This is part 2/2, by Stuart Weir on British Athletis AOY, Jemma Reekie.
Jemma Reekie Part 2 in 11 questions
1. Do you think that you’re better at 800 than 1500?
I always used to think that I’d be better at 1500. When I was a kid, I was always best at 800 but then it changed. Now I think it’s quite clear that I’m better at 800. But I think I can be really strong at 1500 and the over the years I will improve. But right now, yes, I’m better at 800.
2. In a 1500, if you can get yourself into the right position after two laps, is it fair to say that you have an awful lot of speed to come?
Yes, definitely. Especially in championship 1500s. And I really do like 1500s and the tactical way of racing it. At the beginning of the year it was a bit weird, because I’d always thought of myself as a 1500 runner and then I was changing back to the 800. But I really do enjoy the 800 as well. The 800 is over so quickly that I had to learn to relax during the race but I’m enjoying both of them.
3. Do you think you might specialize more or run more 1500s as your career goes on?
Yes or chop and change each year according to how I’m doing in training. Our training ranges from 800 to 5 K so it depends where you are in training. But probably as I get older, I would be keen to move up the distances.
4. What about 5K and 3K would that interest you?
I did 3Ks as a junior and I hated them! I get it done but I don’t enjoy the 5K training. I could do one but I don’t think I would enjoy it so I just need to concentrate on getting faster over 800 and 1500 and hopefully I will not need to move up!
5. Laura is a friend and training partner. Does that make it hard to race against her?
It is quite weird because we train together all the time and are always helping each other out – and we both know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. But when I’m on the track, I don’t think of Laura as my training partner. We’re all just racing each other. So it doesn’t feel hard to race her; it just feels like she’s another athlete in the race. I don’t really notice it. I just race the people I need to race.
6. Would you have a race plan that you don’t tell Laura about?
Andy gives us our race plans or ideas of what we might do in the race but we both respect each other and just get on with what we’re doing. We probably don’t know what each other is doing in the same way as you don’t know what other people in the race are going to do – so why should you know what your training partners going to do? It’s very different when we’re racing and we’ve both got different plans but we respect each other and whenever we race each other we always know it’s going to be a good race. It always exciting to race each other because we’re both running well so you can expect it to be a fast race.
7. Andy told me that you would go on strike if you didn’t get a weekly rest day!
I work so hard during the week. I love training but we work so hard that I can’t wait for rest day. I like to count down the days to rest day! And I have a complete day off.
8. Are you aware of pressure and expectations on you?
After running so well indoors this year, it was a realization of how well I could do and I knew what that equated to. But I also knew how hard I had to work. I don’t feel pressured about the Olympics but maybe that will change nearer the time. I’m quite a laid-back person. When I have gone to events this year, I suppose lots of people have been looking to see how I would race but I can only go out and do my best. I run because that’s what I love to do, so I just say to myself: ‘go out and enjoy it and race to the best of your ability’. I just try to keep that mindset of enjoying it and racing to the best of my ability. I want to go to the Olympics and enjoy it but also do well at it. I don’t feel much pressure, in fact the most pressure is from myself, wanting to do the best I can.
9. What are your plans for the winter?
Normally we would go to South Africa in winter but we’re not sure what will happen now. We just working hard in Scotland but hopefully we’ll get to a camp – don’t know where, don’t know when. Training hard in Scotland will toughen you up. We just going with it, waiting to see what will happen, hoping that we will get away. But everyone is in the same boat.
10. What you like to do away from the track?
In normal times I would go out for coffee with friends and catch up with family. I’m quite close to my brother and sister so I like to spend time with them. I still live with my family and my brother is close by. I’ve got three dogs as well so I’m kept busy with them. During Coronavirus I’ve just had take-away coffee and gone for walks to keep myself safer during these times. I don’t do much – a long lie-in, a coffee and walk.
11. Three dogs?
There is Dolly [ who has appeared in interviews with Jemma], my mom has a collie and I just got a puppy in October, called Elton. He’s a Chihuahua as well. And he’s keeping me busy.