Ojie Edoburun might not be a familiar name to some, but as AW found out, the World Youth silver medallist may be one to reckon with in the future
Ojie Edoburun had his first taste of athletics in primary school where he was the fastest kid on the block. However, like many at that young age, his passion was directed towards football.
At his school’s sports day in the summer of 2010 his prowess was noticed and he was eventually invited to come and train at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in March 2011. With only three full seasons behind him, his rise has been meteoric, especially over the last year.
Being such a fledgling athlete, what was his breakthrough race? The 17-year-old speedster has no doubt. “It was getting a silver medal at the England Athletics under-20 indoor championships over 60m last year,” he said. “I ran 6.88 seconds behind Chijindu Ujah and as it was my first under-20 championship it was hugely uplifting and also surprising that I managed to get a medal.”
However, the Shaftesbury Barnet athlete says: “Being picked to represent GB juniors at the Loughborough International meeting and running in the match race against the seniors was my biggest breakthrough. I ran 10.73 seconds (for 100m) and came sixth in that race with the likes of James Ellington, Danny Talbot, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Craig Pickering ahead of me. Being in that environment gave me a lot of confidence.”
Edoburun began training just twice a week in 2011, but this has now increased to six sessions. He says: “It’s something that has been slowly fed to me with the introduction of different progressive elements to my training. There’s much more focus now on technique, my race model and educating my body. Gym-wise there have been many changes – weaknesses have been addressed and I’m now able to be much more stable and explosive in my running.
“There are so many valuable things to learn from a coach and he can help you to become much more independent”
“The volume varies according to what stage of the year it is. Being based at Oaklands College in St Albans allows me to train so much better and also get some good coaching while still in education.”
Edoburun, who is a full-time athlete while at Oakland College, is the envy of many with a fantastic back-up team that includes Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo (coach), Ryan Freckleton (strength and conditioning), Tawanda Mukusha (therapist), Simon Drake (psychologist) and Helen Paphidnes (nutritionist).
Importantly, Edoburun values the input of his coach and adds: “There are so many valuable things to learn from a coach and he can help you to become much more independent. You build a relationship and there’s always someone there to give you confidence. Since working with Ryan Freckleton and Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo I’ve learnt so much about my body and been able to see glimpses of my full potential.”
Surprisingly, Edoburun’s first title didn’t arrive until this year, courtesy of a winning performance in the South of England under-20 indoor championships at Lee Valley where he clocked a PB of 6.73 over 60m – a time he bettered at the British indoor championships in Sheffeld with 6.71.
“I’ve always been in the mix at championships and got medals, but had never won a title until then,” he said.
Last year he came agonisingly close to achieving a famous first title over 100m at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk where he was credited with the same time as China’s Youxue Mo with both crossing the finishing line in 10.35. Nevertheless, getting a silver medal was a huge performance along with a big PB.
The youngster says his favourite session is “flying runs and block starts.” He explained: “It’s short, fast and always fun.” On his least favourite workout he is also in no doubt. “Endurance work, I hate going past 150 metres, but it’s something I’m steadily working on!” he said.
Edoburun is ambitious and he says: “My short-term goals are going to the World Junior Championships this year in Eugene and trying to get a medal and trying to run PBs! Long-term though, I just want to allow my body to develop and progress into the senior ranks. Not many people successfully make the transition, but I’m confident in my set-up and hopefully if I can stay fit and remain focused I can be one of the fastest Britons ever.”
TYPICAL TRAINING WEEK IN MARCH
Monday: Gym session: deadlift, lunges, drop bench press 3×3
Tuesday: Track session: speed endurance: 4x150m
Wednesday: Gym session: snatch, jump squats
Thursday: Track session: speed accelerations – a few 30m runs then some flying 30m
Friday: Gym session: cleans, bench, lunges 3×4
Saturday: Track session: fast work and block starts varies between 10m, 20m, 30m plus flying 30m
He also includes core work – lower-body circuits working on abs control and coordination, explosive drills, medicine ball slams, throwing shot and single-leg jumps. Medicine ball work also includes slams, toss with partner, throw in the air and bounce off a wall. Jumps are included too.
Warm-up routine consists of: 200m-400m jog, stretch (abductors/adductors, calves, quads, hips, lower back, shoulders and glutes) and then dynamic warm-up drills (A skip, B skip, side-steps, backward runs, dribbles, scissor bleeds, fast leg, fast leg B). He also sees his physio before putting on his spikes.
» The above sessions are specific to the individual athlete and may not be suitable for other athletes. Most of the drills and exercises can be found on YouTube.
» Ojie Edoburun is supported by British Athletics’ Futures programme for 2013-4, which provides targeted support for young athletes and their coaches. For more information contact Jo Jennings at email@example.com.