Izzy Goudros’ Journey to Breaking Multiple Track & Field Records

Clance: Izzy! Isabella Goudros. The undercover monster, that’s what I call Izzy. She has this nice vibe, but she’s just so competitive and works so hard. Welcome to Dominate Discussions. What we want to do is just tell everybody who you are, what you do. Who is Isabella?

Izzy: Thanks for having me. I’m excited. I’m excited to see you again. Track and field. I’m kind of all over the place with the events. Mostly like sprints and hurdles, the heptathlon. I’ve been doing it for, I wanna say seven years, and I’ve been weightlifting since I was eight.

Clance: Weightlifting since you’re eight years old?

Izzy: Yeah. Now I’m 18 almost.

Clance: 10 years. Stand up for a sec. You don’t look jacked to me! You don’t look like you stunted your growth to me!

So how has the journey been doing weightlifting and sprinting? How has that journey been? Explained some of that.

Izzy: I definitely think the two have helped each other out. For a track, at least I started out just as a sprinter. I didn’t love it. I mean, I like it, but I liked the hurdles more.

Clance: What didn’t you like about sprinting?

Izzy: I thought like just running in a straight line like I like having the obstacles there to focus on. I find it’s easier to train to.

Clance: No wonder you like Heptathlon.

Izzy: Yeah. I got a nice variety.

Clance: So sprinting didn’t catch onto you right away, but you’re good at it.

Izzy: Yeah. So I decided actually I think I was maybe 12 when I did like my first little multi-event and I realized I liked the throws, I liked the jumps. I used to, I still love hurdling. So I kind of just grabbed to that one. And now for university, like the recruiting, I stuck with the heptathlon, which was helpful.

Clance: And which university are you going to?

Izzy: Going to Harvard. Moving in August. I’m excited.

Clance: So are we, we’re so super excited for you. We’re going to miss you.

I know you’re pretty modest and you don’t like to brag, but I’ll brag for you or how many records or how many records do you own?

Izzy: Oh, I’ve never actually counted.

Clance: Or list the ones that are mostly your favorite.

Izzy: My first record I think I ever broke was the Multivent, like U14. That was the first one. I remember. Last summer, actually two summers ago now, the four-by-one team, got the national record. That was exciting, that was in Mexico. I’ve missed out just a little bit at a few different meets. I’m still sad about it, but I have the provincial record, indoor/outdoor for hurdles.

Clance: What distance?

Izzy: 80-meter hunch. Actually, no, I have a hundred. No, I have the 80 and then the 60 indoor.

Clance: The 60 indoor. I remember watching you run that 200-meter race.

Izzy: I love the 200. That’s my favorite sprint.

Clance: It was your favorite?

Izzy: Yeah.

Clance: It was indoors at York. I was there trying to get some shots of you, but it was hard for me to get shots to cause of watching you come off that corner. It was just beautiful to watch that. That furiosity and you’re running against older girls. You’re running against older girls that time. It’s like, wow, like you’re going to be something special.

Izzy: Thank you.

Clance: So I can’t wait to see your development, going to Harvard and see you definitely on the national team and so on and so forth.

Izzy: Yeah. Big goal.

Clance: But talking about national team, you’re a junior champion or youth champion for Canada and what events? And also weightlifting-

Izzy: I got a bronze. Best accomplishment in weightlifting.

Clance: National champion, bronze in weightlifting as a junior. Right. And also Track and Field.

Izzy: Yeah. So 2019 Nationals, I won the 200 and then the Hep and then our four by four came second. So that was a nice meet for me. It’s busy. 11 events later.

Clance: A lot of work. Right? Amazing. So for you, in terms of, the grind of training, for example, how many times do you train a week?

Izzy: On a good week? Six to seven. We try to do like active recovery days and do something. It’s definitely harder with COVID cause there are less options. Like I used to go rock climbing. I don’t do that anymore.

Clance: So basically when things are normal or it doesn’t matter, you don’t take any days off?

Izzy: I try not to.

