You tend to know when you’re a young age whether you’re a sprinter or a distance runner and it’s just naturally just part of your makeup, and I realised at a young age that I was more of a sprinter than a distance runner. I found that work, obviously, a lot easier, I enjoyed it and I thought, obviously, this is the way forward and that’s when I first became involved with multi events.
My favourite event is the one hundred metre hurdles and this is where I accumulate the majority of my points, which is really nice because it’s the beginning of the heptathlon so it gets you off to a good starter. Mentally, the girls that we compete against i.e. outside of Britain, tend to know that when us British girls step onto the track to the hurdles, we mean business and you can often tell in terms of their body language, how up for the actual competition they are and there are just a few of us really that actually excel in the 100 metre hurdles, but it’s a real advantage to get off on a good foot in your first event.
My attitude is just, go for it. I know that, obviously, I have my strengths and weaknesses but if I don’t apply myself to every event then I can’t expect to get my best. In training however, it's very different we tend to dedicate twice as much time to our weaknesses than we do our strengths, so for example, I tend to do shot-put twice a week and maybe only focus on the hurdles or long jump perhaps once a week.
I use the smaller competitions just as practice because they tend to be more relaxed, I tend to be able to focus on technical aspects of my performance rather than just, you know, going flat out, so I will perhaps compete in the high jump or the shot-put at smaller meetings during the year.
There’s a real fine line between pushing yourself, obviously, over the limit and knowing your body really helps. I tend to know when I start to feel little bits of pain or little niggles just when to back off. It’s very relaxed and we are all very amicable and friendly until it comes down to competition, and that’s when we all kind of switch. It’s kind of head on, you know, focus and concentration but I find it’s really nice to have someone you can really relate to and talk to as a coach, it really makes a difference when it comes down to those critical moments for example, when you’ve maybe done two ‘no jumps’ in the long jump you don’t always want someone who is going to panic and stress you out. So, in that sense Aston is a brilliant coach.
You can’t do a heptathlon week in, week out as you can with single events, you know; long jump, 100 metres, etc. It takes, obviously, a lot more out of your body so like the events such as marathon, we get a certain amount of opportunities to do that per year. We’d normally come out in about May in order to put our first performance down and then aim to consolidate that at the championships in order to secure the points that we need going on into the following year, but luckily enough, I’ve got the 800 for the London 2012 Olympics so we can begin focusing on Daegu and, obviously, London in twelve months’ time. Happy Days.