Claude Godbout

Our interview with a Canadian Biathlete & Elite Spartan Racer

Claude Godbout is an International Biathlon Athlete and World Champion Spartan racer from Quebec, Canada.

Claude is an amazing obstacle racer. She finished first at every single Spartan Race she competed in this summer which makes her Spartan Race World Champion, just like in 2012! Claude is also a world-renowned biathlete, with an impressive harvest of medals in 2014.


Hexoskin: Claude, congratulations for winning the Spartan Race World Championships for the second time! How was it?

Claude: I knew that this year I would be stronger than last year for various reasons. Last year I had focused on the 2014 Sochi games and hadn't participated in any obstacle race. This year was different and my short term goal was to reconquer my Spartan Race World Champion title! Even though I was pretty much surprised to win, I knew that I had the right stuff this year!


Hexoskin: When and where did you start competing? How old were you?

Claude: I started my athlete career when I was 6 years old with cross-country skiing at a club called La Balade near Quebec City. When I was 18, I decided to try out for biathlon at the Myriam Bédard Center at the Valcartier military base.


Hexoskin: Who introduced you to biathlon?

Claude: My boyfriend, Marc-André Bédard.


Hexoskin: What do you like the most about biathlon?

Claude: Above all I like the combination of two sport disciplines: precision shooting and cross-country skiing. Mastering these two different disciplines during the same event is very hard and that's what makes this sport so special and beautiful. Even when hot favorites are competing, it's impossible to predict who will win a biathlon race.


It would be a lie to say that it's always been a joyride but I'll always look back at my athlete career with a big smile!


Hexoskin: Who are the people who help you perform?

Claude: First of all, my XC skiing background helped me a lot; thanks to Louis Bouchard and Godefroy Bilodeau for that. My biathlon coaches have also been a great part of my success; thank you Jean Paquet and Martin Tremblay! Of course I owe a lot to my parents for dealing with me all these years :). And last but not least, Marc-André has been, is and always will be a great pillar of support for me throughout my athlete career.


Hexoskin: What helps you concentrate before a competition?

Claude: I have a special routine that I go through that keeps me focused until the race starts!

Hexoskin: Tell me about a time you failed to perform? What happened?

Claude: There were many failures... many more than victories but the sooner you come to accept this, the sooner you feel and perform better. I remember the World Cup Selections in December 2013 at Canmore, Alberta! I was clearly out of shape; my legs felt heavy and I lacked of energy. Looking back I think that I might not have correctly synced my periodized training with the event. Our fitness fluctuates a lot, pretty much like a roller coaster ride and I think that I was at the bottom of a cycle at that point in time.


Hexoskin: You train with the Hexoskin smart shirt, can you tell us why? What do you use it specifically for?

Claude: I mostly use my Hexoskin when I practice interval training and during biathlon competitions. I then analyze my data to find correlations between how I feel during an event and how my body is really performing at that point in time. I must say this tool is awesome for biathlon, a sport where you need to manage your breathing and heart rate each time you go through a shooting round. Furthermore Hexoskin allows me to analyze my sleep efficiency during stressful cycles of training and competition. I've come to a point in my career where every second counts in a competition so I greatly need a tool like Hexoskin to become faster, stronger, and more efficient.


Hexoskin: What is your main challenge right now?

Claude: Last summer I decided to have fun and participate in many non-biathlon competitions: obstacle races such as Spartan, XTERRA, XMan, but also long distance running. These events bring me way out of my comfort zone and since I'm also following the Quebec Biathlon training program, I need to make major adjustments in my training schedule to avoid overtraining and fatigue! I thought I knew a lot about my body, as an athlete, but practicing these new sports helped me get even more awareness about how my body performs.

There were many failures... many more than victories but the sooner you come to accept this, the sooner you feel and perform better


Hexoskin: Tell me about a memorable competition you attended.

Claude: IBU Cup (International Biathlon Union) 10km Pursuit in Russia in January 2013. In a Pursuit event athletes' starting positions are defined by their time differences established from the day before's 7,5km sprint. Since I had finished 28th, I was to start with a 2:38 handicap and in 28th position. I ran a very successful race, literally flying over the track and I only missed 3 targets out of 20. This allowed me to cross the finish line in 9th position! If I hadn't started with a handicap I would have finished 3rd!


Hexoskin: What about your national team experience?

Claude: Since I train in Quebec City, I can't spend too much time with the Biathlon National team based in Alberta. But I have been quite a few times to training camps in Canmore and they have always brought much pleasure and improvement to me. Training with a large group of highly motivated athletes is energizing! 


Hexoskin: Tell me about an injury you had. How did you recover?

Claude: I'm lucky to have never sustained any major injury during my career! Luck, a good diet, some prevention (massage, active release) and smart training probably help a lot!


Hexoskin: What is the achievement you’re the most proud of?

Claude: I'm very happy with the results I've acquired these past years chasing my dream! It would be a lie to say that it's always been a joyride but I'll always look back at my athlete career with a big smile!


Hexoskin: What is your goal for the next 4 years?

Claude: I have no idea! The next Winter Games open up in 4 years so I'm just moving on year after year! One thing I'm sure of, I still want to compete in 2014-2015 and that's what counts!


Hexoskin: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  

Claude: Classically speaking; kids, a job, training, various competitions... I guess all that sums up to "happiness"!!!


Hexoskin: Thank you Claude, we hope to see you next year win the Spartan Race World Championships once again!

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