Clance: Like every day you’re generally doing something.

Izzy: Yeah. Even if it’s just like a light cycle on like the bike, it’s something. Yeah.

Clance: Elite athletes don’t take days off pretty much. You may not be doing your specific sport while you’re doing something. What do you enjoy doing on your days off?

Izzy: I love cooking.

Clance: What?

Izzy: I do.

Clance: What’s your favorite food?

Izzy: Chicken wings.

Clance: What?

Izzy: I like all types of chicken wings.

Clance: Where’s mine? I’ve never gotten any chicken wings. Talk to your dad about that, man.

Izzy: They don’t make it out of the house.

Clance: He cleans them up. What is it like, you know, training, your dad as your coach.

Izzy: There are some good days and bad days. There’s definitely has challenges for sure, but it’s also good because like schedule is really flexible. He always has my best interest in mind. I know that. We definitely have our back and forth arguments.

Clance: But there’s something to be said about knowing that, you know, cause obviously I have a father-daughter relationship, and a lot of people will say to me, how can you train your daughter? Like, you know, don’t get me wrong. As a dad it’s difficult cause you gotta know when to say something and when to shut up.

Izzy: Yeah. For sure.

Clance: Right? So I think I’ve mastered that, but with her she knows I have her best interests in mind. So that trust is like, nothing she has to worry about.

Izzy: You still trying to get to like your level with Maya. We’re not quite there. It’s a little more civil with you guys.

Clance: Yeah. Sometimes your dad asked me, Huh? How do you do that? How does that work?

Yeah. So I’m, I’m kind of lucky that way. But she has her moments, you know, she won’t say it, she has her moments. But I don’t want to put words in, but it is special.

Izzy: Yeah, for sure. It’ll be different next year. He’s been like my only coach for a long time, at least in track.

Clance: He’s going to have a hard time.

Izzy: He always threatens to buy an RV and follow me. I was like, No. Stay here.

Clance: I can see George, literally-

Izzy: That’s the scary part.

Clance: Having him like, you know, some telescope, you know, watching your track session, sending you messages late at night saying, Okay, this is not, you gotta do this.

But I’ve known your dad forever, man, and he’s a great guy. I love your dad. You know, he’s just a great person that’s why we’ve been friends for such a long time. He knows his stuff.

Izzy: He does. That’s one thing-

Clance: Your dad knows your stuff. I have to call him and we go back and forth with some things and he enlightens me to some things and we go. Cause your dad, he’s not gonna make a dummy train as coach, his daughter.

Izzy: Yeah. He’s very particular about the coaches.

Clance: Yeah. So it’s an honor is that he would actually let me, you know, coach his daughter cause he’s no dummy. We’ve been to seminars, training this, and he knows this stuff inside and out. So, you know, you’re lucky.

Izzy: I am. Definitely.

Clance: He never stops learning.

Izzy: That is true. No matter what, he’s on like, I’ll just call her or whatever you’re doing.

Clance: What’s are your dreams?

Izzy: Okay. So next year, for the track at least, I would love to make it to the NCAAs as a freshman.

Clance: You will.

Izzy: Fingers crossed. At least by the second year, it’d be nice to get in like top five. Eventually, I’d like to top three or win. That’s the goal. Like Harvard and the Ivy League conference, so I want to get the record in that for the multi-year hurdles. Right now, I’m trying to get to the national team. I was on the U-18 one, I want to get to a senior one. Olympics is like the big goal.

Clance: The big goal. Right?

So Olympics, that will be…you know, COVID what, I don’t know if it’s going to be 2024.

Izzy: 2024 is the Paris one. So that’s the big one I’m looking for.

Clance: That’d be, that’d be amazing. I might see you there as well.

Izzy: Maya. Yeah.

Clance: What is the toughest thing going through COVID right now and a lot of delays? Because one thing I know about you is you are competitive.

Izzy: I like to compete. I love competing actually.

Clance: And you know how I know that? That board over there, it’s like you make a bullseye, and then it’s done. I was amazed at how that furiosity with a smile, I would say. You know what I mean? Cause you come across as just so nice and neat, but you like to win.

