It wasn’t until I was in my mid-teens that I joined a running group and began training and competing in athletics. After a promising season of track in my final year of high school the next four years did not go as expected. I got sucked into what seemed like a black hole of injury. My lower legs were giving me the most grief, with fractures, surgeries and stubborn soft tissue injuries in both feet. It was a testing time, but dealing with some adversity turned out to be my biggest blessing. Setbacks provide a great opportunity for growth, and they also helped me realise my desire to run.

Enough of that. Earlier this year I competed in the 1500m at the Australian National Champs. I had a very patchy 6 months leading up, so I wasn’t expecting much and just wanted to be on the scene. Although I should have been encouraged, the experience was as a harsh reminder that I have a long way to go if I want to compete with the top girls. Following this I had a few weeks off running due to an injury, then my coach, Phil Moore, and I set about building up a winter base.

The aim of this winter was to safely build up the volume of running. I’m up to running 75-80k weeks back to back, which is the most I’ve been able to do before. Getting strong in the gym has been another emphasis. It has felt like a bit of a grind but I’m adapting to the workload. I’m starting to I’m wake up in the morning feeling a little less stiff, sore and sorry for myself!

Right now one of my favourite workouts involves 500-900m reps on the grass track with my training group. I like this workout because our coach tailors each of our sessions so the boys and girls can work together. This has really helped me get my times down. Another favourite is 10x400m off a 2min cycle. I love these kinds of workouts because I can get a rhythm going and on a good day I feel like I’m flying across the track.

I have been with my coach since I was 16 and he knows how to get the best out of me. We’re on the side of caution with training, and tend to do a little less than a little more just to make sure we don’t overdo it. This is important for me since I sometimes need to be reined in as I have a tendency to go to the nth degree with everything! I also like this approach because when coach gives me challenging times to hit in training I really believe I can do it since I know he wouldn’t give me anything I’m not capable of.

Running is where my heart lies, but I feel happier and more fulfilled by striving in all areas in life. I am studying a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at Sydney University and working part time for a road construction company. Juggling work, uni, family and friends, and running can be a bit of a challenge. There are a lot of 5am starts so I can fit it all in one day. I also have to do some pretty epic commutes all around Sydney since I don’t live near where my group trains and work is based on the Central Coast. It can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, but I like to be busy! I feel that leading a balanced life is the only way I can reach my full potential in running.

davinaSmith
Coach said during a workout “don’t think, just run”. This really struck a chord with me. When things get hard in training I just have to take each rep as they come and not think about how many I’ve done or how many I have to go. It’s the same with reaching my running goals…and I have some pretty ambitious ones. I try not to worry about the things preventing me from reaching them, or what other people are doing for training, but concentrate on what I can do now and just keep ticking the sessions off.

My first race this season is state 3k in early November, although I am really targeting the 800m and 1500m combo. There is definitely still room for improvement, but I am excited to see what I can do this summer. I have some pb’s that are in need of some serious trimming! All being well I would also expect a good progression next season having only been back to it for about a year.

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