We’re very proud of our team here at Pedalnorth and none more so than triathlon editor and lifestyle senior editor, Nadezhda Pavlova. It’s unique for anyone to have such a wide range of world class talents, but thankfully for us, Nadezhda is a unique person: artist, designer, top class triathlete and triathlon coach. It only seems right that we spoke to Nadezhda to find out more about this exciting and talented lady.
Triathlete (Ironman World Championship Australia 2016, Ironman Barcelona 2016 9:45min, Kona qualificant) Triathlon Coach, Designer and Founder DS PRO Apparel.
1. Clearly you love sport Nadezhda, but what was your first experience of sport as a child?
When I was a little girl my parents never waited for me and I had to run to keep up with their speed, because my stride was relatively short compared theirs. (That was a lot of aerobic activity for a little girl). Maybe that’s the reason I became a good runner in school, and it helped me to win plenty of running competitions in school and university. But I did it mostly for fun, I wasn’t a professional runner.
You’re from Siberia I believe, which is a truly amazing place. How important was sport within Siberia? Did you compete a lot when you were younger too?
I was born and grew up in Krasnoyarsk (Siberia) and that’s an amazing place for all kinds of winter activities and sports because we have winter 3-4 months a year of natural snow, mountains all around and a ski resort right in the city! Almost every kid , from a young age, learns how to walk and to ski/snowboard at the same time. I used to snowboard a lot, mostly with boys, with a dream to go to the Olympics untill one day when I jumped on a big air and broke my spine.
I’m very proud that winter Universiade was held in my home town this year. Siberian ice skaters, cross country skiers, biathletes, and ice hockey players are famous and successful athletes. We have great schools to produce champions
2. You’re a talented artist Nadezhda, as well as being a designer of sportswear. How do you find being an athlete and a sportswear designer complement each other? It’s also interesting that your brand is focused on bringing style and chic and a good dose of femininity to performance wear. Has this been key for you and where do you see ladies cycling developing?
Finding great cycling gear is always a challenge, especially for women. The industry seems to have decided that if you want performance clothing that helps keep you comfortable on the bike, you also want to appear as if you are a professional cyclist too. Most of us don’t, we like the idea of high-performance cycling clothing, but also want to have a bit of style with it!
And I decided to design and offer high-performance clothing that also gives a wonderful look in terms of design, style and colors. The way the fabric is cut and shaped makes the shorts and jersey especially flattering and feminine! I wanted cycling garments that are not only technologically great, but also make you feel special too️. I want a woman to see her reflection and smile when in bike gear! I believe if you dress well, you feel good, if you feel good, you pedal faster!
Certainly, being a cyclist helps me understand what female cyclists are seeking and need in terms of cycling apparel. We have mini bibs so wearing, them you can easily hide the tan lines even while wearing a short skirt or dress, long sleeve jerseys with UV sun-protective function to protect your skin, kits with lines and colors to make you slimmer, hide flaws and emphasize virtues. Functionality, performance and style are our top priorities; me and my team of female riders test the gears, to ensure we have critical feedback based on multiple athlete profiles.
3. Within cycling there is still a long way to go in terms of total acceptance of women not only as equals, but also in being free to be women, to express their style and sexuality without unwarranted and adverse attention. What’s your own view on these issues and the best way to address and tackle them?
Society has standards how female athletes should present themselves. If you are an athlete you should not do makeup or hair style, or wear pink or kits with flowers, if you want to be taken seriously. Some people look perplex that femininity and athleticism can coexist. To me it’s important to open people’s eyes to the fact that you can be an athlete and still be into fashion. Maybe before the two were considered mutually exclusive but that’s not true.
I think you can be a strong, courageous, fearless woman and wear chic clothing and lipstick. It’s cool to have that badass feeling that you can do your sport, be strong and powerful and at the same time be feminine and beautiful. Having a combination- that’s really what makes you confident. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Glam up your uniform and express yourself! Luckily there are more brands coming up with chic clothing and there are plenty of brands that make sweat-proof mascara and other cosmetic for active women.
