Sunday, 7 April 2013

The great outdoors

Following the first national competition I took part in in Birmingham, I took what I felt was a well deserved week off after a pretty gruelling 3 months of preparation and competition. During this time I went to Manchester to see my friend Ben Cartwright who is a personal trainer and S&C coach to do a movement analysis which would allow me to understand any imbalances in my movements and build in exercises and some pre-hab work into my routine to correct any defects. I also did my first hot yoga session which was pretty interesting. I've now tried hatha, ashtanga and hot yoga, and I'm going to progressively increase the amount I do, as I find it really helps with my recovery as well as improving my flexibility and core strength. After returning to London, I picked up where I'd left off and started working hard again immediately. When I joined a new gym close to the office so that I could go before I started work, a free personal training session was thrown in, which I decided to take up first thing back to really get me going again. After the session in Manchester I was already feeling much more confident about my technique for my Olympic lifts, which I'd previously taught myself by watching YouTube videos. What I didn't count on was just how hard I would end up working, and after 1 and a half hours of intensive, explosive weight work I was well and truly shattered! Safe to say, the track session that evening wasn't the best I've ever done. After that initial shock, my body has (thankfully) quickly adapted to the training again, and I'm starting to feel pretty good. After training specifically for the 60m for 3 months, to get outside and start to do some proper speed work has been great, and I'm really looking forward to the coming months and (hopefully) watching my times come down. I've got about 12 competitions over the next 5 months, which is quite a lot, but I've discovered I prefer the rush of competing to simply working for ages and competing less frequently. It's a bigger mental ask this way, but I think in my first season back whilst I'm still learning so much it's probably the best way to get the requisite experience I'm going to need as I start to progress to higher standard competitions. My first race outdoors is on Wednesday at 7pm at Parliament Hill in Highgate and while I'm still short of 100% fit after my break, I'm looking forward to feeling that buzz and adrenaline rush from pitting myself against some seriously fast guys. When chatting to a friend the other day they asked if I get nervous before I race, but I honestly don't: if anything, I feel at my calmest when I'm in the blocks and about to start, as I know if I focus on executing the different parts of my race, that I'll be happy, regardless of what place I come. This season is all about times, not places, and I'm confident that my time is now.

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