RTKit - Athlete Chat #9
Name: Madelaine Smith
Sport/Discipline: Great Britain Skeleton Athlete
Achievements: 2 x World championships competitor
Whats your name, where you are from and what is your sport/discipline?
My name is Madelaine Smith, and I am a Great Britain Skeleton Athlete. I am originally from Solihull, in the West Midlands but I have been living in Bath for the last 6 and a half years.
How did you get into your sport?
I used to be a sprint hurdler for the well-known Birchfield Harriers up until the age of 18. When I went to The University of Bath, the hub of Bobsleigh and Skeleton, I saw the athletes around the Sports training village and was really intrigued and wanted to know how I could get involved as my athletics was proving more and more difficult with injuries. In 2014 I applied to a Talent Identification Initiative ran by UK Sport called ‘Power2Podium’. There were over 1000 applicants and after 6 months of trails and numerous phases I was selected into the GB talent squad in December 2014. I haven’t looked back since!
What does a typical training week look like for you?
I train full time at The University of Bath from May to September. A typical week for me includes double sessions daily, with a lighter recovery-based day on a Wednesday and a complete day off on Sunday.
Sessions include, speed work, prowler and sled pull accelerations, a lot a heavy lifting in the gym; strength and power sessions, plyometric work, core/trunk, neck strengthening, and conditioning, plenty of recovery pool sessions, yoga/pilates, and all the rehab and prehab for injury prevention.
Your biggest achievement?
Competing in two World Championships and making it onto the top squad (World Cup) in only my second year of international competition.
What are your goals for the 2021 year?
Same as always, put in the work in the summer so I go into the winter session, faster, stronger and more powerful than the year before. Key focus for this year is working hard on my push start and making it through a summer without major injuries…all athletes know this is key for fundamental, consistent training. But as always my eyes are firmly set on getting to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
How would you encourage people to get involved in your sport or keeping active in general.
No one has ever finished a workout, exercise or even a bike ride and said I wish I haven’t done that. It’s a true fact that exercise makes us feel better and happier (maybe not at the time). I would encourage anyone to get out, be more active with friends and family and if you fancy giving something completely new, just go for it! Look online, keep your eyes peeled on the UK sport website for talent ID programmes, set yourself a challenge and don’t look back. British Skeleton are always looking for new talent so keep the British skeleton website in your favourites and see when we are next recruiting.
About RT Kit
What were your initial thoughts on the kit when it arrived?
Firstly I was really impressed in the packaging. The little zip bags are fab and show that element of a good quality product before you even see what is inside. Even my boyfriend picked up on this and usually he is oblivious!! Colours stand out and pastels are always my favourite, so the blues and dusty pink caught my eye.
How does it feel and look once you put your kit on?
The quality of any leggings is a big thing for me! As soon as I felt the material I loved the thickness and the smoothness of the material of the leggings. Thickness is great for being 'squat proof' but that sometimes means they are very hot to wear, however I did not find this with the grey leggings, in fact they were very breathable and cool. All the clothing is clearly very well made and the fabric is high quality which is what I love. I liked that the tops were clingy and fit in a way that shows the shape of your body. Has that sexier sports wear feel rather than over sized and baggy which does nothing for your figure!! Also the added detail of the tight bottom of the long sleeved top which stops the tops from moving around when running and the thumb holes is great. The company have clearly thought about the 'little things' that runners and athletes pick up on.
The main thing is that I felted good and confident wearing the kit, and believe the kit is very good value for money.
What type of training would you wear this kit for?
I would wear the leggings for any type of training, sprinting (now I know they don't fall down - I love the tight waist band and high waisted element), in the gym lifting and for yoga sessions as the material has great stretch and comfortable in the deep yoga positions.
The tops are rather warm so great for going to a session in but during the Summer months I would take them off quite quickly. The fleece line is perfect for chiller days though. overall for an athlete like myself the bits I selected are very versatile.
You can follow Madelaine and see her in action via her instagram here: