Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Love for Athletics

The King's Team!

Welcome back guys! I suppose it only seems right to kick off the first actual post with some athletics. As I mentioned in the previous post, I was basically the little kid in the playground just running everywhere, challenging people to races and playing the much-loved but forbidden on school grounds game of 'bulldog'. We always got round it and just named it something else, thinking teachers wouldn't notice!
First contact
My first experience of an athletics competition was probably in year 6, organised with the local primary schools on grass with dodgy spray painted track outlines. After coming first in my race (must've been 60m outdoor or something) and standing on a makeshift podium, I knew that I wanted to continue this and experience the feeling over and over again of the achievement of winning a gold medal.
Sports day
For most sports lovers like myself, this was the one day of the year that I looked forward to the most where you could show off your speed and win races where the whole school is watching you. Starting new in year 7 and then being a top sprinter puts you in the spotlight which was a great feeling. I mean, I was used to the primary school sports days with egg and spoon races and those shenanigans but then the upgrade to an actual track, young Amy was amazed.
Our attempted human pyramid, little me smiling away at the top whilst everyone else is suffering
Starting university I knew that I wanted to join an athletics club, not just for the sport but also a way to meet people outside of my course, from different years and campuses. I saw that the uni club was holding a freshers taster session and it was an unexpected nostalgic day of reminiscing the younger years with sports-day like activities. Definitely a great opportunity for me to mingle since I hadn't attended anything during freshers the week before! Training sessions began the following week and it was most certainly tough at first but believe me, I don’t regret joining one bit; and if anything it’s what’s powered me through 1st year and a somewhat relaxing (questionable?) way to destress after lectures. The group is like a second family, so lots of love King’s!
Find out more about us:
LUCA Indoors
This was my first meet after beginning real training and I entered into the 60m, 200m and long jump. I was definitely super nervous because I hadn't competed since like sports day and I had only experienced an indoor track the week before for block training. My events didn't go too bad considering I had never run with blocks, electronic timing or a start gun. Ending the day was the relays and I love a good relay because it's a teamwork thing and the end result is because of the teamwork, so coming 1st in our heat was pretty heart-warming. But the biggest downside here was the realisation of the dream of another gold medal was slipping away. *heartbroken*

Mid-race of the 100m, those knees refuse to come up!

Open Meets
After first competition, I was hyped up to compete more so I entered myself in a 60m open at Newham and it turned out that I didn't do so well, but had great support from the few that came from King's to compete too. I’d also competed in another open meet just last week back at Newham and it was my first time running the distance of 150m which was so different but it felt awesome to run the bend.
The ultimate battle of KCL and UCL
The English weather was definitely not on our side with the winter winds still hanging about, it was time for the women's 4x100m relay. I ran the 3rd leg for the team, and because the stadium set up was so odd, I ran away from the crowd behind the temporary stands to complete silence and thinking back on it, it was hilarious. BUT WE WON OUR RELAY WOO!

BUCS Indoors during the 200m race, oh my..
Credits: Dr. Dan

The Women's 4x100m relay team at BUCs Outdoors
Credits: J. Findon
Nationals against all university in the UK? There I was when I experienced my first competition thinking it was all intimidating and official, oh, was I wrong. Running round the track after the gun goes, I get a picture captured of myself and another athlete, and there's little me against a pro. I mean, at least it gave me the motivation to sign up for the gym to feel and be stronger (even if I don't get to the point of looking strong physique-wise).

Credits: LondonReignSports
I first got introduced to the likes of Powerof10 by Dr. Dan (PhD in Google maps) and boy, I haven't looked back (I'm making it sound like a life-changing moment but believe me, it is!). I remember during the first semester of 1st year, walking to the uni library hoping to catch up on some work but end up spending my 3 hour breaks before the next lecture just analysing people's profiles on Pof10! I did suffer a little of where I could have used the time productively, but Pof10 and watching videos of people run? It was worth it. It's just so interesting to see the progress people had made and are making over the years with actual proof.
Here's a cheeky little link to my Powerof10 profile:
PBs and Goals
As an aspiring athlete, I constantly want to be improving and getting better times, and smashing PBs is a way to prove this. So the current PBs I want to reach by the end of this season are:
100: sub 13.9
200: sub 29

One step at a time!
Regarding goals aside from PBs, I would like to just build up my fitness levels in general and not bail out after the 3rd lap (okay..sometimes the 2nd) during warm-up before a training session. Also to gain some muscle mass and power to be able to push out of blocks with more aggression! Most definitely like most of my fellow athletes know is to get my knees up, they have a mind of their own and have a strong bond with the ground! Finally, I do want to keep the gym attendance at regular, even if I'm not lifting heavy weights and running miles on a treadmill, just being in the environment among others with similar goals is motivating enough for me to keep pushing. Shoutout to Randall the Llama for being my gym buddy and bugging me to start going gym in the first place (although now it's exam season, it's now me bugging you!), always racing me on the bike and basically being my PT.

Credits: Buzzfeed

Although I haven't been in the track and field game for long, I've experienced my own round of injuries. First, a quad strain from explosive work, being extremely susceptible to tight hamstrings, followed by a calf strain from a mad cramp that led to subsequent (short-term, thank god) injuries and then finally the oh-so- loved shin splints (although I feel kinda cool running in calf sleeves). Let's pray that this is the end of it.
Sure athletics is a sport and it contributes to the 30 minutes of exercise you're recommended to do every day but most of all, it’s doing what you enjoy and having fun! It should be a hobby at the very least and not something you're obligated to do, it's not homework!
Enough of me going on about athletics, I hope you enjoyed this post and have an amazing week!
Today's recommended songs are Gecko (Overdrive) by Oliver Heldens X Becky Hill, but the Matrix & Futurebound remix version and Kaleidoscope by Delta Heavy; they're usually my go-to songs for a great way to get you pumped before a track session or workout at the gym!

A Dip into Athletics

Hey guys, a general update on the progress of Athletics and just how the day progressed for LUCA Indoors this year! 25th of November ro...