Track and Field·Q&A

Melissa Bishop, 800m world silver medallist, reveals power of adrenaline

Canadian Melissa Bishop looks back on her silver-medal performance at the world track and field championships, and talks about how adrenaline got her body and mind through a gruelling schedule.

Mental recovery just as important as physical rest

Since winning a silver medal at the world track and field championships, Melissa Bishop hasn't put on running shoes in weeks, and needed to rest her mind just as much as her body. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Adrenaline is what got Melissa Bishop through at the world track and field championships. Between breaking a record and winning silver in the 800 metres, she didn't sleep for four days in Beijing.

Since coming home, Bishop has changed tracks. She hasn't put on running shoes in weeks, and needed to rest her mind just as much as her body.

Here's what Bishop had to say about coming down from the highest adrenaline kick of her life. After such a busy summer, how did do you determine your rest period?

Bishop: Rest period is definitely important after a summer like that. Not just for myself, but for any athlete, to go and race from April to end of August is a pretty long time to have your body in peak shape.

I think this year alone, based on the results and the hype and all the adrenaline and the mental side of things, five weeks is enough time to rest my body, rest my mind and recharge to get back into fall training. So that five weeks is for healing your mind as well as your body?

Bishop: You kind of put yourself in this bubble. You`re so focused on your job when you're training and in competition. That takes up about 90 per cent of our lives at that point in time because it's so important. It gets exhausting.

Even the whole adrenaline rush that you get from it at world's, I didn't sleep for four days because it was just such a rush. It's important to turn the mind off and everything else will come back down to ground zero and you can just really let your body relax. How did you operate at the world championships on no sleep?

Bishop: It's the adrenaline because it's just so exciting. After I ran the first round I slept fine, there were no problems there. Then I ran the Canadian record and then the semifinal I was just so excited I was shaking. My body was obviously tired but the adrenaline wasn't allowing my body to feel it, I was on such a high. I was so excited, so happy. We accomplished such a huge checkmark off of our list.

Regardless of how much sleep I got, I had enough adrenaline to really help me recover. How long did that adrenaline last after winning the silver?

Bishop: My body immediately felt that I had just ran three really hard races in four days. The adrenaline just left me. I couldn't even lift my head off the massage table I was so tired. I did my job, my body did its part, and it just couldn't spend anymore energy.

This is something [running coach] Dennis [Fairall] and I have been preparing for for a very long time. And we're finally starting to see the results. It's a testament to my coach Dennis and the people I work with for sure. At what point do you start planning your training for next summer's Rio Olympics?

Bishop: When I go back to Windsor, Dennis and I will sit down and we'll debrief about everything and then goal set. So end of October, November we will set out some loose goals for the year. Come January, we're going to set in stone what we're going to do. They're going to be pretty tough goals.

Bishop also took the time to do a Facebook Q&A with questions that fans submitted over the course of this week:


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