Thursday, 12 January 2017


L-R: Brandon Murray, Chaka Maillett and Cameron Starr
training in the bleak mid winter at Crystal Palace.
It's the unseen side of  athletics - the grind and toil of track sprinters in the UK training in the freezing cold and dark at a local track - in this case, Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

Winters can be long and hard, and the athletes in the Trackspeed1-UK training stable know only too well what they have to face during the winter months, but also how vital it is if they are to fulfil their potential in the summer.

Currently the group are focussing on a training window of speed that includes some indoor competition during January, but their next hurdle will be the snow forecast for the next few days.

"It's always a challenge when the white stuff comes down," confesses Head Coach John Powell.   "You can't train on the outdoor track, and the indoor facility becomes chaotic with so many users. You just have to make the best of it, and we try to get a few of the quicker guys training early before the clubs and other squads descend upon us toward evening time."

There's hope on the horizon for most of the group, however, with at least 14 of them headed for pre-season training in Florida toward the end of March for a near 6-week stint.  Meanwhile, open meetings are currently being run at Crystal Palace on their indoor track, and next Wednesday (18th January) it is highly likely that several of the squad will be in action.

Trackspeed1-UK's 400m hope for 2017, Niclas Baker,
braves the cold at Crystal Palace during a recent workout.

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