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Buchanan upbeat for Rio BMX campaign

28 January 2016

BMX: A social media "detox" is helping Australian BMX superstar Caroline Buchanan to get mentally ready to chase gold at the Rio Olympics.

Self-imposed social media bans during training camps are just one change she has been instituted in preparing to tackle a second Olympic Games.

"When I go to training camps, I combine all those apps in a folder at the back of my phone so I have that time where I can just 100 per cent focus on BMX," Buchanan told AAP.

"I found that's been very powerful to have that discipline to be able to put my apps away."

After a hectic schedule last season the 25-year-old took a "crucial" break over Christmas which has contributed to her mental freshness.

"Now it's seven months on the road in a suitcase and about six major events before Rio," she said.

Physically, AIS coach Julian Jones has been responsible for her getting her super-fit through a regime which she describes as pushing her "to the max".

And with the physical and mental preparation shaping nicely with seven months until Rio, Buchanan's ultimate motivation comes from a below-par fifth-place at the London Olympics.

"Looking back at my career it hasn't really been the highlights that have really inspired me the most, it's been the tough times and overcoming adversities," she said.

Since her London disappointment, she has scaled dizzying heights of success and is now a five-time world champion in BMX and mountain bike.

Rio's downhill course, which came under fire after a test event last year and altered, has high speeds and big jumps.

But Buchanan said the course doesn't provide an advantage for any particular ride, despite her need for speed.

"I love going fast and it's what we've trained for for years," she said.

"That's been a lot of my focus - my jumping and my skills, high speed and work vision training."

It's not just Rio in Buchanan's sights. The 2020 Tokyo Games are firmly on her radar.

"The female that won the Beijing Olympics she was 31 at the time," she said.

"BMX is quite a heavily skilled sport and a sport that does require a lot of knowledge so with that in mind I believe I can go right through to Tokyo."

Matt Coughlan
AAP

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