Jon and I went to the Mile End stadium in east Londonfor the start of our athletics. We were joined by Dekan Apajee from the BBC and Richard Houlihan and ‘the legend that is Mick Barlow’ from GLL. Dekan is doing a series of radio and TV slots about Olympic sports (you can follow him on twitter at @DekanDoes2012) while Mick is Athletics Development Manager at GLL and Richard is Athletics Development Coordinator and one of GLL’s top coaches.
Richard and Mick took us through our warm ups and then started us on the basics of 100m running. This is far more difficult than you might imagine as, to run fast, you essentially need to re-learn how to run. We were taken through the component parts – the high knee lift ; running on your toes, long strides; high back lift ; arms from hip to cheek – and then tried to put them all together. Add in starting from a set of blocks and it genuinely feels like you’re learning a new sport.
We then came to our first full 100m race – the aim being to accelerate to about 60m and then cruise home. The reality was somewhat different. I almost toppled over coming out of the blocks and then spent the rest of the race reflecting on just how long 100m is. The time was simply too embarrassing to relate – suffice it to say that it was many seconds slower than my one 100m run at senior school.
On the positive side, I felt like I’d conserved energy for the second run. This time I was really going to go for it and get a reasonable time. Instead, within twenty meters, I was hobbling off the track clutching my hamstring and generally making more noise than a grown man should.
Despite the injury, it was an excellent session and many thanks to Mick, Richard and GLL. Next up on the athletics front is a joint hammer and 1500m session on Nov 23rd. Got to get the hamstring sorted by then so all rehab tips gratefully received!