UK champion tells Bryony Pearce how she wants to get close to Barbara Parker’s mark after illness-hit year
Charlie Grice keen to build on strong start to seasonJune 20, 2014
UK 1500m No.1 says things are heading in the right direction following PBs over both his specialist distance and the 800m this year
Although pleased that his season so far has included lifetime bests over both the 1500m and 800m, Charlie Grice knows there is more to be done as he works towards his double target of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the European Championships in Zurich this summer.
The 20-year-old, who is currently UK No.1 over his specialist distance, the 1500m, was on Monday confirmed part of the England team for the Glasgow Games and with the team announcement having been delayed by a week, the Brighton Phoenix athlete was glad to finally be able to share his news.
“It’s nice to finally be able to tell people about it,” Grice said. “It was tough, a lot of pressure on young athletes like myself to run the time because the deadline was so early. I had to run a PB by June 1 and there’s hasn’t been many races but I’m glad I went out to the States and did a training camp there with British Athletics and Nike. I’m really grateful that I could do a training camp there and race.”
A solid winter of training which included that training camp at Park City in Utah and more strength work seems to be paying off, as Grice clocked that 3:36.31 1500m PB in his season opener in California in May to top the UK rankings before following that up with his quickest ever 800m – a 1:47.00 run in Holland.
“I’m really happy with how things are going at the moment,” said Grice. “The season started off really well, I ran a PB in LA after training for two weeks at altitude at Park City so I was really chuffed to get that PB and a Commonwealth Games qualifying time.
“I then raced at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene in the mile which didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, especially as I finished on a 54 last lap in LA, but I just felt tired and I’d had a cold.
“But I raced an 800m last week in Holland, that was good. I ran a PB there, so things are heading in the right direction.”
Grice next competes over 1500m at the European Team Championships in Braunschweig, Germany, this weekend where he’ll be looking to go one better than his runner-up spot at the last edition of the team event held in Gateshead 12 months ago. His season will also include the British Championships at the end of June and the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix in July as he looks to book a place on the GB team for the European Championships which takes place just two weeks after the Commonwealth Games.
“Doing the two championships is going to be hard only two weeks apart but that’s when I need to be in my best form,” Grice explained, the Jon Bigg-coached athlete also hoping to fit in another outing over 800m in the near future to help hone his speed.
“Eventually I’d like to double up (1500m and 800m) at the championships like the likes of Steve Ovett and Seb Coe did back in the day,” he added. “When I’m strong enough I’d like to do that.
“I can take a lot of positives from my 800m PB because I won the race and I beat a few guys who have run 1:45 high as their 800m PB. I definitely think there’s a lot more there, especially as I felt really easy afterwards. I’ll hopefully do another one soon.”
» Charlie Grice was speaking at the launch of the new Nike Zoom Air Pegasus 31 – a highly responsive, high-mileage speed shoe featuring Zoom Air cushioning for a fast, quick-off-the-ground feel and response. Available now from nike.com