July Athlete Blog: Tracey Lambrechs

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For the first time in our history, New Zealand has been invited to compete in the Pacific Games. This is really exciting and I am finally able to start counting down the days till I get up at an awfully early time (4am) to head to the airport!

On my way to Papua New Guinea (PNG) to compete with my team at the Oceania Weightlifting Championships, held in conjunction with the Pacific Games, I’m sure the nerves will be on standby until we touch down and settle in.

This is the first time I will be in a competition where medals can be won for each individual lift as opposed to a single medal for the combined total of the two lifts. There is the potential for athletes to walk away with up to 4 medals, preferably all gold I’m sure.  The competition will be tough but that’s great! It will make the athletes work harder and really earn those medals.

My build up for the competition hasn’t been perfect, but I’m okay with that. If it was perfect then I haven’t been training hard enough. One aspect of training that I am very excited about was setting a new personal best in my back squat!

The last time I attempted to max out I reached 192.5kg, this time I managed 205kg! That’s the biggest squat in history for a New Zealand female weightlifter! It’s very exciting to still be getting stronger after competing for so many years.

PNG is going to be hot, much hotter than what it is in NZ, so I have been training in a heated gym or in a few extra layers. It’s amazing how the heat can have such a big effect on performance and strength.

I have competed in a lot of hot countries, but not enough to be comfortable with it. Although my body enjoys the warmth, I do struggle with it more than the lighter athletes. To try and minimise the heat effects, my coaches, Dr Adam Storey, and the assistant coaches, will be well prepared with ice and damp towels. In-between warm-up lifts, ice packs will be placed on top of my head as well as on the back of my neck; this tends to cool the body down and helps me manage my core body temp.

When I arrive in PNG I will only have one training session per day with 2 days of rest before I compete. My days will consist of training and supporting my team mates and naps in between all the action. I have made an extra effort to make sure I still get my recovery naps by investing in some earplugs and a couple of pillows to take with me. One can never be too prepared!

In my next blog I will review my competition and have exciting details of the trip.

If anyone has questions feel free to ask away.

Tracey Lambrechs, Olympic Weightlifter

Follow Tracey’s journey on her Facebook page

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