the weathers like to be honest on which I’d rather do. It’s been really hard at times to motivate myself as I feel at a disadvantage w my lack of experience and not really knowing what I’m doing half the time but when I stop I realise how much I miss it and with help from coaches, my team and my friends and family I feel like I’m learning all the time.

CB: How are you finding training during this quarantine and what sort of training have you been / are you doing?

LS: I’m actually quite enjoying it I feel like as I have a lot of time and don’t have school I can train when I want, how I want and how long I want to. It’s scary not knowing when we’re going to race and hard to find motivation at time’s but everyone’s in the same boat and I’m enjoying it and that’s what matters the most at the moment (it’s like my escape from everything) .

I’ve been mixing up indoor training and solo rides depending on the weather and what I want to do although at the moment ( never thought I’d say this) but I’m really enjoying the turbo.

CB: What are you doing to keep yourself occupied when you aren’t training during this quarantine?

LS: I’ve been on houseparty talking to my friends a lot, spending too much time on tik tok, baking, I’ve started doing some yoga by following online videos which I’m really enjoying, I’ve been baking, catching up on sleep and watching a lot of Netflix. Also been trying to sort / clear my room out which is quite a task .

CB: What are you doing to keep your mental health in a good place during this quarantine?

LS: It’s definitely hard at times but I try and think of all things I’ll do when we are out of it which make me happy like seeing friends, group rides, racing because as hard as it is there’s a reason we’re doing it we need to stop the spread so I also try to remind myself about that when I’m struggling.

Also making sure I’m fuelled well for training and still speaking to my friends on FaceTime etc. Yoga is really helpful too it helps me re set my mind set and forget about the anxieties and stresses like riding my bike also does.

CB: What advice would you like to give to other athletes in the same position as you right now?

LS: I’m probably not the person to ask but just keep going and keep it fun and enjoyable and if you want to have a day off do!

CB: When we do get racing again are you looking forward to the step up in category and what are you doing differently to ensure it’s a smooth transition?

LS: Well as I never raced as a youth it’s not really a transition it’s more of a first ever season. So I’m trying to make sure I’m physically as strong as I can be, trying not to overthink it as I can’t change the fact I haven’t raced a season before and I can’t change that I only started in June so I’m making the best of the situation.

I’m really lucky to be on the liv team who have really helped and doing all the racing I could before the lockdown really helped. I’m just looking forward to getting stuck in and seeing what I can do!

Follow Libby on Instagram: @libbysmithsonxo

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