Well here I am writing my first ASDA athlete blog so I think it would be a good idea for me to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my season so far.
I’m Jen, a middle distance athlete at Durham University studying French and Spanish. I’m in my first year at Durham so there have been a lot of changes this year: leaving home, training with different athletes, independent study where there’s no one checking up on you but all in all I’d say the transition has been pretty smooth. I’ve met some lovely new people at Durham and have found a supportive group to train with and I still keep in touch with my training group at home and my coach there is in contact with the coach at Durham to set my sessions and check I’m behaving (of course I always am). So really, I’ve now got the best of both worlds!
In terms of competing, this winter has been my most successful yet! As a middle distance track athlete, the cross country season is important to build strength and a good endurance base for when we start the speed work approaching track season. I’ve had a few niggles, one of which forced me to pull out of the European trials meaning I didn’t make the team but I bounced back from this stronger and surpassed my expectations! I won the Yorkshire senior title (despite still being in the Junior age category), I won the Northern cross country title for the first time, placed 2nd in a national cross challege at Cardiff and finished off my season claiming a bronze medal at the National cross country at parliament hill. Not a bad way to end the season!
So I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that I can take this strength with me into the track season and convert it in to some quick times! My main focus is to make the team for the World Juniors which will take place in Barcelona and to do this I need to reduce my 1500m time from 4.20 to 4.18, an achievable target.
I’ve got some exciting events coming up to start my transition from cross country to track starting this weekend with an ‘On Camp with Kelly’ training camp in Twickenham. I’ve recently been made a full member of this organisation which is run by Kelly Holmes and her team to help developing athletes and I’m very grateful for the support I’m receiving. It’s an excellent way to train with athletes of similar ability in different environments and having Kelly there sharing her experiences and encouraging us is inspirational! In fact, one of these camps during the winter season was one of the highlights of my season as I had Kelly stood at the top of an incredibly steep hill shouting “Drive Jen! Drive!” Not many people will have the opportunity to have a double gold Olympic medallist cheering them on in a training session, so I’m extremely privileged! Then, after my weekend in Twickenham I have warm-weather training in Vilamoura, Portugal to look forward to. Again, I am going with the On Camp with Kelly (OCWK) scheme for two weeks to start my preparation for the track season by living the life of a professional athlete: training, eating and sleeping (maybe a bit of revision too). I can not wait!
So as you can see, I’m pretty busy at the moment but as my grandma says ’there’s no rest for the wicked!’ and so long as I’m busy running, I’m happy!
I’ll update you on my progress soon and share some of the stories from Portugal.