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terrence mahon: endurance running in good shape

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Terrence Mahon

British Athletics Endurance Coach Terrence Mahon believes that progress is already being made as Britain’s distance runners look ahead to the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

GB & NI won their first medal since 2004 at the recent IAAF World Cross Country Championships as the junior women won a team bronze in Poland. The GB & NI team also continued their recent dominance at the European Cross Country Championships in December and Mahon is happy with the early progress that has been made in the months since being appointed to his new role.

“Things are going great; we are chewing away at what we call our endurance strategy. It’s a long term project through to 2016 and 2017 and we’re getting the whole team together and gelling to plot our overall strategy and do what we need to do to help and support all of our athletes. I think we’re moving in a really good direction.”

The American believes in an all-encompassing approach to endurance training and is implementing a strategy to support athletes in this way.

“We’re trying to help and support as many athletes as we can. The biggest thing we’re looking to put together is what I would call a multi-faceted approach to endurance training which not just going out and running a lot of miles but also doing the scientific testing and biomechanical testing, incorporating the physiotherapy demands and giving a fully comprehensive package of support.

“We can look at what we see with our group of experts and what we think we can help the athletes with to move them further down the road.”

Mahon sees the scientific aspect of coaching as vitally important but insists that coaches must get a good balance between science and practicality in order to be successful.

“Great coaches are educated in the science aspect of it all and always looking into what the new science is showing us because we know science is always one step behind what we see in reality. We’re always trying to stay on top of what the current methodologies are and what new things we can help to fine tune.”

“But at the same time we want to make sure that coaches understand that there is a phenomenal art to coaching as well, some might say the psychological side. It’s really just learning and communicating and understanding the athletes as well as knowing how to get the points across as smoothly as possible so that they can always move forward and minimise the mistakes that get made during training.”