Interview with Ine Andersson

Norway's Ine Andersson competes at the European Championships on February 15th in Sofia, Bulgaria. Before the Championships she discussed her weightlifting background with Velaasa Athletics. You can support her efforts by using her code ine15 at checkout and rooting for her on her Instagram account. 

How did you first get involved in weightlifting, and what motivated you to pursue it at a competitive level?

It was actually quite random, when I took my PT education, one of the teachers spotted me doing my first back squat and he asked if I was interested in trying weightlifting, I didn't really know what it was at the time but thought it would be a good idea to know more as a PT.

I ended up liking it and he pushed me to do a meet. I guess it was a natural way from there, as I became better and more competitive.

Can you describe a typical day of training for you? How do you balance intense physical training with recovery?

I usually train around 10 am and then again around 4 / 5 pm. The routine changes a lot depending on the period. When I'm in training camp I try to rest as much as possible in between, but when I am home I have to work in between the sessions. It's important for me to get enough sleep and good nutrition to recover well. I also do massages, sauna, yoga or a light walk on the days I have a single session or day off.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your weightlifting career, and how did you overcome it?

I think my latest injury, when I tore my rectus femoris during a competition in the middle of this Olympic qualifying phase/period, has been my biggest challenge. I worked a lot on myself and my mindset, even went for a “recovery camp” where I did yoga, my recovery routine and just worked on myself. To recover well I had to be very patient and strict with myself and trust the people that were helping me through it (coaches, physios etc).

Have you ever dealt with any significant injuries, and if so, how did you manage your recovery while keeping your goals in sight?

Yes, I've been through a lot of different injuries, especially in the beginning or my weightlifting career. My main problem has been dealing with a lot of back pains.

The more acute injury and the more recent is the one I mentioned above.

I think the main way to get through the various injuries has been PATIENT.

What went through your mind during your medal-winning lift at the European Championships?

A rush of the feeling of accomplishment “I DID it!”

When i started weightlifting I don't think anyone including myself thought it was even possible to achieve something like this for me, starting late, coming from a small nation with limited funds and only a few athletes from Norway had achieved it before me. Luckily this mindset in Norway has changed the later years and we have made many medals since.

How do you prepare mentally and physically for a big competition?

Mentally I use visualization and having a good game plan. I prepare well regarding everything that can be prepared , but like other sports not everything can be planned , so it's also about being able to act/change/adapt in the moment.

Physically I trust the process and follow the plan. Push as hard as I can in training and rest as much as I can to be ready for the next training. I also try to do things outside of training that makes me happy, this is of course is a “fine line to balance”.

Are there any athletes or coaches who have been particularly influential or inspirational in your weightlifting journey?

I think all my coaches have been a big influence in my journey. My first coach, Kim Lynge was of course a very big influence, he was the one that “found” me. The one that made me realize that I could achieve more as a weightlifter and took me from one level to another was Stefan Pantelitsh and of course it's also worth mentioning Zygmunt Smalcerz that coached me to my first European medal.

As a successful female athlete in a traditionally male-dominated sport, how do you hope to inspire other women and girls?

To show them what is possible and also that it's possible even starting in this sport at a later stage in life. The sport is not about “showing muscles” , it's a beautiful sport that suits females as much as males.

How important is nutrition in your training regimen, and what does your typical diet look like?

It's very important! I follow macros just to make sure I'm getting enough of everything.

What are your next big goals in weightlifting, both short-term and long-term?

Qualify for the Olympic games in Paris!


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