Ahead of the World Indoor Champs, Jenny Meadows offers some advice and discusses the technicalities of a 200m circuit

Jenny Meadows won world indoor silver at the 2010 championships in Doha followed by European indoor gold and silver in Paris over 800m and the 4x400m relay respectively a year later.

In Gothenburg last year she finished a spirited fourth but that was followed by injury woes for the Wigan and District Harrier. Now the 32-year-old looks ahead to the Commonwealth Games and European Championships this summer, but first reflects on the role of a glittering indoor career and offers some advice.

Tactics

The need for potential tactical adjustment when competing indoors is emphasised by Meadows.

She says: “I would never normally want to lead gun to tape outdoors, but sometimes it can be the best option indoors, especially in a grand prix event when lane sharing is involved. You have just 50 metres around the bend before the break line.”

As well as overtaking on bends leading to greater energy expenditure, Meadows notes that rivals have to be researched and points out: “Inexperienced runners can be very irrational in their pace throughout a race and can stop your flow.”

“I would never normally want to lead gun to tape outdoors, but sometimes it can be the best option indoors”

Biomechanics

Affectionately dubbed the “Pocket Rocket”, Meadows believes her 5ft 1in frame is an advantage indoors. “I can keep my usual stride length and cadence,” she says. She advises novices to note the variability of tracks and says: “I have to judge whether to lean into the bends or take a wider approach.”

In reference to a race in Stockholm in 2008 where this problem manifested itself, she says this can play havoc with your state of mind. “I spent most of the second lap worrying what to do,” she says.

She warns of the dangers of injury in recalling one meeting. “There were large cones around each bend so you continually had to lean out so your lower leg didn’t collide with them.”

» This is an extract from a two-page performance feature by Matt Long and Jamie French on indoor running in the March 6 issue of AW which is available here or digitally here

» British Milers’ Club Horwill Award winners Dr Long and French are collaborating on ground-breaking research into the potentiation effects of high-intensity warm-ups. Contact matt@mattlong.wanadoo.co.uk for details.