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Blog: Make the change

15-May-2014

6am and the alarm sounds! I wipe my weary eyes and battle the demons that tell me what’s outside is a lot less comfortable than what’s inside. As an aspiring athlete most days are met by fatigue and self-doubt. You hold on to the thought that all things are difficult before they become easy. This has been even more evident over the past 3 months since changing coach and drastically changing my approach to a sport I fell out of love with after a series of injuries and illnesses.

Since my switch to ‘Partridge Plodders’ my workload has gone from jogging 3 times a week in order to keep fit to having 2 days off a month and running ‘doubles’ for most of these. We have long-term ambitions of making teams and re-writing many personal bests but during this development phase it’s key to remain patient and level-headed. Many of the best athletes endure adversity before becoming great.

So what’s changed? Well, I’ve had some great coaches in the past but often I’ve either been part of a big group or the focus hasn’t been on the individual athletes needs. In these circumstances it can be difficult to become a warrior in the group of foot soldiers. This project allows me to communicate more freely with my coach and my programme can be sculpted to my individual needs. This isn’t a criticism as there are hundreds of undervalued coaches out there that give their lives to a sport which often doesn’t pay. Personally I’ve got to a point with my running where it’s last chance saloon so I can’t risk being just one of the group. It’s always better to regret the things you have done, rather than to regret the things you haven’t.

One of the most difficult aspects of my time is controlling the commodity we all wish we had a little more of, time. Juggling 2 jobs, 80-90 miles a week and product managing my biggest challenge to-date has its costs. One thing I’ve learnt is that we all take our health for granted until it starts to diminish. At 28 I’ve had six lots of surgery, weeks in hospital and an unhealthy caffeine addiction so I’ve decided now to take every step I can to achieve my potential, whether that’s a top 10 at the national or competing at a major games. Who knows? All I’m certain of is that I haven’t reached it yet.