Izzy: I do.

Clance: Right? Yeah. You know, how are you going through, you know, not competing right now?

Izzy: It’s definitely difficult. Like training without an actual like meet or like goals right there. Cause normally like you train, you’re like, Okay, I have a competition like this day, I need to be ready. Now you’re training, you’re still just as tired, but you’re like, I don’t know what I’m going to compete.

Clance: There’s no reward at the end of the day.

Izzy: Yeah. And it’s hard training alone for sure. Like I miss being here having like Maya’s playlist going. It’s hard on my own.

Clance: Yeah. And we miss you too, man. This COVID is just killing everybody. And just to be honest, like Maya’s having a hard time. Like she struggles like everybody. I was talking to your father the other day, you know, some athletes thrive with that, you know, being by themselves or, and some athletes, they don’t really need other people, even though they’re by themselves, they just as you said, Maya’s over there, you guys are training. Might not say two words together. It’s just that I guess, the camaraderie of that community of training, athletes in the gym, everybody’s doing their thing.

Izzy: The environment’s just different.

Clance: So tell me about this environment that why, why do you like, or you don’t like this environment? Why do you, I guess you said, why do you miss training at LPS?

Izzy: I just miss having people around kind of like, they’re like when you’re getting a PV, they’re like screaming for you. Like when it’s silent in the gym and you’re trying, it’s just hard to get up off the bottom of a squat.

Clance: It’s tough. We have a culture here that attracts a lot of people. So basically what you’re saying is you liked that hard-working environment.

Izzy: Yeah. When you’re tired like there are other people who are just as tired as you, like, you see they just keep going so you got to keep going. So now when I’m tired, I’m just sitting there alone like, I don’t really want to finish, but you do.

Clance: Do you like heavy work?

Izzy: No, I don’t like it a lot. I like just like really heavy, no volume. Like every time you gave me the option like if you PV, there’s no nothing after then I will do everything to PV.

Clance: You always go for the PV. There’s like, you never look at me. I give you an option, Okay, Izzy, if you, if you do that, you’re done.

Izzy: I will. I will do that.

Clance: You always look at, and that’s the thing, you lift heavy weights for how many years now?

Izzy: 10. 9. I guess I started with like a broomstick slowly. I’ll go with eight, like actual, decent ones.

Clance: Yeah, for sure. Cause you’re learning, getting that in your own drive. A lot of people don’t understand, strong is strong, strong is not big. And you’re a perfect example. If you don’t mind, what’s your best back squat?

Izzy: 100. That was a week ago.

Clance: Weighing at what?

Izzy: 55.

Clance: 55 kgs. A hundred kgs, that’s 220 lbs weighing at 55 kgs. What’s your best front squat?

Izzy: 90.

Clance: 90 kgs, 200, 198. What’s your best snatch?

Izzy: 60. I shout with that one.

Clance: That’s throwing a bar right overhead from the ground. Okay. So she’s snatching over her body weight. What’s your best power clean?

Izzy: 80.

Clance: 80 kgs power clean. Monster. If you ever see this girl, grab the ground. It’s just beautiful to watch. A lot of people don’t understand, I’m a track lover. I used to live at a track. Track, that was my thing. I love track and field. So that’s my first passion. Watching you coming to watch you race and seeing how you grip that ground and how much force production you generate is it’s just beautiful to watch.

Izzy: Thank you.

Clance: What’s your best jerk?

Izzy: 80. I haven’t put them together yet, but they’re both 80.

Clance: That’s MONSTA. That’s 80 kgs directly over to your head. That’s the rate of force development. That’s power. So I guess what I’m trying to say or let people understand how important it is to really be proficient in that neural drive.

Izzy: Yeah, for sure.

Clance: To learn to lift heavyweight. Learn to lift as often. For a week of training, how often would you go heavy once you’re in the weight room?

Izzy: I try to go at least once. Like I don’t train as much as most people in weightlifting because I’m also at the track at the time.

