Updated: Dec 22, 2020
Words by James Davis and Adam Day
For those who don’t know me I’m an 800/1500 runner and I am coached by Dean Miller. I am a third year chemistry student, and have been with BUAC since I joined the university.
I got into athletics aged nine, competing in Sportshall, and have stayed with the sport ever since, first with DASH (Development Athletics Stockport Hazelgrove), and more recently with Chiltern Harriers. I've always loved competing in middle distance events, with the summer being the focal point of my year.
Although this summer’s season was massively disrupted by coronavirus, I was always sure I wanted to compete if the opportunity arose. My plans for the season had been to compete in both the 800 & 1500, May through August. I originally planned to compete at the Southern and English Championships, Birmingham University Opens, and BMC races.
Before lockdown, I had been coming back from a calf injury, and was back up to full mileage through February and March. I had been due to race over 5K at Mallory Park in late March to open my season.
When up at university, under normal circumstances, my typical training week consisted of two interval sessions, a tempo session and 2 strength and conditioning sessions every week. Training was going very well and I’m a big believer in consistent training producing results.
After we were all sent home early from university, I was able to transition to training as I would through Christmas and Easter, and throughout lockdown I trained consistently, being coached virtually by Dean. Dean was excellent in managing so many athletes all over the country throughout lockdown, allowing those like myself, Issy Cotham and Tom Mackman to have strong seasons.
Living in Buckinghamshire, I was lucky enough to be able to get out into the countryside to get my daily run completed and I borrowed a squat rack and bar to continue my S&C. Like many displaced athletes, I completed sessions on local roads and cricket pitches to maintain fitness and move into race shape. Once tracks reopened, I moved my training to the tracks at Eton and Marlow. I started completing more race pace sessions, with the aim to time trial if no races were organised.
I prefer using a Casio and a training diary, because it allows me to focus on myself and my own training, and so the lack of a Garmin/Strava meant I was not able to race virtually. Instead, I completed a series of road & track time trials over distances ranging from 1000 to 5K.
My season started when I entered the first BMC meeting of the year, at Trafford in late July. I raced over 800 metres, starting in the outermost lane of the three used, lane 5, with a pacemaker in lane 7.
In my eleventh year of racing on track, it was a very alien experience, and much more similar to a time trial than a race; the visibility from the outside was so poor that you could not see any other competitors till the home straight. Although it was very different to a normal season opener, I managed to run a PB of 1:54.49. It was tough to open late in July, especially with the pressure of knowing it could be the only race of the summer. (The video of Adam's race can be found here.)
From then on, I raced four more times in the subsequent 6 weeks. Once the restrictions on laned 800s lifted racing became far more normal, it was nice to get back to normality, and to start turning the long summer’s training into tangible times. Having support through friends and coaches was hugely important in keeping up the motivation to race.
I raced four times in total over 800, and once over 1500, getting the chance to run at the Birchfield Invitational meeting at Nuneaton late in August. It was fun to race against fellow club members Matt Rawlings and Dan Maud, and the strong competition gave me an eight second PB of 3:57.96. (The video of Adam's race can be found here.)
I finished my season with another run under 1:55, a competitive race at the Lee Valley BMC dragging me round to a fast time of 1:54.89, despite a little mental fatigue from such a short and intense season.
I really appreciated the opportunity to race this past season, and was happy to be able to turn my hard work in training and the support of the club into two PBs from five races.
Since coming back to university, training has been going well, and I have 2 road 5Ks coming up before Christmas, with a tentative plan to race indoors. Although training is currently limited, it’s nice to be back with group, BUAC love is real.
Adam can be found on The Power of 10 here.
Adam's Instagram can be found here.