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July Feature with Caroline Pearce

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Born in 1980 Caroline Pearce has gone on to become a successful athlete, spokeswoman, and a model. She has represented Britain both in athletics and bobsleigh championships. She won the AAA’s National heptathlon Championships in 2003 and 2005 and has competed for Great Britain in the 2004 European cup for combined events. 

She has also proved her intellectual chops and graduated with a first class honours degree in Sports Science before undertaking an MSc in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition at Loughborough University. She appeared in the newly revived Gladiator’s on Sky 1 under the name Ice and subsequently left after the first series finished. 
She is establishing herself as a television personality presenting US infomercials and fitness videos, presenting at sporting events and appearing in many commercials. An active spokeswoman she has also modelled for Adidas, Nike and Ron Hill. So what’s next for the budding celebrity?


WSR:
With so many athletic achievements what are your future goals as an athlete?

CAROLINE:
I no longer compete as an athlete due to a lack of cartilage in my knees but I train hard to remain competitive in the fitness industry as a presenter and model.  I would love one day to take on a new race challenge, maybe rowing or cycling, as I do a lot of this in the gym.

WSR:
You competed in the 2005 bobsleigh championships how did you get into it and do you wish to compete again?

CAROLINE:
I was recruited into bobsleigh at my peak in athletics.  Another former heptathlete, Nicola Minichello, had moved to bobsleigh a few years before and asked if I’d like to do the trials for the World Champs.  She knew I’d always been quite a powerful athlete.  I love a challenge so went along to Bath University to push on their manmade track.  I recorded the second fastest push time behind the current GB breakwoman and was immediately asked to travel with them to the Championships in Calgary, Canada, to train and learn the ropes.  It was crazy, within a month I was flying down the track at 80mph.  I couldn’t turn down such a great opportunity, even though I missed an indoor GB International to go.  It still remains one of the best experiences of my life.

WSR:
You garnered a lot of attention when you went on gladiators was it hard to deal with or did you just take it in your stride?

CAROLINE:
We shared the attention as a team and it was a new experience for most of us.  But honestly it just opened up lots of fun opportunities to attend events and meet fans of the show.

WSR:
What do you like to do when you’re not training?

CAROLINE:
To shop… Handbags, shoes and unique accessories!  I treat that a bit like a training session to be honest.  It’s like a mission and I don’t stop until I’ve covered everything!  When I travel I love to check out the boutiques in a new town.  Long lazy lunches and people watching are also relaxing and I love to plan trips to visit new places.

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WSR:
What does your training schedule consist of are you very tough on yourself?

CAROLINE: 
I’m still pretty tough on myself.  You don’t lose that athlete mentality even when you stop competing.  There is less pressure on me to train for performance nowadays, but just as much pressure to train to look and feel fit.  I aim for 6 days training per week.  It’s usually gym based.  I’ll do 2 to 3 strength training sessions.  One of these sessions will be with light weights and high repetitions, so I stay lean without bulking up (my body has a tendency to become muscular very easily!).  I’ll perform 45 seconds of each exercise with equal recovery, usually super setting.  I do lots of unilateral work (single leg) to prevent any imbalances and each workout focuses on full body.  I don’t split my routine.  This works best for me.  My other two strength sessions utilise vibration training.  I work out on Power Plate for this, mixing static and dynamic moves and incorporating kettlebells and medicine balls into the session.  Power Plate will recruit a higher number of muscle fibres, which especially helps my bad knees, ensuring these joints are protected. 

Additionally I do interval training on the bike, crosstrainer, treadmill and rower.  I like to keep it varied but I become bored with long cardio sessions so I like intervals for keeping the intensity high and afterburn effect at a maximum.  On the treadmill, for example, I’ll run 20 times 30 second efforts with 30 seconds rest and then jog to warm down.

WSR: 
You have established yourself as a model do you worry that people will just see you as a pretty face?

CAROLINE: 
No, modelling is just one element of what I do, but certainly not the only thing.  My physiology, sports and fitness qualifications enable me to successfully work internationally as a fitness spokesperson and educator, and my media experience and training are enabling me to fulfil my passion for presenting.

 

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WSR: 
You are known as the gladiator Ice did you enjoy your time on the show?

CAROLINE: 
The show was fantastic and so much fun.  Facing new challenges every show, training for quite unusual events and working with a great team of other Gladiators was like one big holiday.  We were all quite competitive but definitely there to support one another.  And then the costumes, the huge film set and pantomime nature of the new show all added to the excitement.

WSR: 
Is it true that you worked on the film Ocean’s 13 as a fitness trainer; did you make George Clooney sweat?

CAROLINE: 
Ha, I wish!  No, I went on set towards the end of filming to train the producer of the film, Jerry Weintraub, on the Power Plate machine.  They’d initially featured the machine in the film as Jerry is a huge fan but I didn’t meet Mr Clooney.  I did however train Matt Damon’s wife back in the UK following the filming. She was lovely.

WSR: 
Congratulations on your degree and an MSc is education very important to you?

CAROLINE:  
Thank you. Yes, I believe my education was a valuable investment and has definitely given me credibility within the industry.  I loved studying and believe you continue to learn throughout life and it becomes more specific to what you become involved in.  Currently I’m doing journalist and presenter training to help my new career path.

WSR: 
You work at schools giving motivational speeches what advice would you give to someone who wanted to enter into athletics professionally?

 

CAROLINE: 
Firstly have the passion for your sport and believe in yourself and your abilities.  Secondly realise that beyond talent there are a number of other factors equally important, including your psychology and nutrition.  Lastly, learn to rest.  I was guilty of neglecting this important component.  There’s a fine balance between training hard and allowing your body, and mind, to recover.

 

If you would like to see more of Caroline visit www.lamuscle.tv or even just a link to www.lamuscle.tv

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