Hannah England: My goal is to make the Moscow final – and absolutely no excuses

Keeping track: I'm in far better shape than before London 2012

I’m in Moscow now but just before we left our holding camp in Barcelona for the World Championships Christine Ohuruogu did her captain’s speech. In it, she said how there is a mentality today of people taking the path of least resistance: people too often look for excuses, like their finger hurts or their cat died.

We have a predisposition for making excuses, whether that be seeing the start line for my heat of the 1500 metres and thinking “I didn’t want her in my heat” or deciding you’re not up to it because of the wind.

To emphasise that point, Christine told the story of a Spanish sea captain who took a force to invade the Aztecs, I think the first time anyone had attempted that for 60 years so he was quite brave to even try it. He ordered his men to burn their ships and, in so doing, remove all possibility that they might fail. He told them that, if they wanted to go home, they would have to do so in the enemy ships. As it was, they didn’t all die but it was a speech that definitely had an impact on the team.

For me, I go into the World Championships with no excuses and with happy memories of my silver medal in Daegu, partly because that medal was such a big surprise. I feel I’m in as good shape as 2011, although obviously it’s difficult to compare exactly. What I do know is that I’m far better off than this time a year ago. At the training camp for London, I had to spend 30 minutes warming up my Achilles just to be able to go on a light run; now it’s simple, such major stresses are gone. OK, you still find things to stress about but, as Christine says, those can’t be excuses.

I’ve not competed since my victory at the national trials, after which I immediately flew off to Font Romeu in the French Pyrenees for two and a half weeks before spending a week in the holding camp in Barcelona.

The reason for that is Font Romeu is an altitude training camp and the thinking is that you either come down from altitude three days or else 10 days before you’re due to compete. That’s to do with your red blood cells and your blood volume, which is boosted by training at altitude. When you come down and compete just a few days afterwards, your body just feels amazing, it’s like you’re flying.

But after about six or seven days, your body starts to feel a bit sluggish as it adjusts to being back at sea level effectively. By 10 days, the science suggests you still have a lot of red blood cells in your body, hence the thinking behind the strategy.

Mo Farah’s a bit different. He will have come down from altitude about three days before his 10,000m tonight and feel amazing. Plus, he’ll probably sleep in an altitude tent between the 10,000m and 5,000m.

I’ve tried that, and occasionally do it at home, but it just doesn’t work for me. It’s such a noisy environment with the whooshing of the air and a major championship isn’t that conducive to sleeping well anyway. And should you be in a tent, you need to do so for about 12 hours a day, so popping out for a coffee or whatever isn’t necessarily the most straightforward thing.

The days in training leading up to a championship are quite mundane and repetitive for an athlete. For me, I’ll get up about 8am, have some breakfast and then meet to go out for a run about 9.00 to 9.30. Prior to Moscow, that tended to be running trails and then coming back for more food and a bit of treatment. Then it was out training at 5pm, usually on the track, mixing up speed and endurance. It equates to about three hours of training a day and an hour of treatment.

Other than that, I tend to read or else watch TV. I’m reading The Understudy by David Nicholls, the author of One Day and Starter for Ten. As for my viewing, in Font Romeu it was the end of the Tour de France. More recently it’s been the Ashes.

The day of my win at the trials, I remember claiming to be tired, the same day that Chris Froome won a mountain stage, so I didn’t really have any argument in a tiredness comparison after watching that. Sadly, I wasn’t out in Font Romeu to watch the Tour come through, as some of the others out there did.

I’ve missed the highlights but England retaining the Ashes has helped fill the gap left by the end of the Tour. Sadly, training out there meant missing the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, which was massively hard to watch. It was the right choice for me to make, with Moscow in mind, but it didn’t make it any easier seeing the packed stands and hearing from athletes like my husband, Luke, who was competing, that the experience was similar to the Olympics. Thankfully, the day in question I had one of my best sessions in Font Romeu.

Now in Moscow my first goal is to make the final. It’s hard to think further ahead than that, particularly as 95 per cent of the girls in the field will have the same aspiration. Once you get to the final anything can happen, as I found out in Daegu.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
News
news
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Supply Teacher - Loughborough

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Teacher looking fo...

Primary General Cover Teachers

Negotiable: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Newly Qualified Teacher lo...

Part Time Primary Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Part Time Primary TeacherOur...

Science Technician

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:School Science Technici...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week