Clance: No, not weight lifting, but that’s my whole point because the track is your sport. So you don’t live in the gym. Right? When your track is a priority, how often are you lifting weights?

Izzy: I try to get in once a week. Next month, maybe twice.

Clance: And then once a week, you’re going-

Izzy: I do like a nice, quick power clean cause most of the time, the track is like every single week there’s a meet. So I don’t want to get too sore.

Clance: Right. So just a decent, heavy-ish weight to get that neuro drive going. Now when you’re at off-season and you’re training, that’s when I mostly see.

Izzy: Yeah. That’s when you do all the work.

Clance: That’s when the grind starts. Well, the grind in the gym starts. And once you get going, you’re going heavy at least twice a week. Right? Minimum. The rest is normally volume days and so on and so forth. But when training you, you train a lot more like a weightlifter. So you actually go heavy a little bit more than the most common athletes.

Izzy: Yeah, I definitely do less volume.

Clance: Less volume and more heavyweight. In terms of, you know, going to Harvard and you’re excited about that.

Izzy: I’m so excited.

Clance: What are you looking forward to?

Izzy: I’m looking forward to the actual training and the schedule cause right now I have to travel almost an hour, like with traffic to get places. So now if I can just walk there in five minutes, I feel like I’ll have a lot more time, but I didn’t even realize I was missing it. I’m excited to work more on specific track events. Because for me, my dad, it’s hard to get a high jump pit or a long jump pit. So I don’t really train those as much as I’d like to. So it’s going to be nice to have a coach who’s like is really specific with those events

Clance: Big goals. I can definitely see those, the more you train it, the more it’s going to skyrocket. Exciting. And that’s one of the difficult things, makes it harder. The struggles you’re going through with COVID, let me hear a little bit about that.

Izzy: It’s hard to find anywhere to train. I got really lucky, we had enough connections to find a place to run, to train here, but it’s definitely different. I feel bad for everyone else who like doesn’t have that because I know I got lucky. My last meet last year was the times that I use to get into university, I was like the beginning of March. So there are a couple of people where they didn’t get that. And they’re counting on like last years, like this season, which is gone. So they might not get into the schools they want, which I do feel bad for them, especially they’re younger than me cause they’re using grade nine times and the US is still competing and everything. So it’s definitely hard for them. I’ve been lucky.

Clance: You’re a good person. You care about other people. That’s good. It’s not just about you.

Izzy: Yeah. Like I’ve been, I’m grateful enough that I have had the opportunity to train most of the time. You let me borrow a set of weights and I train them back home.

Clance: Your dad sent me a video-

Izzy: I’m sure my neighbors are patient.

Clance: By any means necessary, you know, that’s just that Can’t stop. Won’t stop mentality.

Izzy: Yeah. Like my dad bought a track and some hurdles, so we made it work. I know a lot of people like they couldn’t do that. I was okay.

Clance: Yeah. You gotta count your blessings for that. So that’s true. So for me, like the word DOMINATE, I really love that word because for me personally, it’s not just about, you know, Hey, dominating your sports, it’s just a way of life. And I think you alluded to that at the beginning. I really like to know, what does dominate means to you?

Izzy: Yeah, it means that I’m doing everything I can. Like everything I can control and everything in my power to be the best I can be at. Whatever I kind of target or whatever I want to. So for school, for the track, for weightlifting-

Clance: Let me hear those marks in school. It’s okay.

Izzy: They’re high.

Clance: Love it. Love it. Student-athlete. Love it. What else? Sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt.

Izzy: Even just life, like making sure I get the right nutrition. I don’t just skip a bunch of meals, making sure that I study enough. I go to all my practices. Cause there are definitely days where you just don’t want to do it.

Clance: What keeps you going?

Izzy: The end goal? Also knowing that other people are there training like you can’t just not train because you’re not the only one working, so it’s every other person you’re competing against.

Clance: A hundred percent. So the fact that you know, okay, you’re taking this day off while your competitor are probably training.

