Whilst I’m still waiting to get the karting moving I’ve been staying fit and gradually preparing for a return to competitive athletics. Speed trials suggested that I needed 12 months prep to get to a competitive 400 metre time, the main issue being that I have a huge imbalance between my very strong dancer’s quads and my hamstrings. Unsurprisingly, that imbalance led to a recent major double hamstring tear, so I’m in recovery mode!
I took the opportunity to get a feel for it all again at the British Masters Athletic Federation National Championships, at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham. It was a superbly organised meet with an electric atmosphere that sent shivers down my spine!
I did a complete walk-thru ready for next year: registration, declaration, warm up, call up. The mind is an incredible thing, if you know how to tweak it. Now I know exactly what to expect, my subconscious will pre-programme the entire event with all of the variables having a separate plan.
I took some time to say hello and check out the opposition and videoed what would have been my race. Preparation!
Last time I competed here, it was a cinder track! The biggest variable in a 400 metre race is making sure that you don’t run someone else’s race (their tempo / their pace). Your fastest race time will come from being able to blank out the opposition and run the first 200 metres just a second or so off your best 200 metre time, with the last 200 metres being up to two seconds slower than the first. Get drawn by a super-fast first 100 metres and you’re screwed. This is why it’s so important to pre-programme your own race.