Stepping outside of your comfort zone: The 2021 EA Indoor Champs, story 1, Session 1

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Ama Pipi.JPGAma Pipi, 200m, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics

EvpJt5FWYAMcioj.jpgThe 2021 EA Indoor Champs, day 1, photo by Alfons Juck

I love the EA Indoors! I love meets in Poland! I love Polish audiences!

Watching via Eurobroadcast!

This is Stuart Weir's opening piece on Torunl

Stepping outside of your comfort zone

GB Team captain, Jodie Williams, urged her team-mates to step outside of their comfort zone in pursuit of success in the European Indoor Athletics Championship in Toruń this weekend. Williams explained that she was leading by example admitting that as a 200m runner, 400s were never a favorite part of her training, adding "Sometimes we have to do things we don't enjoy so here we are. I'm giving it a go and trying something new. I have some kind of talent and we'll see what we can do".

BL_27490_2019082543306539_20190826112836.JPGJodie Williams, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics

She further admitted that running on boards, something she had not done for 4 years, was also outside her comfort zone - as was standing up in front of everyone and making a speech. As she explained "running in an unfamiliar event where I have to ignore any rankings or external predictions and just go out and believe in myself and do what I know I can do. I was able to draw on that. I always look forward to the captain's speech so it was a weird experience to be giving it myself".

Williams has been bases at Altis for past few years, working with coach Stu McMillan but has had to re-locate due to COVID. "I'm usually based in America but last June I came back to the UK and have been stuck because of a ban on travel to the US. So I've just done my first winter in the UK for about five years. I had forgotten how cold it can get in the British winter but it did mean that I could get back to what used to be a more traditional way of training for me. So I've been doing more longer speed endurance work. I was fortunate to have the opportunity of going to Dubai and getting some good quality work done out there in a warmer climate".

Jodie 2.jpgJodie Williams, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics

Like everyone, her year's focus is on the Olympics so "as I didn't run at all last year, it's a good way to get back into the flow of racing and get another championship under my belt, to get into a championship mentality". She also stressed the need for flexibility in the midst of the uncertainty: "It's been difficult to plan because you're never really sure that events are going to go ahead. You have to take it as it comes and while I hadn't originally planned to come to this championship it all seemed to come together. I was running good enough times that I thought I could give the championship a go".

Her team-mate in the 400m, Ama Pipi, is enjoying being in her first championship: "I feel really positive about it. It's really exciting. It's my first senior team selection. The 200m is definitely my better event. That I tend to focus on the 400m indoors because it develops my strength but outdoors the emphasis is definitely on 200m. My expectations are just to get through each round and do the best I can".

Jodie5.jpgJodie Williams, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics

Having worked hard to made it her first championship, the event is completely different from what she would have expected: "Everything is much more controlled. Normally I wouldn't think of wearing a mask but now it's so important and it's just part of the process. Normally at a championship you want noise, a big crowd, atmosphere which helps bring out a good performance but this is going to be completely different but we've got used to it".

What is clear from talking to them is that both athletes will be giving their all for the team.

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