KATIE Archibald is a racer, not a trainer.

The 26-year-old Olympic champion freely admits that her greatest strength is her in-competition form, whereas producing mind-blowing training performances are not her forte.

In normal times, this is perfect. It’s what has enabled Archibald to collect three World, 12 European and a Commonwealth title on top of her Olympic gold medal throughout the course of her career.

But in these current times, which has seen racing become non-existent for almost six months and an Olympic team being selected in the not too distant future, Archibald admits relying on her training performances to ensure she books her seat to Tokyo next year is not quite what she’d want, and it’s led to some anxious thoughts during lockdown.

“I’m renowned for being the worst at training and the best at racing,” she admitted.

“I guess you’d prefer to have it that way than the other way around but it also makes it very hard to get selected, especially in a year like this when there’s no races. So I’m relying on my training data, which has always been rubbish. Which isn’t ideal,” said the Scot, who is targeting selection for the team pursuit and the madison in Tokyo.

“That’s what’s been hard about lockdown – you can get too caught-up in your own performance and if things are going badly, you’ve got all the space in the world to dwell on it.

“What I’ve realised though is that if the Olympics had been this summer just past, I wouldn’t have been ready. So even though the Games were postponed, if a session goes badly, you think ‘wait, this is Olympic year, where are you, what’s going on?!’ It’s irrational and it’s emotional but those thoughts still wriggle their way in.”

Archibald is known for being one of the most articulate athletes out there but for all her deep thinking about many things, she admits her initial approach to the coronavirus outbreak, and its potential implications, was to pretend it wasn’t happening.

“I was full head-in-the-sand when all the initial talk was going on about postponing the Olympics,” she said.

“I think Australia was the first nation to say that even if the Olympics went ahead, they wouldn’t be travelling to Japan and I remember thinking, ‘oh that’ll be funny, there’ll be no Australians at the Olympics!’

“It still hadn’t crossed my mind that the Olympics wouldn’t happen. And then when they did postpone it I was like ‘what, it’s the Olympics, you can’t cancel it!’

“It was really confusing – you feel really upset about this sporting event being called-off but then you’re aware how inappropriate that feeling is. So you have to try to get a bit of perspective and count your blessings when there are so many people in the world who aren’t in as fortunate a position as I am.”

Archibald admits she began to see lockdown as an opportunity, despite early disappointment.

“At the start, I was a bit at sea but then I realised the opportunity was there to do the same training week in, week out which sounds mind-numbing but it makes you so much better,” she said.

“So we had 12 weeks of a really controlled training camp. I feel good and I reckon I’m in a good place.”

After such a sustained block of training, Archibald is now on the verge of competing once again at the European Championships in Bulgaria in November.

She said: “I’m dying to get racing again. I’m looking at Instagram and I’m seeing what seems like everyone else racing – there’s so much going on over in Europe so it’s exciting to think it won’t be too long before I’m back racing too.”