Sunday, 4 November 2012

Picking up the pace

It's been a difficult week in training, as we have predominantly focussed on the weakest part of my race: my start. On Tuesday, it was 8x60m sprints, focussing on getting to the end of the acceleration phase and into the drive. For whatever reason, I've never been particularly strong over the first 30m of a sprint, coming into my own in the second part of the race. Lining up against people who excel over 60m, consequently, was a challenge, both physically and mentally. There is always a fair bit of banter flying around in training and I guess I'm trying to make sure I remember to break down my race into its parts, rather than panicking if someone gets out faster than me and almost bypassing the acceleration phase of the race by getting upright too soon. Thursday was another session which predominantly focussed on the early stages of a race, with the session including 3x30m, 3x40m, 3x50m, 2x60m and 2x80m. With minimal rest in between each run, it was a really tough session which was almost entirely anaerobic. By the end my frustration was starting to get the better of me, in part due to exhaustion and also due to being frustrated that my body seemed to be unwilling to do what my mind told it to. My coach was encouraging though, and said my technique was improving quickly, which was something to cling on to. On Friday night, I watched documentary called Personal Best which tracked the careers of 3 British sprinters in the run up to this summer's Olympics. Watching them go through hell, training until they nearly collapsed, pushing their bodies to the absolute physical limit, was in equal measure inspiring and daunting. It certainly painted a rich picture of just how hard they're willing to work, and reminded me I've got a long way to go if I'm going to achieve my goal of going to Rio. The session this morning was really good, exclusively working on our core with a range of medicine ball exercises for over an hour. I still need to shift about half a stone, and this, along with the weights sessions which will start this coming week, will help me achieve that. I've been pestering the coach to give me the weights routine for a while as I want to get a head start on everyone else, who won't be starting for another few weeks yet. So, starting this week, I'll be doing the following sessions: Session 1: Bench Press – 3x12 Squats – 3x12 Clean & Jerk – 3x12 (all at 50% of bodyweight) Upright rows – 3x10 Pull overs – 3x10 Single leg hip raises – 3x10 Eccentric calf raises – 3x20 Sit ups – 3x20. Session 2: Bench Press – 3x12 Overhead squats – 3x12 Snatch pulls – 3x12 (all at 50% of bodyweight) Seated dumbbell press – 3x10 Pull overs – 3x10 Single leg hip raises – 3x10 Eccentric calf raises – 3x20 Sit ups – 3x20. I've got to do these for the next 4 weeks, before increasing the weight for the first three exercises of these sessions to 60% of my bodyweight, ultimately building up to 92.5% of bodyweight after 16 weeks. I have a feeling that I'm about to find out just how tough it's going to be to get to the top.

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