Having cleared a PB of 2.29m indoors to top the UK rankings for 2015, Allan Smith wants to close the gap on the world’s best
Winning my first British indoor title was a good feeling, but I’m not getting carried away. In realistic terms there weren’t any “big name” athletes in the field on the day. Missing five main contenders did cut the field numbers massively.
I had failed to reach my potential in 2014. Without a doubt, the 2015 indoors season was consistently my best yet.
Making my first senior GB team for the European Indoors is something I had been chasing since the end of 2013 when I had claimed bronze at the European under-23 championships. However, a ropey third time clearance at an early height placed me low in the table carrying forward onto the later heights. After failing 2.24m on my first attempt and watching numerous athletics go clear, I took a risk and passed to the next height of 2.28m. It didn’t pay off and I failed to progress to the final. It has given me the drive and motivation not to let that happen again.
I’m well aware that 2.29m just isn’t good enough on the world stage. I finished only 19th in the world rankings indoors and I need to change that. I want to breach the gap into the top 10 in the world. I have high standards and I am not afraid to chase after them.
I have a strong supportive team behind me. I am coached by Bryan Roy and living back in Edinburgh, Neil Shanks and Sean Tough do my strength and conditioning. I train at Grangemouth and Pitreavie and do weights at Herriot Watt University. I trained with Fuzz Ahmed in Birmingham for 2014. During a weights and a jumps session I need to be mentally switched on to get the most out of the training session. I try to replicate the fighting mentality that comes naturally when I compete and grasp any adrenaline I can.
Constantly listening to music throughout some sessions helps me to stay focused. I pause whatever I am playing to receive feedback and talk about the plan moving forward for the next lift or jump. There are lots of artists included in my “gym” playlist including Meek Mill, Rick Ross, Kanye West, Drake, Big Sean, Skrillex and Hardwell.
My favourite session is a high jump session or short sprints with some friendly competition from my training partners.
Circuits during the winter and 20 minute runs are horrible. I do not enjoy them one bit.
Every morning I make a smoothie containing strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, mango, Greek yoghurt and spinach. It is my morning fuel. I eat pretty much anything, but a peppered steak with sweet potato and a handful of vegetables, chicken fajitas and spaghetti bolognaise are among my favourite meals.
Being an athlete is a slow learning process. There are a lot of ups and downs, but remaining positive and staying realistic is key to progressing.
TYPICAL WEEK’S TRAINING
Monday – AM: • Standing 5 stride scissor kick (8 jumps total excluding warm up) Run 90% 40m x 6 • Bound Circuit 4 sets x 3 reps: Stiff leg calf jumps, Forward lunge, Squat jumps (Hands on hips), Reverse lunge, Swedish Jumps, Lunge into knee drive, Tuck jumps Side lunge, Bunnies
PM: • 5 sets x 5 reps at all exercises. Step up, hang clean, full squat, straight leg dead lift. Finishing with a various selection of core exercises to finish for 10 minutes.
Tuesday – AM: • Hurdle walk overs – 6 hurdles x 3 sets • Mobility – 2 sets x 1 rep over 20m • Ankle rolls High toe walks • Moving Glute stretch • Moving Hamstring • RDL walks • High Knee walks • Moving Hip Swings • Side Stepping• Backward Walks • High Knee hugs
PM: High jump drills in a straight line over 20-30m • Ankle rolls • Heel pick up • Medium knees • Straight legs short • Straight Legs long • Claw backs • Walking high knees • Left over right •Right over left • Side open up •Side open down
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – AM: • Stretching and self-release with foam roller
PM: • High jump technical rhythm Circuits – 3 sets x 2 reps: • Lunges (Forward then Back) Alt Leg, crunches, back extension, reverse crunches, mountain climbers, sit ups, superman 8 and Russian twists.
Friday – AM: • High jump drills in a straight line over 20-30m (as Tuesday pm) plus 60m x 4 sprints
PM: • Weights – 5 reps x 5 sets. • OH squat, power clean, single leg squat, SLSLDL. • Finishing with core exercises
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – High jump technical session
» The above sessions are specific to the individual athlete and may not be suitable for other athletes