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building upon success is key for gb mountain runners

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11 April 2016


Athletes with international ambitions for the 2016 Mountain Running season gathered this weekend, for a training and preparation camp at Weetwood Hall near Leeds.

The athletes arrived at the venue on Friday evening for the first session that gave a review of the highly successful 2015 season, followed by the selection schedule and information about the 2016 European and World Championships. The Mountain Running highlight of 2015 was that every member of the British team came away from the home World Championships in Betws-y-Coed with a medal and the team are now focussed on replicating this achievement at every European and World Championships in the future.

The weekend camp included physical and technical training sessions as well as educational workshops. Saturday morning began with specific mountain running training on The Chevin which is just 20 minutes’ drive from the venue. The athletes split into groups according to their training needs and worked on their uphill and downhill running strength and fitness.

After showers and a hearty lunch the group then worked with Jamie Pringle, Head of Sport Science for British Athletics, to consider their best preparation for this year’s World Championships that will be held at altitude. This was followed by a technical running drills and functional movement session with Alison Rose, Physiotherapist from the Coach House Physiotherapy Clinic.

Saturday was then wrapped up with a classroom session that discussed the background, training, competition preparation, lifestyle and challenges of some of the teams’ most successful senior athletes. Consideration of how each athlete may get the best out of themselves in their individual environment and situation was also discussed.

Sunday morning saw the athletes out before breakfast for a long, group run and then back in the conference room for a session with Liz Birchall, Head of Communications at British Athletics to consider how each athlete may market themselves to access sponsorship and support.

Chris Smith, who finished 10th senior man at last year’s World Championships said, “This weekend was a great way to kick off the mountain running season. I feel inspired, motivated and energised for the season ahead.”

Heidi Davies, who finished 5th junior woman at last year’s World Championships said, “"It was lovely to catch up with everyone and I especially enjoyed doing a hill session with the girls on The Chevin with Georgia Malir [8th junior woman at the 2015 World Championships] showing us all her local routes. I'm really excited to see what the British team can produce over the Summer!"

Sarah Rowell, British Athletics’ lead for Mountain Running said, “The British Athletics mountain running training camp always provides a great start to the season, with a chance to reflect on the previous year, but more importantly build forward.  We had a really successful 2015, so the challenge will be to step up and continue to show that GB is the best mountain running nation in the world in terms of overall strength.”

Thanks goes to:

Jenny Birch (Team Therapist), Liz Birchall (Head of Communications), Mark Croasdale (Team Manager), Graeme Everard (Team Therapist), Karen Forbes (Team Coordinator), Dr. Meinir Jones (Team Doctor), Jackie Newton (Team Manager), Jamie Pringle (Head of Sport Science), Alison Rose (Physiotherapist) and Sarah Rowell (Team Leader).

Information:

The 2016 European Championships (Up and Down) take place on 2 July in Arco, Italy.

The Trial for the European Championship (Up & Down ) will be held at Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria on Saturday 28 May.

The 2016 World Championships take place on 11 September in Sapereva Banya, Bulgaria.

The British Athletics Mountain Running National Championships will incorporate the World Championship Trial (Uphill) and Senior Home Country Internationals at Skiddaw, near Keswick, on Saturday 30 July.

For more information go to: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/competitions/mountain-running-challenge/