Keely Hodgkinson’s killer session – AW

British 800m record-holder explains the coaching exercise she fears essentially the most

World-class 800m racing wants a mix of velocity, power and stamina. So it’s not stunning that Keely Hodgkinson consists of all these components in what might be the hardest coaching session she does all 12 months.

Often performed solely as soon as each 12 months throughout an low season coaching camp in South Africa, Hodgkinson and her group sort out the next:

6x30sec hill sprints with a jog again restoration in roughly one minute adopted instantly with a 6min tempo run. The entire set is repeated thrice in whole too.

“It’s completely brutal as you spike your legs with lactic on the hills after which must do a tempo,” the 21-year-old says. “It takes about an hour to finish!”

Hodgkinson is coached by Trevor Painter and has been doing classes this 12 months with athletes similar to Irish worldwide Sarah Healey and Scottish runner Erin Wallace plus some male runners who’ve PBs roughly just like Hodgkinson’s 1:55.77 greatest.

Keely Hodgkinson coaching in 2022 (Getty)

This hill sprints and tempo operating combo is a mid-winter exercise, although, so what does she do nearer to main occasions just like the World Championships in Budapest? A couple of days earlier than she races in Budapest, she’s going to do an indicator session on the monitor the place she runs 400m near flat out, then has 30 seconds restoration earlier than doing one other flat-out 400m.

“You possibly can mess it up by going too quick too early, however for those who get it proper it may be fairly correct so it’s a very good illustration of what you are able to do in a race,” she says, including that her 400m efforts added as much as 1:55.3 within the session earlier than the 2021 Olympic remaining and she or he then ran 1:55.88 in Tokyo.

Hodgkinson hopes to go somewhat faster in her precise races, too. Firstly there’s the adrenaline, stadium help and aggressive ingredient, however she has additionally began taking a Maurten Bicarb System complement this 12 months earlier than races. The idea is that bicarbonate neutralises the lactic acid in your muscle mass throughout an 800m race and minimises the results of tying up.

Some athletes through the years have merely dissolved bicarbonate of soda into water to drink earlier than a race however it may result in diarrhoea and abdomen points. It has additionally been tried as a therapeutic massage cream as nicely in recent times. However Maurten launched a brand new product this 12 months which makes use of ‘Hydrogel Know-how’ within the type of a soup to permit the physique to soak up the bicarbonate with out undesirable abdomen points.

Keely Hodgkinson (Getty)

“I by no means used bicarb earlier than Maurten reached out to me as a result of I all the time heard the horror tales of taking it,” she says. “However they’ve a extremely good formulation. It tastes a bit like Calpol.

“I believe individuals assume that for those who take it you gained’t get lactic anymore. You positively nonetheless get ache. However it simply helps you tolerate it a bit extra and I’ve run nicely with it this 12 months.”

Her 800m races apart, Hodgkinson took the Maurten product earlier than setting a 600m world indoor greatest earlier this 12 months.

Hodgkinson gained’t take the Maurten product earlier than coaching, although. She prefers to apply it to race day. Equally, she says she trains in Pegasus trainers as a substitute of lighter, carbon-plated footwear. “As a result of in my head,” she explains, “if I simply put on the heaviest footwear then once I take them off I’ll fly!”

Regardless of being targeted on Budapest, she has stored a watch on the following technology this summer season, too. Most notably Phoebe Gill ran 2:02.30 to win the Commonwealth Youth Video games title, whereas one other younger Brit, Abi Ives, gained silver on the European Beneath-20 Championships and has additionally damaged two minutes in 2023.

Phoebe Gill (Andy Cox)

Hodgkinson says: “It’s nice we’ve received kids coming by means of. I watched the Euro U20s. With Phoebe, I noticed her end result not the race. It’s unbelievable from somebody so younger so hopefully she will be able to preserve the momentum going over the following few years.”

She provides: “She’s solely 16 so I wouldn’t put any strain on her and if I used to be to present any recommendation I’d say ‘strive to not soar the age teams’. I see lots of people who’re younger and try to go to the under-20 champs after they’re 15-16 and I believe ‘their time will come’.

“I do know I jumped to the Olympics however there’s a giant distinction between 16 and 19. Take your time and your time will come.”

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