Genevieve LaCaze is a Australian middle distance runner, specialising in the 3000m Steeplechase. She was selected to represent Australia at the London Olympic Games. She was kind enough to take time out of her schedule to answer questions for Athletics Exclusive!
Lachlan – How did you get involved in athletics?
Genevieve – I started off really early as a cross-country girl. I loved to race the long distances on grass, sometimes even bare foot. I was always active growing up on a farm with three brothers and when cross-country was compulsory in primary school, it came very naturally. I had a lot of success racing in primary school so as I reached middle school I decided to try out distance running on the track. I absolutely loved it and haven’t stopped since.
Lachlan – What does a weekly program look like for you?
Genevieve – My normal weekly program in Florida used to be pretty hectic when I was completing my university degree however once I graduated in December 2012 I seem to of found a lot more down time. Florida is not just known for its warm climate. It is the humidity that kills you therefore I would do all my main running sessions in the morning at about 6am, shower and eat breakfast around 9am, relax (pool, shopping, couch sitting) then gym around 2pm followed by a 20min shake-out run most afternoons around 3.30pm.
Lachlan – What advice would you give to someone who is looking to start to dedicate more time to athletics?
Genevieve – Scheduling and structure. It is hard to dedicate more time to something when your hours in the day remain the same. I believe the best way to commit to something is planning how and when you will do it. If you want to become more serious you must know what is required and how you will add this to your daily routine. Once you sort that out it seems much more possible.
Lachlan – Competing at the London Olympics was obviously a huge dream come true. When did you first realise that it was a real possibility that you could achieve such success? Is it a huge sense of relief, knowing that all your hard work on and off the track was working?
Genevieve – London was a dream come true because I was very lucky to of made it just in time (kind of). Yes it was relieving to know that everything I had worked for paid off however I didn’t see the Olympics as an unattainable dream. I knew I could achieve the qualifying time a year or so out if I kept focused and continued to work hard every day. Although I am very honored to have been able to represent my country and become an Olympian, I still have higher goals and expectations for myself. I want to continue to improve and reach bigger and better things. I hope to have the Australian 3km steeplechase record in the next few years.
Lachlan – It is unfortunate, but injuries are apart of sport. You’re currently coming back from a compact fracture in your foot. Can you briefly explain how you are going about getting back into running?
Genevieve – Injuries are unfortunate and I am sure no one wants to have set backs in their sport but all in the same breath, I wouldn’t ever change what happened. It has been a very long process approaching 5 months since the fall however I have gained so much experience from this set back. For the past few months now I have been working on strengthening everything from my foot up. I am attending to aspects of my program that I have probably neglected in the past. I have had way more support then I ever could have imagined and met some amazing people along the way. The Queensland Academy of Sport have made sure I have everything I need and more. Just this week Athletics Australia have sent me to the Australian Institute of Sport to receive constant treatment by a great medical staff, assistance from some of the best coaches in the country and access to top of the line facilities all day every day. I should be back to full strength in no time.
Lachlan – What are your goals for the coming season?
Genevieve – The first and foremost goal is getting back to 100% health. I am only a few weeks away so if all goes to plan I should be back to my optimal fitness soon. From there I will keep my eyes on the ultimate prize and that is Commonwealth Games in Glasgow July 2014. I hope to be back in full force to run for my country again!