If you remember from my post ‘Expect the Unexpected‘, I talked about finding my passion in life. That passion being athletics, and more specifically sprinting. I took up the sport six months ago and haven’t looked back since, training six days a week and seeing huge progress each month.
Currently, I am on a rest period of one month. Training is due to start up again on the 5th September. To say I’m excited would be an understatement! Due to fact that I started half way through the season, my preparation was not ideal. It was more of a learning curve and introduction to the sport. Come Septmeber, I will begin my journey properly and see where things will take me. I have been lucky in the sense that the group I trained with in Spain was an excellent starting point for my athletic journey. Training with international sprinters, who motivated and gave me the platform needed to discover a new passion of mine. Even in the six months, I saw a huge improvement in my times and body structure. Training six days a week was a shock to the system at first, but once my body adapted to the climate, lifestyle and training, I began to see results. Promising results. This motivated me even more, because I saw what I could achieve in half a year of training. If I can do that in such a short period of time then who knows what I can achieve if I stick with it.
Coming home from Spain was not easy, in the sense that, I felt I could stray away from athletics. I had never done it in Ireland, apart from the odd school competition, and was afraid that pressure from peers and family to play traditional sports would hinder my progress. I had come to the realisation that playing two or three sports would not be possible, physically and mentally. Luckily enough, I came across a coach who was training a group of high quality sprinters near where I lived. I got in touch Immediaetly and have been training with them since. These added sports will not be a problem come September. I am willing to fight through the pressures and pursue a sport I genuinely love. It took me awhile to adapt back to the Irish culture and there style of training. The difference in training between Spain and Ireland is very different, I picked this up after the first few sessions when I returned home. It wasn’t ideal joining the group at the end of the season but as I explained above, the experience and introduction will stand to me.
Today, I had a meeting with my coach about the upcoming season. It was the first time I properly sat down with him and talked. He explained to me his approach and how he would be handling me in the following year. Spain had an added emphasis on strength and lifting heavy weight, whereas my coach in Ireland has an opposite approach. He explained to me that this approach can hinder the performance of an athlete and prefers that an athlete lift for speed as opposed to size. There is a common misconception that size equates to speed. According to my coach, this is not always the case. I’m looking forward to trying out his methods and seeing how much progress I can make! I can already tell he knows what he is talking about, with twenty one years of coaching Olympians and high-standard athletes. Plyometrics, core and lifting for speed will be will be my mantra when it comes to the physical side of training. Although, I will not be starting gym work until a month into my training, just to allow me to adapt fully to the new training style. This will be important because I have never endured a pre season and my body needs to cope with the intense training, as I don’t want to overtrain and damage my body. As for the running part, it will be broken into phases. The first phase will be a shock to my system. Longer runs and general tough endurance, something I have yet to experience. I will be training five days a week, some on the track and others off the track, such as hill runs and fartlek sessions. If I progress well and my body adapts quick to the training then possible extras will be added to my schedule. As for the rest of my training phases, let’s save that for another post!
I am a big believer in setting goals for myself and trying my hardest to reach them. Especially when it comes to sports! My current PB’s for the 100m and 200m are 11.54 and 23.31, which for half a season in the sport is pretty decent. So where does this leave me? Unfortunately, I don’t know. Due to the fact that I have only been with my new coach for a month or so, it’s hard for him to set goals straight away for me. I can understand where he is coming from. He needs time to see how I react to training and find a method he feels will work for and improve me. It made me more assured when he said that he thinks it’s possible to get to low 11’s for 100m and 22.50 for 200m. So as of now, these will be my goals for the upcoming season, at least until I hear otherwise!
I’m motivated and ready!