60m is over so fast that there is barely any time to think about the race. By the time you are up into your running, the line is there right in front of you. People say, Ahh sure its only 60, over in a flash! This is true although it takes a lot of effort to overcome your competition in such a short distance. All about the start? If this was true then I’d be lovin’ it! There is still a lot to work on in order to achieve my potential over the distance.
Training for 60s can be very repetitive and difficult to finish when your head isn’t there but in the end you just gotta knuckle down and get it done! I had ups and downs in training leading up to the indoors but the ups gave me confidence and kept my mind set on my targets for the indoor season.
Jordanstown, my own patch, was the venue for my first 60 of the season. You can never expect too much for a first race but I had a time in the back of my mind. Equalled PB, 6.89s. Couldn’t complain. Very promising start!
On to Loughborough to build on a decent result. It was weird staying somewhere on my lonesome, when staying with groups was what I was used to. All about the independence I guess.
On the start, standing next to two European Junior 100m finalists, I had to keep reminding myself that I would be in the mix. Finishing 2nd and beating the European Junior bronze medalist was the silver lining as I thought my time would be quicker than 6.92s and I tweaked my hamstring after 40m :( It’s hard not to think that the trip was a complete waste as the 2nd race was out of the question, but you always have to take away the positives.
Nenagh! It may freeze the face off you, but I love the track. The Irish University Championships took place there in early February. As UU captain, making sure our team were sorted and ready to compete was at the front of my mind but when it came down to it, I was focused on my race.
6.95s in the heats, quickest qualifier, happy enough. Now for the final! Setting up my blocks for a practice start, it never entered my mind that I would have to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision. Years of my coach shouting not to stop abruptly suddenly made sense. My calves tightened and cramped. Game over. It’s hard to hide the panic and anger of something unexpected like that. I got to about 5 metres in the race before the same feeling grabbed my legs again. It’s also hard to watch the rest of the field run away from you as the win you had hoped for disappears as well as the prospect of a free pair of trainers. Accidents happen. Time to forget and move on to the next goal.
In my case, the next goal took place in the Irish Indoors at the Odyssey Arena on the 19th and 20th February. Heats on the Saturday, semi and final on the Sunday. The plan was to blast the heat to build confidence.
6.85s! I couldn’t have asked for a better start. The much sought after PB in the bag in the first round. It’s important to cool down, go home early, reflect on a good day and look forward to the second day.
It’s easy to get thrown by incidents at the start of a race. The semi-final was an example of this. We had ran 40m before being called back for a false start. In the back of your mind you’re thinking, was it me? :/ but you’ve gotta have faith in your start that you won’t jump the gun. B of the Bang as they say.
6.86s! Just squeezed first place despite that feeling beginning to creep back into my calves. A good time considering! A bit of sports massage always was going to ease my mind before the final. Really appreciated it that weekend.
Its almost overwhelming to think that all the training and mental battles all come down to a 7 second blur. I had hoped they wouldn’t play the Rocky music as we stood behind our blocks as it would only enhance my nerves, but they did. You have get the fact that your family and girlfriend are watching you out of your head! It ain’t easy!
On your marks....Set....Bang! Drive, drive, drive! Up into my running and so close to my goal. An involuntary ‘Yeah!!!!’ comes out as I dive over the line. 6.85s. What a feeling. I hope I’ll have more like that.
Determination and hard work really do pay off. So I didn’t get the qualifying time to take me to Paris for the European Indoor Championships. Plenty more chances in the future with some more improvements. I did however win my first senior title, previously won by sprinters such as Paul Hession and Paul Brizzel. I’ll take that! Now to try convert that feeling to the end of a 100m in the summer.