World 400m Hurdles champion Jana Rawlinson updates us on her training progress since her toe operation, as well as her son’s Cor’s progress…
“The big milestone for us has been that Cor now comes up to me and says “Mummy”. He’d been saying “Ma-ma” and “Da-da” for a while but without really knowing what it meant.
“I’ve been making progress, too, back to full track training and a planned Olympic season debut at Carson on 22 May.
“(Husband) Chris (Rawlinson) took some of our training group to the national championships in Brisbane. And it was good to see Tamsyn Lewis and Steve Hooker doing so well at the World indoor championships. Australia is building a really solid team.
“I was surprised at how quickly I got back into full training, even though we learned last year that time off did not affect my fitness too much. I’m super-fit and running really well at the middle-distance sort of stuff, 200s and 300s.
“We’re really pleased with progress and happy that I had the (toe) operation now. It’s done and I’m glad I went ahead with it. I don’t have any pain at all now.
“When I got back on the track I went full-strength smack back into it. The doctor said I could start modified running in two weeks, but I knew from last year that Chris could train me hard enough on the bike, in the pool and in the gym that I wouldn’t lose any fitness.
“We decided that instead of trying to get back in two weeks we’d stay off the track for six weeks from the day of the operation (mid-January). We introduced treadmill running after four weeks, getting up to 20kmh speed. So by the time I hit the track, I didn’t feel ‘yukky’ because I knew what the impact of my feet hitting the ground would be like.
“As soon as the six weeks was up I went straight back into 6x300. That’s the hardest session I do, my bread and butter session.
“I’m in a lactic tolerance/endurance phase. It’s the ‘yukkiest’ time of the year, because you’re just tired all the time.
“The pay-off is in the last 100 metres of my race. That’s where I was lacking last year because I had so much time off. We’re putting longer endurance work in so that when it comes to the last 100 I won’t be stuttering into the hurdles.
“My biggest problem in Osaka was stuttering into the last two hurdles because I ran out of gas. Going as fast as I did for the first 300 put me into lactic fatigue. This sort of work is going to enable me to go through 200 really fast and come home in a quick time. That’s the aim.
“Haile (Gebrselassie) wondering about the marathon has got people talking about the conditions in Beijing. It isn’t a worry for me. We’re going to Japan again, like before Osaka, to adjust to the heat.
“Pollution is something we’ve got to consider, but because we’re going in two days before my heat it’s not going to affect my race. I’m not asthmatic, so I don’t have to worry about that.
“I don’t think you can prepare for pollution. All the experts we’ve had look into it have said training in it will have a (negative) impact on your training, not help you get used to it. So we’re going to fly in, compete and fly out.
Athens was supposed to be polluted, and it wasn’t.”