We caught up with American Jarrod Shoemaker before the ITU World Championship series race in London. Shoemaker spoke with us about his win in Hamburg, his goals leading into the 2012 Olympics and the advantages of having a family that understands his commitment to the sport.
Triathlete: Can you walk us through the feeling of crossing the finish line in Hamburg?
Shoemaker: Finishing in Hamburg was an experience I have been waiting for since winning Under-23 Worlds in 2005. I was feeling great at the start of the run and just kept pushing the pace and ran scared all race long.
Triathlete: Now that you have that win under your belt, do you feel any increased attention or pressure coming into the London race?
Shoemaker: I do not feel any more or less pressure. My goal all year long has been consistency and I have raced well on a race to race basis. I continue to try to improve and continue to learn about the sport. The focus and attention on this race is the showdown between Gomez and Brownlee.
Triathlete: Many athletes work for years to be among the top in the ITU ranks. Is their anything specific you’ve done in your training to help you compete among the best ITU athletes?
Shoemaker: I have been working really hard on my swimming and overall biomechanics. It is really hard to travel and race in so many countries and continue to keep a solid training base and stay healthy. I think the biggest thing is learning what you need to do to be successful and repeating that.
Triathlete: Knowing that the Olympics will be in London in 2012, does this race in London have a different feel to it?
Shoemaker: I don’t think that this race has a different feel to it than say Beijing did in 2005. Most of the athletes have been to London before whereas in Beijing nobody had been there before. The course will also change over the next few years before the Olympics. Basically having the race in continental Europe is far different than China.
Triathlete: What are some of your interim goals leading into 2012?
Shoemaker: My goals will stay the same for every year and that is to stay healthy, keep moving forward with my biomechanics and keep racing consistently. I also try to have as much fun as possible at races and enjoy the atmosphere and the camaraderie with my USA teammates.
Triathlete: Triathlon seems to be a big part of your family. Does it help that you have siblings and a wife that understand the sport and the lifestyle?
Shoemaker: I don’t think I could get by without my family understanding the sport. Growing up we always were very active and enjoyed sports no matter what sport it was. When I met and married Alicia it was perfect because we shared a common passion and common goals. She has been by my side through all of this, but it is just as important for me to see her racing well and continuing to improve as well as finishing her masters and becoming a sports psychologist.