Coaching, Sports, FITNESS & More
Everything about jumping and sprinting and how to improve your performance
Well, we've just returned from a long weekend in Devon, which as well as allowing us to see some very beautiful parts of the south-west , also took in the national schools multi-events champs in Exeter - and all I may say, in glorious weather.
Pippa was competing in the intermediate girls hep and it just goes to show from what happened that a multi event is rather like a football match. Your team can be being battered, but the score remains nil-nil, then in the last minute your goalie scores the winner! Okay I'm being a little far fetched there, but you get the idea. Pippa did not produce some of her best performances in her banker events - the hurdles and the long jump and the 200m to an extent, for example, but ended up second overall. (All credit to Jade O'Dowda who took gold, by some margin and who did dominate possession er, the heptathlon.)
If I recall Pippa went into the 800m in 7th place. She'd been out of the top 10 for most of the action over the two days. She'd managed a 1.53m high jump, in perhaps her least confident discipline, and this in hindsight was the unexpected key to her getting on the podium come the final event. A poor performance in the high jump would have made it virtually impossible to achieve a podium place. Indeed, throughout the competition we all thought that fourth/fifth, and maybe if the gods all-smiled third, would be the highest place she could finish.
However, when you embrace running the 800m (how many multieventers like those last few laps?) there's always an outside chance of making up some positions. Well, that's exactly what the Kingston & Poly athlete did. A first lap of 63sec had me thinking "will she blow up?" Nope, and although she slowed, not unsurprisingly, the clocked stopped at 2.15.12! A new Pb and good enough for a massive 779 points (massive in the context of heptathlon inter girls' 800m running).
As the girls lined up for the presentation we thought that the order must be incorrect. Pippa was to the left of Jade i.e. she she had won the silver medal. How did that happen? Well, she snuck past Amaya Scott, who had a very good day, by one-point (she must rightly be a little disappointed), about a tenth of a second. Pippa's parents, other family and friends and I are still in a bit of a state of shock. We never saw that coming. It's not over to the final whistle in a multi.
However, it is over for this track season for my training squad. We start again mid October. Look out for more updates and training tips and videos.
Gravel grinding, teenage reflections on the term bonking, escaping from the spouse… our writers seem to have gone a bit all Carry On in this issue. But just before you think Sid James and Charles Hawtrey have mysteriously reappeared and are now writing our articles let me assure you that the only carry ons we have in this issue are great adventures, great escapes and great challenges.
Paul Errington rides 200 miles across the not as flat as he thought plains of Kansas in one of the foremost gravel bike races in the world the Dirty Kanza (I'll resist another Carry On ref there). Read how he dealt with miles and miles of gravel and mud on page 48. It's Damian Hall who writes about bonking in his Lakes Sky Ultra experience - a race where our man came in a very creditable fifth. (Incidentally we must congratulate Damian on his selection for the Great Britain trail running team for the world champs in October! We'll get him to write about his experiences.) Yes, he did experience pain along the way and for a runner he had to get used to a bit of scrambling and taking of the high line. But it's an experience he thoroughly recommends.
It’s Anthony Pease who finds himself home alone and sets off for a wild night or two in the Brecon Beacons. It’s okay, his missus dropped him off – page 32.
What is it about enjoying some of the pain caused by outdoor challenges that seems to motivate, and which also gives me the chance to get in references to old-fashioned British comedy? Perhaps that is in fact the answer i.e. that many of us will laugh (well, afterwards anyway) at such adversity and make jokes about it along the way. In sport it's often said that pain is transient but glory lasts forever - so that challenge, that collision with reasonable discomfort is well worth it at the end of the day (or many days!), especially if it can be laughed off. Speaking of many days Luke Tyberski however, probably didn't laugh too much on parts of his Morocco to Monaco - Ultimate Tri. He collapsed a number of times; can't recall finishing certain stages (yet he did); and won't want to remember fondly the pain in his knees and hamstrings that altered his plans and necessitated more cycling than running than originally planned. Yet Luke made it - that's 2,000 kilometres in 12 days all under human power - what an achievement. Read about it all on page 38.
Getting fit in the great outdoors should be fun for the majority - yes, as I’ve indicated you may experience a bit of pain along some of the way - but you don't need to collapse, or hit the wall. Get out on your bike or on foot and explore what's near, or not so near. Pushing your self that bit harder can come in time and with the necessary experience - both mentally and physically. Whatever you challenge yourself to do, and whatever the level, above all remember, It should all be a great carry on.
Heroes of the Issue
Luke decides that getting from Morocco to Monaco under his own steam is a great idea… he makes it, but loses consciousness a couple of times en route. P38
Anthony finds the time from work and home commitments to make a run for it… well, trek for it, as he has a micro adventure in the Brecon Beacons. P32
Our mud-splattered cover model (!) was first woman home in the Dirty Kanza gravel bike race. She blasted 206 miles in just over 13 hours. Go girl! P48
If you've been following my blog, you'll know that Athletics Weekly ran an article of mine on the above topic i.e. over speed training in August (16). Here's a podcast of some of the content and some other thoughts of mine on overspeed. Recent research indicates how it might actually work....