Between training blocks in Iten, Adelle Tracey spoke with Emily Moss about her hopes that the Kenyan altitude will push her closer to a sub-two-minute clocking for 800m

The Guildford & Godalming athlete was in Kenya for four weeks and hopes to reap the benefits associated with altitude. She says: “Kenya was such an amazing experience. Altitude is very tough, but since I’ve been back I’ve really been able to see the effects. More than anything it gave me the opportunity to get away from work and business in life and just get a solid block of hard training in. It was great to train with the other girls on the camp as it’s not often that you get to train with such athletes of a similar level. Everyone on the camp was really lovely and it was great that the majority of my training group was there too.”

The 21-year-old is part of a strong group of athletes guided by Craig Winrow who are based at St Mary’s and she feels it is going well.

“I live in the performance house, which is supported by London Marathon close to the campus,” she explains, “which makes training easy to get to with the track, plus Bushy and Richmond Parks close by. It’s a mainly male group, but I don’t mind as the atmosphere is always really jokey, which takes the edge off the seriousness of training, and I always have someone ahead of me in a session, which is ideal.”

Although Tracey has always done some cross country and admits that she quite enjoys the winter training sessions, the 2:02.01 800m runner with bests of 54.06 over 400m and 4:22.08 over the metric mile knows her strengths and weaknesses.

“Kenya was such an amazing experience. Altitude is very tough, but since I’ve been back I’ve really been able to see the effects”

She explains: “Speed has always been more of a strength for me, so Craig will often give me a session such as fast 200m reps before a race to make me feel good. That is definitely my favourite type of training session. However, my least favourite is definitely tempo, mainly because I have to work hard to maintain my endurance as this doesn’t come as naturally to me. However, I have really noticed a difference since I have been back from Kenya.”

Having struggled with injury for much of 2013, Tracey and Winrow adopted a cautious approach to training prior to 2014, but the consistency paid dividends and she set PBs at every competitive distance and made the final of the British Championships indoors and outdoors.

Not short of ambition, she continues: “Generally I am pleased with my season as a whole.

“I was just happy to be back racing competitively and producing PBs. I was pleased to have been able to improve my times, particularly because off low mileage and little strength I still made improvements. Over the last year since moving to Craig, there has been a big change in my training, so I hope with another winter behind me I can produce much better results.”

Graduating from Bournemouth Arts University last year, Tracey now works as a freelance hair, make-up and prosthetics artist and a sportswear model, as well as studying sports science at St Mary’s. She points out: “Working freelance works well as it means I can fit in jobs around training, although it does mean that I am often on the go. Something I do think that is important is to have other things outside of running.

“I know after being injured in 2013, that if I hadn’t been doing my art degree I would have struggled. I feel it’s healthy to be able to detach yourself from running at times.”

“I hope with another winter behind me I can produce much better results”

Tracey has a well-balanced attitude to her sport and reveals: “I would say that my attitude to training is fairly laid back. I’m not an obsessive person. If I don’t have a good session, I forget about it and usually the next is better.”

She listens to music when she is warming up or running on her own and says: “Music gets me in a certain frame of mind and psyches me up for a session. I listen to everything and anything, from cheesy pop to dance to opera.”

As a vegetarian, she is careful to get sufficient protein and high iron vegetables into her diet.

The former English Schools champion and 2009 European Youth Olympic 800m silver medallist hopes to race indoors soon and continue to improve, the European Under-23 Championships being one of her main targets for this year.

TYPICAL WINTER WEEK

Monday: (am) 5 miles run and drills (pm) 5 miles on cross trainer

Tuesday: (am) Session around Bushy Park (15-minute warm up and cool down – made up of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 minute reps – 22-25 minutes of efforts) (pm) Weights, box jumps, rehab

Wednesday: (am) 5 miles run (pm) Circuits, rehab and stretching

Thursday: (am) 20-minute tempo (15-minute warm-up and cool-down) (pm) Sprints to practice fast form or progressive speed (6 reps of either 80m, 100m, 150m or 200m)

Friday: Rest day Stretching and rehab (includes Pilates and yoga exercises and stretches – rehab is more for strength and maintenance)

Saturday: (am) Session around Bushy Park (15-minute warm-up and cool-down – made up of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 minute reps – 22-25 minutes of efforts or hill session in Richmond Park (10 or 15-minute tempo followed by 6-8 x 2 or 3-minute hills and 4×30 second hills (20-minute warm up and cool down)

Sunday: (am) 7-9 miles run (usually slow)

» The above sessions are specific to the individual athlete and may not be suitable for other athletes