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local athletes benefit from inaugural club:connect event

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Lagat Glasgow

24 January 2014

Around 50 local club athletes were treated to a unique insight into the careers of three world class athletes at the inaugural British Athletics Club:Connect event. With the goal of rewarding and recognising the work of clubs in the UK, the trio spoke on the eve of tomorrow’s Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match.

British pole vault record holder Holly Bleasdale (coach: Scott Simpson), 9.91 100m man James Dasaolu (Steve Fudge) and USA team captain Bernard Lagat took questions from members of Glasgow athletics clubs, with topics ranging from sporting heroes to the intricacies of preparing for a big competition.

Asked about what she has learned during her career, Bleasdale told the youngsters of the importance of listening to their bodies.

She said: “When I first started athletics, I upped my training from one day a week, where I was really enjoying it, to four or five times. Initially I was jumping really well and qualified to represent GB & NI, but a month before the international competition my foot started hurting and was getting worse and worse.

“I didn’t tell anyone and just suffered through the pain as I really wanted to represent Great Britain, but then one day I took off and snapped a bone in my foot. Eventually I had to have surgery so I’ve learned that no matter how small the pain, it’s important to get it checked out.”

Talking about the importance of mental strength, Dasaolu said: “As a 100m runner, for me personally I try to block everything out. No matter whether it’s a small competition or a big competition, I’ve got my own set of blocks and my own lane to run in, so it’s all about focusing on the finishing line and not looking left or right.”

12-time global medallist Lagat, who will compete over 3,000m at tomorrow’s sold out Emirates Arena, explained how he gears his training specifically for an important race.

The 39 year old said: “In the build up to the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match, training has gone well. Back in December I was doing lots of long runs but I have slowly started to reduce the volume as we get closer to tomorrow’s race.

“Tempo runs are very important as I can run a hard four miles and although it’s not at race pace it’s still a hard effort and I can work on both speed and endurance. Yesterday I went to the track and did a light workout and for me it is important to feel quick and light before a race.”