Wednesday, 31 October 2012

And so it begins ...

As some of you may already know, I'm hoping to run in the 100m final in Rio in 2016. There were a number of factors that led me to this point, but it was chiefly borne out of frustration at my inability to get a ticket to the 100m final for the Olympics this summer. I appreciate that it seems unlikely, and frankly I'm not particularly surprised that most people's first reaction when I tell them is to laugh. Personally, I've got an unshakeable belief that I'll manage it. If I don't believe I'm going to do it, how can I expect anyone else to? Either way, I thought I'd write a blog of my experience of training, competing and hopefully success over the next four years.I started training again at the beginning of August with London Heathside at Finsbury Park. I'd not done any serious athletics training for 8 years, so was prepared for the worst. Buoyed by my unexpected 2nd place finish in a 200m race the week before, where I thought I was going to train but accidentally turned up to a comp, meant that my spirits were slightly buoyed, but I was determined to be pragmatic about how difficult this could be. This definitely turned out to be the right decision; after years of playing football, my technique was atrocious and I was relying entirely on natural pace. Judging by the rest of the people I'm training with, I'm alone in this - they'd just come off the back of a full season and appeared to be absolutely flying. After a gruelling first session, I woke up the next day and could barely walk as my calves were so painful. A sign of things to come ...Over the past 8 weeks, I've been training 3 times a week, for an hour and a half at a time. There are some pretty rapid individuals that I train with, and this along with the fact that my coach competed in the UK youth games when he was younger, and has been having coaching training from an Olympic coach, has meant my motivation levels have gone through the roof. After adjusting to the hill runs, anaerobic workouts, speed endurance and intensive technique building, I'm finally starting to feel like I'm getting somewhere. We did our season base lining the other week, and I ran 12.07 for the 100m. The coach thinks with continued conditioning and training, by the time the indoor season arrives in the new year, I'll have taken a second off this time. Personally, I'm hoping for more. I've broken 11 seconds in the past, and if I get my technique, and hopefully my start, right, I'm hoping to hit 10.7 this season.The Olympic qualifying time is 10.23 seconds (I think), so ultimately that's the first aim. If I can hit that time by the 2014 season, I'll be well on my way. However, just reaching that time doesn't guarantee selection, as there are some really talented sprinters out there already: Adam Gemili, Mark Lewis-Francis, Simeon Williamson, and Craig Pickering to name but a few. Also, if I'm going to be competing in the 100m final, I'm going to need to be going sub-10 seconds. Right now, this seems a long way away, but I'm confident that with the right coaching, and if I make the necessary lifestyle choices, that it's achievable. It's a lot of pressure that I've put on myself, both internally, and externally by telling people that this is what I'm aiming for. I'm only doing this for myself, but at the same time I'm aware of the need to be able to back up what I'm saying I'll do.There'll be updates intermittently as to how training and race preparation is coming along. Already looking forward to the next update!

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