Finding the opportunity in such a frantic summer season to put in decent spells of training can be tough, with so many good opportunities to race in the UK. Sadly this is the case with a lot of near-Olympians in the last few weeks, who have given their all to chase times here, there and everywhere and when push comes to shove have eventually run out of steam. I’m sure though it’ll mean they’ll learn from this summer and bounce back to bigger things in the future. Is the home summer Olympics the be all and end all, maybe?
The selection criteria and procedure has been rather controversial and such have of course raised eyebrows. The Womens 800m especially, leaving three ‘A’ Standard holders at home, taking just ‘B’ standard holder Lynsey Sharp. I can’t blame UK:A for this decision, all the others have been given chances to show they are Championship performers, and not quite done enough. In an ideal world you would like to take three in every event, but when they have set criteria that athletes need to fulfil, sometimes there is not a choice. In middle distance races times are irrelevant and it’s how you adapt to a race situation to proceed through the rounds rather than chasing fast times. But that’s just my view!
Since the National U23 Championships in Bedford, i’ve really focussed on getting some real sharpness and quality in around lots of easy running. After a long jog the day after my second 1500m in as many days, I met up with a few guys heading to the Olympic Trials to do a 500m, 400, 300, 200 session, with a 200m effort in between each effort too. This was aimed to be hit pretty hard off reasonable recovery, and was one of the first times i’ve really attacked a speed session this summer; so was pleased with the pace I was able to run.
My main session last week was 10 x 400m, but off of diminishing recoveries in the latter five efforts. So the first five off 60 secs recovery, and the second five off 60,50,40,30 seconds. Recreating a race situation is a very hard thing to do in training but this session goes close to replicating that, and trying to hit optimum race pace 61’s was the aim, and I just about hung onto that but had to dig in on the final couple of my own.
Off the back of a real hard fortnight of training, I raced the British League 3000m on a very wet and windy track at home in Bristol. After a real slow start in the opening 200m, I took to the front and tried to tick off 68,69 second laps as consistently as I could for the seven and a half laps. I did feel my legs tire near the end and ended up with 8:37.1 for the win, which hopefully shows my PB of 8:33 is up for revision in a paced race with decent conditions.
Tomorrow night I am heading up to Manchester for the third BMC Grand Prix following a very easy week. I have been placed in the B 1500m race with some of the best athletes i’ve ever competed against including numerous Great Britain representatives, so if I can get in the mix, i’m sure a decent time will come out of it!