4. So… triathlete – but which is your favourite element and why?
It’s a tough question, I really can’t name my favorite or rate them in order 🙂 Each sport has its own beauty. In cycling it’s speed, in running it’s freedom, and in swimming it’s a post workout relaxation and languor. When you mix all three sports, it’s a fantastic recipe for happiness. It’s just one whole, you can’t divide it. The beauty of triathlon is that you don’t get bored doing one sport!
5.You clearly have an amazing family life, as well as a successful career and you’re a talented athlete too. How do you combine all of these things within a balanced structure and what advice would you give to others?
Balance is key and important in life because with many things being extreme is typically a detriment to living our lives the right way, “too much of a good thing can be a bad thing”. We all know that but sometimes don’t take actions to find the right balance. I believe planning could be a tool to success. As you or your coach write daily, weekly and annual workouts for you, plan every aspect of your life the same way. Decide which areas needs attention and review every month. Prepare your weekly to do list and daily schedule to prioritize those life areas of your lifre you want to focus on: health and sport, family, business/career, finance, social, love, adventure/fun, contribution, spiritual. You can find more info in my triathlon planner, which is available at www.multisportcoaching.us
6.You now coach triathlon Nadia. What’s the best advice for anyone getting into this sport?
To take things slowly. If triathlon is a new sport to you, don’t be in a rush to succeed. Becoming good at three disciplines takes time, a true peaks performance require months and years, not days and weeks. Come to sport to enjoy the journey and establish long term relationship. I see some people come to the sport and kill themselves, they do Ironman in 3-4 months and then just never continue. Yes, they maybe finish the Ironman but they need many days their bodies and brain to recover after the race, because they are burned out, injured, with chronic fatigue, and these people never come back to the sport.
7.Where’s your favourite place to ride … and where would be your perfect cycling location?
Florida is perfect for pedaling all year around – 365 days of sunshine, good roads, always someone to join you. I love riding along the beach, love to do the sunset or sunrise miles, it’s breathtaking scenery! For a more mountainous experience we have beautiful Colorado! You can do some seriously hilly rides in Colorado none of which will be below 6000 feet. It’s a US base for professional cyclists and triathletes, I don’t know the healthier and sportier place and being their once I fell in love with it.
8.How important is it to get the kit right and what’s your favourite item of clothing, including favourite design?
Cycling clothing does make a difference, and there is a reason not to cycle in your regular clothes. It dries up quickly, it helps your body to breathe, it embraces your muscles to prevent muscle fatigue, and makes you faster! Good cycling is tailored to provide more aerodynamics to shave off the precious seconds but without restriction of movement. The chamois pad is crucial for comfort and avoiding chafing, it should be positioned correctly and be soft, breathable and antibacterial.
My favorite design depends on what mood I’m in ;-). When I’m feeling a bit down, I put on my brightest kit to brighten me up and kick up my the energy levels.
9.Who you admire most in cycling/triathlon and why?
Chrissie Wellington, coming out from nowhere, took the triathlon world by storm! And what amazes me is not that she wins, but how much she wins! She is an Ironman legend, she is devastatingly talented. Her resume was impressive even before she stumbled into triathlon. I admire her personality, her openness, honesty, level of humility, and desire to make difference in the world. I admire everything she brought to the sport and I found a tremendous inspiration in her. And I think triathlon in general is all about inspiration. Even if you’re not a world champion, the sport changes you that you’re made of much more than you ever thought you were, and this brings further confidence to yourself and inspiration to others.
10. And finally, what does your sporting bucket list look like in terms of ambition and goals Nadezhda?
My long term goal is to be a healthy 70 years old grandma and compete in Ironman races).
Shorter term goals is to ride through The Dolomites and run the Great Wall, Arctic and Boston marathons.