Last week I had the privilege of having a training day hosted at Loughborough University’s internationally-renowned sports facilities. For me the highlights were being coached track-side by British Triathlon Performance Coach Adam Elliott, followed by a Q&A session with none other than Olympian and Commonwealth Athlete Kelly Sotherton.
Adam’s approach to running drills focused on basic movements: no sprints till you die, just focused on functional drills to engage key muscle groups and to pattern the brain to fire the right muscles in the right sequence, even when moving at walking pace. Over the course of the session we progressed from walking over hurdles, bouncing from foot to foot slowly down the track, through to picking the pace up to sprinting. I’ve been incorporating what I learnt in my training, both during my longer runs as well as in my warm ups; consequently I have noticed an improvement in my performance.
Having a Q&A session with Olympic hepathlete Kelly Sotherton was surreal: there I was, in the same room as the lady whom the British public were watching transfixed for years as she competed for Great Britain on the international scene. What’s more surreal was that Kelly was doing most of the question-asking! The key message I got from her was to identify your obstacles (physical or mental) and take steps to overcome them. Don’t like hills – find some. Not confident on rocky terrain – practice more on it. Scared of horses – go stroke one! She also talked about visualisation techniques: visualising each turn in the race course, the change in terrain, so that on race day you are comfortable and confident.
All in all, a fantastic day. Thanks Adam, Kelly and Whole Earth for making it possible