Thursday, 19 January 2012

Athletics Update

I can’t believe we’re already over halfway through January! At the moment I feel like I never get a chance to breathe. If I’m not training, I’m doing uni work and if I’m not doing either of those things I’m busy with Calvin, grooming, walking, playing, feeding, spending, it’s non-stop! Tonight however, I find myself with some free time on my hands, whilst Calvin gnaws on a bone and the rest of my family are out enjoying their social lives! So I can update you on my athletics.

Talent Squad Training:
On 7 January I went up to Manchester for a UK Athletics training day. This was the third in the series, but the first I could attend because of my previous guide runner issues. I’ve been invited to the training days based on the fact that I scored more than 650 RAZA points last season in competition. RAZA points are worked out on how close you are to the world record in your classification, the more points, the better you are.

The day was split into three sessions. The first was a talk on psychology, understanding the commitment required to become a top athlete and how goals should be achievable. Nothing I’ve not heard before. The second session was gym based and we did a variety of core work, which I felt I excelled at. The afternoon was a full on track session, 6x60m with walk backs, 2 sets. Every run was timed and we were separated into groups by classification. Obviously there were no other T11 athletes, so I was grouped with two visually impaired athletes who run without a guide and a T38 athlete, who I’ve never lost to in a 100m race. I was immediately disappointed with my performance when I was coming last in the runs, each and every one I was left for dead at the start. It wasn’t until towards the end that my endurance shone through, as I started to beat the T38 athlete. Nevertheless, I was frustrated that I wasn’t closer to the other visually impaired athletes who boast PBs around 14.5secs. I’m often told I’m too hard on myself, but with the amount of training I’ve been putting in, I was expecting more, I felt like I deserved to do better than I did. On the up side, it was a good opportunity to train with the people I usually race and who are of a similar speed to me. I just don’t do last very well!

The next training day is on 18 February and I hope I’ll be happier with my performance come then, but no doubt I’ll find some sort of fault! I look forward to it though, the social side was enjoyable.

On 5 January I did an hour long live interview with BBC Radio Leicester, on the Carl Cooper show. It was mainly related to my athletics, training, goals and the Paralympics, although more general topics were discussed too. I’ve done radio a few times now, but never live. The experience was a good one, I’m pleased to report.

I also need to do a few more thank yous, as despite my funding campaign being quite a while ago now, I’ve had further support. So a massive thank you to:
Keith Smith
Helen Lapidge
Thomas Estley Community College (my old school)
Westfields Tennis Club (my mum’s club)

I really do appreciate all of the on-going support.

Well that’s all for now, as ever I’ll leave you with an inspirational quote, nothing has changed for 2012!

Some people compare life to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter. Long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform (Michael Johnson)

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