Izzy: Yeah. So I think always kind of having that in the back of your mind, knowing like sure, if you take this day off, what is everyone else doing? Like they’re not just sitting there.

Clance: Yeah. I Remember years ago, PK Subban. The kid was just annoying, man. He wanted to train like every day. Like he just every day, well, we just took a day off, like in the gym every day. But one of the big things he said to me was like, you know, Clance, if I feel like I take a day off, he goes…in his head, he just had this thing in his head. There’s this kid in Russia, who’s training when he’s taking a day off, and for whatever reason, that just, that was his thing. He just, if he took a day off, it drove him nuts. Like he had to do something.

Izzy: Yeah. That was like, Rich Clune, like the hockey player. He’s run with me a couple of times at Birch Mount. And I remember he told me once, he’s like somewhere, somewhere in the world coaches dragging the kid off the track and I was there wanting to leave. So that’s kind of stuck with me. That was, I don’t know, four or five years ago.

Clance: Amazing how you know these little things and you know, PK said that to me…how many, like how many years ago now? Maybe 8 years ago, you know, 8 or 9 years ago. It just stuck with me. Never forget that. So for those young aspiring athletes, female athletes, or even males, what is the one thing or two or three things, what would you like to tell those people or those young athletes coming up who want to achieve their goals?

Izzy: Yeah. I think you have to focus on yourself. Kind of like what you’re trying to accomplish. Because for me, like when I started out, I wasn’t winning any races. Cause there, the people like they’re older than you, they’re bigger. They were running much faster times. Like I was happy to come at 8th and make a final. So I think if I focused on what they were doing and always comparing myself to them, I don’t know if I’d still be running, but my dad always reminded me, like, they’re bigger. They’ve been doing this for longer. Like as long as you’re improving, that’s what matters. So I think that’s probably the biggest thing for me, at least.

Clance: I love that. So what you’re saying is the biggest thing for you is just focused on yourself.

Izzy: Yeah. Like make sure that you’re the one improving and like, as long as you’re improving, getting better on like your own marks, it doesn’t really matter what they’re doing.

Clance: Just on yourself. It’s good to understand what the competitors are doing, but your main point is focus on yourself.

Izzy: Yeah. Cause like when you start out, you’re not going to be the best. You’re not going to be breaking records or at least I wasn’t. So that was a big thing for me.

Clance: That is important. Right? Because I’ve heard about, you know, there’s this thing that I’ve learned from this world-renowned coach, and he, and he said, it’s a champion disease. So you have some athletes who come and they win everything, so they get complacent. Then you have other athletes who, when they first started, they didn’t win everything. They’re not complacent. They know what it’s like to lose and they don’t want to go back and lose after they started winning and the athletes with the champion disease, they kind of, they get complacent, they don’t want to lose. So they don’t actually do the work sometimes. And it’s kind of funny like, because they don’t want to lose or because they’re used to winning, they’re not putting the actual work to stay on top.

Izzy: Yeah. Absolutely.

Clance: Right. They get complacent. So good for you. I’m so happy for you. So proud of you. Like, I love your work ethic. I love your training furiosity. I love your focus. And I can’t say it enough. And your father has done an amazing job. A lot of people don’t like, you know, I talked to a lot of people or, you know, they come and say, Oh, Clance did a great job. They don’t know, man. I said, Jordan trains Izzy. I’m just here in the gym, just giving her a couple of ways to throw around here. But the real mastermind-

Izzy: Yeah. George is like the manager of everything.

Clance: Yeah. He just stays in the background and he’s happy about it, but I’m letting people know your dad is a bad man. He’s amazing. He’s an amazing coach. So he might want to cut-

Izzy: I didn’t give him enough credit.

Clance: He might want to cut this out, you know, George, but I got to give him props. Izzy, thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure training you. I can’t wait to see you, you know, watching, checking NCA, NCAA track bates and watch it as you get at it. So yeah. Thank you so much.

Izzy: Thank you for having me. This is awesome.

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