Being an elite athlete is like a roller-coaster riding the lows and the highs, I’ve had my fair share of both: from London 2012 with a DNF next to my name to the 2015 World Championships having a stress reaction in my foot four weeks out are two lows that really stand out. But as athletes if we let the lows out weigh the highs we wouldn’t still be out there in the freezing cold mornings in winter or the blistering heat in summer getting out for that third session in a day when you can barely walk…. It’s the highs that keep us coming back, for me when I broke the t46 1500m WR in Boston MA June 2015 was one of the best feelings in the world, if you could bottle that feeling of pure euphoria, relief and joy, it would be worth a lot of money. That feeling is something I want again and my dream is to win gold in Rio in September.
The last year has been one of the most consistent years of training I have achieved in a very long time with averaging well over 100km a week. I’ve just arrived back from the US where we had a seven-week training camp at altitude in Flagstaff, Arizona with a few races after. I was able to run my second and third fastest times ever. I stepped up to a new level in the US training with some incredible athletes, which has given me even more belief that something amazing can happen in Rio.
On the 1st August I will head to Florida where I will be based with the Australian athletics team. We will have a set up there with everything we need from physios, doctors to recovery facilities. I will be in Florida preparing for about four weeks with this being a real crucial time for getting my final hard block of training right. This will be a high mileage block with good gym workouts and plyometric exercises. I will have one last final tune up race in New York on the 30th August in the Long Island Mile. After the race I will then fly into Rio and be based in the athletes village, where it will be all business as usual.
I will have nearly two weeks in the village before my race as I am at the end of the program. In this time I will be in my taper and really trying to freshen up and feel fast. In the village I will be resting a lot and recovering as much as I can. I try not to worry about what everyone else is doing and control what I can control. It can be a very overwhelming place for younger athletes.
Expectations for me, is to podium. I am the current t46 1500m World Record holder and I believe I have the strength and speed to match it with the world’s best. Anything can happen in a final of the 1500m and if I’m there with 100m to go I’ll be in with a real shot.
Before I race, I like to jog in the mornings for about 15 minutes just to wake the legs up. I then like to hang out in the morning with the training group have some lunch; I will then have an hour nap. When I wake up I have something to eat and coffee. Then it is time to get in the right head space and focus..
Nerves are not bad, it’s about how you manage them and how you deal with them that can be the difference between a good result and a bad result. As I’ve got older I’ve learned how to manage my nerves, I focus on what I need to do and don’t worry what others are doing, in a sense on race day I have the ‘blinkers’ on. I concentrate on the controllables. If I go into the race knowing I have done everything I could have to get to the start line I will be confident and ready to go.
I love shoes and there is not a better feeling than putting a new pair of Brooks on. I do a lot of my miles in the Brooks Glycerin, it is the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn and with its cushioning makes it an easy ride and one of my favourites. Along with the Glycerin another one of my favourite shoes is the Brooks Launch. I do a lot of runs in these bad boys; it is a lighter streamlined shoe with a seamless upper that is extremely responsive. On race day I will be in the Brooks Wire, a fantastic spike for the track from 800m upwards.
You can follow my ‘road to Rio’ on Twitter (@michaelroeger) and Instagram (@mroeger)
Run Happy my friends,