The steeplechaser offers insight into her preparations ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Australia
Four years ago I was in Glasgow, a completely mesmerised fan, cheering on athletes at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
One of my most treasured memories of our sport was supporting with Melissa Courtney when Ashley Bryant secured his silver medal. It was such a happy moment, and so brilliant to see his hard work rewarded. Fast-forward to 2018, and both she and myself are off to the Gold Coast to compete ourselves, and do our best to add to the medal haul!
Having transitioned to the 3000m steeplechase in 2016 I set my sights on qualifying for these championships, and am now incredibly excited to be a part of such a promising Team England. The qualification process for the Commonwealth Games is somewhat unique in that even once you have achieved your respective qualification standards your nomination for team selection is at the discretion of Commonwealth Games England.
It was with nervous anticipation that I waited for the selection phone call back in October, and I was left beaming when my inclusion in the team for the Games was confirmed. I was one step closer to realising my goal, I just had one big obstacle to overcome, a winter of David Harmer-prescribed training!
Altitude training has become an integral part of my programme over the past few years, and this winter saw me in Font Romeu, France, for a snowy stint in November, and Iten, Kenya, for a gorgeously sunny four weeks in January.
It is when training at these high elevations that I find it easiest to truly focus on the task at hand, and I love the simplicity of a camp setup. I like to picture each individual session that I complete as a teeny-tiny building block, and with that in mind I can say I’ve definitely been building over the past few months!
My indoor season was intended to be used as a means of testing fitness, and it is always great to put down a benchmark that indicates that everything is heading in the right direction. Having produced a significant personal best in the 3000m at the Madrid IAAF World Indoor Tour, and bagging bronze over the same distance at the British Indoor Championships, I have taken a lot of confidence in my strength, and been able to start placing greater emphasis on the steeplechase-specific work that is needed for the Gold Coast.
March rolled around, and with it came the Beast from the East … not ideal conditions to prep for a championship! In order to maintain our high quality sessions my training partner, Sarah McDonald (Team England 1500m), and I headed to Murcia, Spain, in search of some decent weather, and we definitely found it! Situated in the south of the country, Murcia has stunning trails and all the facilities necessary to just get your head down and crack on with training. I would highly recommend it asna camp location, and I’m sure we’ll be heading back there in the near future.
So now I’m off to Brisbane to join Team England for our preparation camp. Roughly 350 English athletes across a multitude of sports will be using this as their base for final training and competitions ahead of the Games.
This is to be my first multi-sport event, my first visit to Australia and my first outing in the steeplechase representing England. Preparation has been great, and I’m really excited to see what both myself and Team England as a whole can achieve on the Gold Coast!