Laura Weightman, Part 3

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 Laura Weightman3.jpg Laura Weightman, photo by TeamGB.com

 Laura Weightman.jpg Laura Weightman, photo by VirginMoneyLondonMarathon.com

This is part 3 of 3, on Laura Weightman, by Stuart Weir. In the 2019 World Champs, Laura was 7th in the 5000m in 14:44.57. In 2014, and 2018, in Zurich and Berlin Euro Champs, Laura took the bronze at 1,500m. In the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Laura took the silver, and in 2018, in the Gold Coast, Laura took the gold at 5,000m. What will she do in 2021 and 2022?

Laura Weightman Part 3

In the final of three parts, British distance runner, Laura Weightman, talks about her long-term coach, Steve Cram. 1983 1500m world champion, and training.

Laura Weightman 1.jpgLaura Weightman, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics

I've been working with Steve for over 10 years. That is quite a long time, especially in elite sport, to work with one coach but it's definitely a relationship from which I have benefited hugely working with Steve and I probably wouldn't be where I am today without the work we've done together and am extremely grateful to be learning from him all the time.

He so experienced and he's got the knowledge. He has had that experience of major championships and a world record. He's got so much experience he can pass on to me and I am definitely learning from him all the time.

How have you and Steve managed during the pandemic?

One thing which is great about the relationship Steve and I have is that we rely on very good communication, because we live 2 hours apart. So, I am very much used to not seeing Steve a lot of the year. He generally comes once a week for a track work-out. So, we have to rely on that good communication and that has come through quite strongly during this time. He's checking that I'm alright and he's keeping training fresh and interesting. He'll set time trials, giving me a few days' notice to keep me stimulated and keep me interested. We're mixing things up in training. I've done some higher mileage weeks. I set myself some many goals and done some long runs, different pace runs, different sessions.

lweightman.jpgLaura Weightman, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics

We really have kept things fresh and interesting instead of sticking to the usual routine because we knew that lockdown would last quite a long period. And we wanted to make sure we challenged ourselves and adapted but ultimately relied on that strength that we have in the coach athlete relationship, communication. Steve navigated last year exceptionally well especially was Doha being such a late season and I trust his planning and process for getting me ready for when it matters. And I trust the training that he gives me that we need to go back to bigger winter work to give myself a chance, if possible, to race in September and not end up doing too much in lockdown - which can be a temptation because you have nothing else to do.

What is your mileage per week?

Typically during the winter would operate at 80-85. A high-mileage week would be 90.

What was your longest run this year?

The longest run I've done was in lockdown 15 miles. That was one of my targets in lockdown, to treat myself to a 15 minute run.

Do you have any ambitions for longer road racing?

I did a couple of 10K road races last winter and absolutely loved them. I'd love to explore that more, doing more 10K road races. Have always said I'd love to do the Great North Run. Being from the North-East, that's definitely a bucket list race, you have to do. I can see myself, over the coming years doing more 10Ks and half marathons to supplement my training with track racing as my main focus. I don't really have ambitions to be a road runner right now. The marathon is not something I can see myself going to. But 10K and half marathon yes because, being a 5K runner, you definitely benefit from having that strength. But I don't have any ambitions be running 10K track races too seriously in the coming years. But definitely 10K and half marathon which are great fun and break up winter training. And who knows later in the year if opportunities arise to run 10K or potentially half-marathon, that is something I would do.

PS In her spare time Laura acts as a pacemaker for her illustrious coach

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