Four-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny has revealed former heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill has been a “great support” in helping her return to competitive cycling after giving birth.
Kenny, 25, who had son Albie in August 2017, will compete at the Track Cycling World Championships from 28 February.
Olympic champion Ennis-Hill, 32, won the World Championships in August 2015, 14 months after having son Reggie.
“Without that support I wouldn’t know what’s right and wrong,” said Kenny.
Ennis-Hill, who won gold at London 2012, gave birth to Reggie in July 2014 and went on to win her third world title in Beijing the following August and then silver at Rio 2016 before retiring.
“My body has been through something it’s never been before, there are lots of feelings I have never had,” Kenny told BBC Sport.
“Although she [Ennis-Hill] is not a bike rider, she is a power-based athlete, she’s in the gym, does everything I do, but on a running track. She’s been a great support to have there and ask any questions – as it is a minefield. “
Kenny, who won team pursuit and omnium gold medals at both London 2012 and the 2016 Rio Olympics, will be looking to win a fifth world team pursuit title in the Netherlands and an eighth gold in total.
Also in the British squad is husband and six-time Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny.
‘Hard to be away from Albie’
Laura Kenny won the National Women’s Omnium in Derby at the weekend, her first competition since 2016.
She was able to return to light training eight weeks after having Albie and found that a team pursuit session was the turning point.
“I surprised myself how fast my form came back,” she said.
“I went for it and got round 3km and realised I was not that far away from where I left off.
“I’ve come back much quicker than I hoped for, it shocked me how fast I have got back into it. I am seeing it from a different viewpoint, all of a sudden. I am mum and mum comes before anything and I am much more relaxed than I ever was.”
She says it is “hard” to be away from her son, adding: ” I really don’t like it.
“If I leave Albie to train then the session has to be worth it. I am coming in to do a job, do it well and go back home and be a mum.”
Lack of sleep and feeding
Laura Kenny says the lack of sleep has an effect on recovery times and she cannot do a full day of training as she has to be there to feed Albie.
“So far we are managing really well. Me and Jason are a great tag team,” she added.
“On the face of it, it’s a disaster,” said Jason Kenny. “I would never have thought I could train on no sleep. The grandparents look after him when we train. It is a new thing we have had to adapt to and part of being an athlete, we are just tired all the time.”
April’s Commonwealth Games in Brisbane are off the agenda though, as Laura Kenny said it “doesn’t make sense dragging Albie across the world”.
“I was never planning to compete until August, the Worlds just fell at my feet,” she added.
A month after Albie was born, 29-year-old Jason Kenny revealed he had reversed a decision to retire and Laura Kenny says her return to cycling may have “sparked something in his head” to also return.
She has raised the prospects of the pair competing together at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“I can’t imagine going to the Olympics with Jason not being there, I have never done that,” she added.
“If Albie can see Jason and I at an Olympics that would be incredible, it may give him a buzz to push him into sport or anything. I am not fussed if he does sport, I just want him to shoot for the stars”.