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      02 September, 2011
      Exciting times, launching a new website with lots of clever and exciting new bits, and...
    • 2011 NB
      27 July, 2011
      Excellent isn't easy. It demands something new every day. To keep going. To raise the bar...
    • Team NB “Ups & Downs”
      27 July, 2011
      Team New Balance on overcoming the challenges of running competitively.
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    1. Posted: 19 June, 2014

      H is for Hayfever … and HayMax

      Running through wooded paths around a lake, with a maelstrom of tree pollen falling around me like rain, I have to remind myself how I would normally be feeling. Teary-eyed, sniffing and wheezing – hayfever often has a direct (and significant) effect on my training. But this time I didn’t have any symptoms, and the early British summer was beautiful.

      I train several times a day, every day, whether it is steady running on wooded trails or through grassy fields, fast efforts on the track, or a hard gym session. I have asthma, and take a daily inhaler to help to keep it under control. The toughest times of year for me are the middle of winter (when the cold dry air makes it much tougher to breathe), and the whole summer season (when I need to be at my best to compete with the top athletes in the world).

      When May comes around each year, the warmer weather makes training easier, but the accompanying pollen can make my life very difficult. It certainly doesn’t cause me life-threatening problems, but when a half second drop in performance can make the difference between 1st and 4th, I try to make sure that I control everything that I can.

      With hayfever, my only options until now have been over the counter antihistamines which carry the risk of drowsiness (definitely not a performance enhancer!). They also carry the inherent risk of being a pharmaceutical product, subject to potential contamination. The public are all too aware of the athletes out there who have tried to gain a chemical advantage, and it is therefore paramount that clean athletes are able to take full responsibility for anything that enters their bodies.

      Enter HayMax. This is the reason that I can run through freshly cut grass fields, or beneath swirling clouds of tree pollen, without any symptoms or impact on performance. And it is a drug free solution. I carry a tiny pot of HayMax in my training bag, and put it on before training. A smear under my nose, and a smear under each eye, on go the sunglasses and it really is that simple.

      It has meant that last month I didn’t need to check the pollen count each day, I didn’t need to carefully work out what time to take an antihistamine tablet, and I didn’t finish my hard training sessions rubbing my eyes and reaching for an inhaler. Unfortunately whilst HayMax works miracles, it couldn’t stop me from finishing my sessions with my hands on my knees gasping for air – just because my hayfever isn’t a problem, doesn’t mean I get to slack off!

      This all gives me one more thing that I can control, and one less thing to worry about. It also means that I can spend time in the garden with my wonderful baby daughter without constantly sneezing – it’s definitely the little things that make the biggest differences.

      Footnote: I know it has been a long time since my last blog, but stay tuned for a thorough update on what I’ve been up to, and what my immediate plans are… coming soon.


    2. Posted: 17 June, 2012

      Training, travelling and racing (and repeat)

      A lot has happened since my last blog, so I’m aiming to be clear and concise to bring us back up to date!

      I spent a brilliant week training down in the New Forest, on the miles of forest trails amongst wild ponies and wilder athletes, before flying out to California to start my outdoor season.

      My first race was the 1500m at the Mt Sac Relays, which I won in 3.40.32 after a mix up meant that the B race ended up with both our pacemakers – leading us to fend for ourselves! Watch the race here.

      20120617-161317.jpg

      After that, and a hugely enjoyable few weeks spent in San Clemente, it was time to experience the magic of Stanford that I had heard so much about. Suffice it to say, Palo Alto didn’t disappoint, and with the help of Matt Scherer’s pacing, I won the race, and ran an Olympic A qualifying time of 3.35.19. Watch the race here.

      Having achieved the A standard, I had a day to celebrate with a trip to Alcatraz in San Francisco, before flying home for a four week block of hard training. To mark the end of this block of hard work, I flew out to Ostrava in the Czech Republic to take part in the prestigious Golden Spike meeting, in the Emil Zatopek memorial 3000m. I was very pleased with my race, finishing 3rd against a strong African field in a big PB of 7.39.86 to go to number 6 on the UK all-time list.

      From there, after another couple of weeks training, it was on to Lille, where I won the 1500m against a strong field in cool and blustery conditions, running 3.36.70. It was a great meeting, with a great crowd in a fantastic stadium.

      20120617-162800.jpg

      Following hot on the heels of the Lille 1500m, it was time for me to step down in distance to run an 800m at the Folksam GP in Gothenburg. Whilst 11 degrees and windy conditions weren’t ideal, there was a strong field and after a (perhaps slightly too) aggressive first 300m, I finished with a time of 1.47.80 to get the workout I needed looking ahead to the Olympic trials in Birmingham…


    3. Posted: 28 January, 2012

      Tallahassee training

      Category: TrainingVideos

      Just a quick video to show you the great places I get to train!


    4. Posted: 27 July, 2011

      Team NB “Meet Andy”

      Category: Videos

    5. Posted: 27 July, 2011

      Team NB “Ups & Downs”

      Category: Videos

      Team New Balance on overcoming the challenges of running competitively.


    6. Posted: 27 July, 2011

      Team NB “Road to Excellent”

      Category: Videos

    7. Posted: 27 July, 2011

      REVlite 890

      Category: Videos

    8. Posted: 27 July, 2011

      2011 NB

      Category: Videos

      Excellent isn’t easy. It demands something new every day. To keep going. To raise the bar higher. To go beyond the finish line. Because there’s always more excellent to be made. So let’s outrun ordinary. Let’s make excellent happen.