Charlie Grice was the leading junior middle-distance athlete in the UK last year and wants to step up to the next level – here’s how he trains
Charlie Grice moved to train and study at St Mary’s, Twickenham, last September and it was a move that the Phoenix athlete viewed as an important step on his journey to becoming a top senior athlete.
The 19-year-old has been coached for about four years in Brighton by Jon Bigg, who liaises his training with Craig Winrow at St Mary’s. This has resulted in Grice having a fantastic training environment both at university and when he is home.
He explains: “Jon and Craig speak on a regular basis to set my training. There is a great group of guys in Craig’s group, who all get along really well and help to push each other in training.
“Back home in Brighton the training set-up is also good. Jon has some great facilities at his place, including a gym in his barn and a long grass loop in the field at the back of his house.”
The 2010 World Youth Olympics bronze medallist is quick to credit his coach’s input oﬀ the track. He says: “I have a close relationship with my coach and he does a lot for me. I felt that to make the next step in athletics and life in general I needed to move away for a change of scene and become more independent and less reliant on others.
“I believe Jon is one of the best coaches around. He has a positive attitude about everything and good attention to detail. He is able to understand my strengths and weaknesses in order to tailor the training to my individual needs. His training methods are founded from his years working with Steve Ovett, his wife Sally Gunnell and Mark Rowland.”
Boosted by UKA training trips to Kenya over the past two autumns, Grice likes to take the traditional training approach of racing cross country through the winter months to build his strength and endurance – and indeed he was part of the GB team at last month’s European Cross Country Championships at a snowy Budapest, where he finished in ninth place. However, he does not like to get too far away from his race specific training, so tends to go indoors to get a feel for the faster race pace early in the year.
He made his senior international debut at the recent British Athletics Glasgow International match where he took more than three seconds off his year-old 1500m personal best, clocking an impressive 3:45.05 behind winner Bethwel Birgen of Kenya.
» The sessions above are specific to the individual athlete and may not be suitable for other athletes. More stats on Charlie available on Power of 10