Wales is a picturesque, beautiful and perfect place to go for a training weekend. BUAC's finest power athletes made the short two hour trip to one of the greatest countries in the world on Saturday, as we had the honour of training there for two memorable days.
The weekend began with a Friday night convoy down to the capital Cardiff followed by a nice and tame quiz that was progressively interrupted by the vibrant city night life as the evening wore on.
Training began on Saturday morning with a range of sessions catering to the needs of all athletes including sprints, jumps, throws and endurance. Technical runs and testing being the highlight with the big man himself Freddie Owsley former GB U20 overcoming injury to take the fastest time of the day in the 40m speed gates run before embarking on his adventures into the world of multi events.
After a brief lunch an in-depth, detailed and well-presented talk on nutrition and recovery was given by Tom Bridge met by many a query from the head of Birmingham Universities two man strong and fifty year age range sauna society himself Johnty Mitchell.
The outdoor afternoon session began with the one consistent element of the everchanging training philosophy of the level four coach and 25 yr+ veteran that is Martin Owens.
Yes, it’s the dreaded 6x300m repetition runs off full recovery, ever the fear of experienced speed endurance runners and short sprinters alike.
The outdoor session began with track captain Mark Cottam leading from the front with many a challenge from young bucks such as Tor Bennett Williams and Ryan Lowe.
Promising runs were shown by the female contingent of Ellie Ravenscroft, Alex Shaw and Taiwo Eyiowuawi transforming the hopes of a BUCS 4 x 400m relay medal, to an expectation of one.
A technical blocks session run by Dominic McNeilis and strength and conditioning session run by a “fresh and attentive” Joe Watkins in the High-Performance gym occurred in parallel with the remaining athletes. The evening saw athletes take on the valuable nutritional advice from Tom’s talk on adaptation and recovery earlier on in the day with a trip to the local Kasper’s dessert restaurant and the local Wetherspoons for only a pint or three… followed by freshers’ idol.
Day three saw athletes make the journey to the notorious Methyr Mawr sand dunes. Training ground of the great Steve Ovett.
A picturesque and stunning landscape that makes one think they have stepped into middle earth itself.
This vision of Mordor no longer remains an illusion as many an athlete felt the scorch of mount doom as they ascended “The Big Dipper” with many flailing before even the half way.
Established BUCS runner Tor Bennett Williams again feeling the heat and proclaiming “this aint Wolverhampton no more bruv” after only managing one rep.
All in all, a great weekend with the team galvanizing as a unit and operating with integrity and character. We now look forward to the Cardiff Met intervarsity meet, a fantastic opportunity for athletes to stake their claim on a spot for BUCS indoors - a true highlight of the athletics calendar.
Special thanks must go to Ashleigh Beaven the woman’s track captain and the coaching team for supporting the weekend so enthusiastically.