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Jo Kiesanowski goes from strength to strength
Jul 12th, 12. In just a few weeks, Jo Kiesanowski will pull on the NZ skinsuit for the Omnium track events of the London Olympics - it's been a three year journey but the Kiwi is strong and she is ready.
In December 2009 when the Olympic committee announced the Omnium was to become an Olympic event, Kiesanowski knew it was an event for her.
At the time she was a specialist road rider with two Oympics to her name, but she had always loved gym work and the mix of sprint and endurance strengths required for the Omnium appealed to her.
"You have to work on lots of explosive power as well as going on long road rides. It's everything, it's great - I love it," she told RoadCycling.co.nz from the US before she left for Bordeaux, France where she has now joined up with the rest of the NZ track team.
To help with the strength side of things, Kiesanowski and her husband Jeff built their own gym in their backyard in Colorado Springs. Their set up includes various shapes and sizes of weights, pull-up bars, a box jump, a medicine ball and a newly built lifting platform.
"It's great to be able to just walk outside, go to the garage and get the weights out and lift some weights in the sunshine. I can go out and do some weights before or after a ride."
One hour weights sessions are included in her training session about 3-4 times a week, with core sessions added in too.
When she is not away racing with her Tibco road team, or training and racing with the NZ track team - she has just finished a block of training in Kutztown, USA with the other track girls - Kiesanowski enjoys time back in Colorado Springs, where she has the added benefit of altitude training.
"We live at 6000ft on the dot, 1830m," she explained. "It's reasonably high and it definitely makes it brutal doing trainer workouts at altitide - you are just gasping for air. They are hard enough at sea level, but when you go to altitude to do them it's another level completely."
With the emphasis on balancing strength as well as speed, Kiesanowski is 5kg heavier than when she was a road rider at the Beijing Olympics - but it is carefully engineered weight.
"You can't just put on weight and expect it to make you go faster, you have to make sure it's lean weight and muscle you're putting on. It took a long time to do that, it didn't happen even over just one year."
Olympics - keeping a clear head
Kiesanowski is happy with where her form is, but is looking forward to the current block of training in Bordeaux where she will train alongside the NZ Team Pursuit squad.
"Training with the TP gals is awesome, it helps push me to another level as well."
Although she acknowledges the Olympics are a very special event - one which her parents and husband are heading to London to watch in person - Kiesanowski is keeping a check on her pre-event nerves.
"You can't overthink it, you can't let it get too big for you. You have to remember you are racing against all the same people that you've raced against over the last few years in World Cups and World Championships and that you are as good as all of them - if not better.
"You just have to put it all together on the day and trust your training and know that you've done everything possible and that you're going to be the best out there."
Strength training in Colorado Springs
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