Christine Ohuruogu has a penchant for peaking for the major championships but the 400 metre world champion has down-played her chances of another golden summer this year.
Ohuruogu, who turned 30 on Saturday, clinched her second world title in Moscow last year and was Olympic champion in 2008, but she said she eased back on winter training to ensure she is in peak condition for next year’s World Championships and the Olympic Games the following year.
“I’ve been running for 10 years now, which is incredibly hard on the body,” she said. “I’ve been running world-class times for 10 years and I think at some point you have to be realistic and say we have to give the body enough time to rest.
“I’m trying to look to push again for another three years and those three years are probably going to be even harder than the last lot has been. I think everything I am doing now is just to make sure I can get it right for next year. So this year’s a bit of a juggling act, trying to do enough to stay relatively fit but not too much that I take away from preparation next year.”
Ohuruogu plans to compete at both the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships this summer but, because of her reduced training, said she was making no predictions of how she might fare.
“I definitely want to be part of the Commonwealth Games,” she said. “I went to London and to be part of that spirit of British sport is something that I think is very difficult to recreate unless you have a home Games like the magnitude of the Commonwealth Games.
“But to kind of say: ‘OK, you have to try and turn the notch down a little bit’, I don’t really have any idea how I’m going to do it. Me and my coach, this is a new experience for both of us, we’re in uncharted waters and we have to be sensible.”
Ohuruogu returned to competition at the BT Great CityGames Manchester on Saturday, finishing in third place, which she in part blamed on an Achilles problem which flared up during the indoor season, in which she competed in the 4x400m relay team at the World Indoor Championships.
As a result, she said she is likely to scrap an indoor programme next year, as well as stop wearing heels. “I’ve got to stop wearing heels because my event is hard and it’s a lot of impact on the body,” she added. “In the off-season, I wear heels all the time so when I go back to running, probably the volume of work coupled with the knees being put under pressure by heels, it’s not good. They’re fine now but I’m getting old now, so everything is creaking.”