The speedy former collegiate runner and swimmer will run her first half marathon at the 2018 USATF Half Marathon Championships next month.
Gwen Jorgensen is one truly talented athlete – two ITU Triathlete World Championship titles, an Olympic gold medal in triathlon – and now she has her eyes set on an Olympic gold in the marathon in 2020. Yes, Jorgensen is aiming to be the first female to win gold in two separate spring sports. It makes you wonder what keeps an athlete of this magnitude motivated.
“We are 100 percent committed to winning,” Jorgensen says of herself and her family. “I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without my husband and son.”
Jorgensen met her husband, Patrick Lemieux, on a group bike ride in Milwaukee in 2011. They went on their first date that night and continued to date while balancing separate professional athletic careers for two years. In early 2013, Lemieux made the decision to retire from professional cycling and focus his attention on supporting Jorgensen’s rising athletic career.
“Since my husband used to be a pro athlete, he understands exactly what I need as an athlete,” Jorgensen says. “He anticipates what I will need and makes my life easier.”
In training for the Rio Olympics, Lemieux handled the cooking, the cleaning and the bike preparation while Jorgensen focused solely on her sport. That teamwork lead Jorgensen to an Olympic gold, and one year later, she gave birth to their son.
Jorgensen felt best during her pregnancy when she was running. “I remember really struggling just being at home, but when I could run, I felt so much better,” Jorgensen says. In fact, for three weeks, Jorgensen was able to get up to 100 miles per week – that’s more than double what she was running during her training for the Rio Olympics. That’s not to say her training through pregnancy was easy.
“During pregnancy, I learned that my body had a natural limiter that I could not surpass after the first trimester,” she says. “I got to a point where my body just would not let me go past 6:30 [minute]-per-mile pace.”
Just three months after giving birth to her son, Stanley, Jorgensen announced her decision to transition to the sport of running, along with her goal of winning gold in the marathon in the Tokyo Olympics.
The family of three is now focusing on Jorgensen’s training with the Bowerman Track Club. “Training with the Bowerman Track Club has been great,” Jorgensen says. “I am confronted with the world standard on a daily basis. The women on the team push themselves on a daily basis.”
Jorgensen is training with her biggest competitors, whom she will face in the Olympic Trials on Feb. 29th, 2020, in Atlanta, Ga. While she’s new to the club and to the sport, Jorgensen has a leg up on her teammates. “Since giving [birth] to Stanley, my motivation is really high, and my perspective on having a bad workout is so much better once I walk in the door and see Stanley smile,” she says.
Jorgensen is using the Polar M430 throughout her training, and says “the Polar M430 is great for training and racing. The watch is comfortable, and the display is easy to read while I am running.” Jorgensen also uses the Polar M430 to closely monitor her heart rate, which she tracks every morning and during key workouts.
While there are many factors involved in keeping Gwen Jorgensen on track to win another Olympic gold, her advantage remains clear. “I have an incredible team that you do not see behind me,” she says of Lemieux and Stanley, “and their belief in me fuels my ability to perform.”
To learn more, visit: www.polar.com