World trials U20 cross-country winner and his coach, Rob McKim, speak to David Lowes about progression and what lies ahead
Jonny Davies (pictured above, 22) started running around four years ago after being successful in some local school races. His prime interest, though, was football, but this gradually changed over the ensuing two years when he started doing Tuesday and Thursday sessions at the club under the guidance of Rob McKim, his current coach.
In his first season he never finished outside of the top three and his rapid improvement helped to keep him motivated for further success. Davies says: “I was ambitious from the start, and to be honest I was only satisfied if I won – I haven’t changed much!”
Coach McKim adds: “Jonny started oﬀ by doing just one session a week and this evolved to two on most weeks by the end of his first track season. Last year he was doing 40-45 miles a week and at present this has increased subtly to 45-55.”
The young Reading athlete has increased his conditioning work through drills and body circuits with the realisation that some of his running sessions need to be tough to move on to the next level.
The duo are also much more focused and have such things as objectives, training cycles, training diaries and extensive preparation checklists to help in their thorough preparation so that Davies knows what he has to do on any given day. One of Davies’s short-term goals was selection for the World Cross, which he duly secured with his emphatic win in the under-20 trial race at Cofton Park, after winning the under-17 title the previous year over the same course.
Even though the Olympic Games in Rio are only three years away, Davies is looking to be there and then to go on to the 2020 Games and leave his mark. When asked if he has any role models, Davies is quick to say: “The Rob Squad! They are a group of legends and heroes and of course, my dad! He’s a very determined person when he puts his mind to something and this is what I try to emulate.”