20 November 2012 - With training not yet at peak load, and no competition until the New Year, Mitchell Watt explains in his latest IAAF Diary that now is the perfect time to return to his studies and the law books.
"Since last time I wrote, I’ve made the decision to get back to my law studies.
"I’m doing three subjects over the summer semester, which runs roughly from early November until the middle of January, 2013.
"It was pretty much a last-minute decision and it’s a bit of a change as I think I’ve only done one subject in the past two years, with World Championships and Olympic Games.
"The timing seemed right. I’m never travelling over summer and training isn’t too intense at the moment. So I’ve got the opportunity to get it all out of the way before I start competing in March.
"I thought it would be a good idea to get a big chunk of my course work out of the way. If I get it all done, I’ve only got one semester after that to complete my law degree, so I’m finally starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe the media can start writing about me as law graduate, rather than law student, next year some time.
"Not having studied for some time, it’s all exciting. I’m sure the novelty will wear off, because I only started last week, but at the moment it feels pretty good.
"It’s not too hard getting back to study. Some parts of the course definitely draw on previous work so I have to go back and look things up. Even when I was studying normally you forgot a lot after you went on holidays in between semesters, so you had to refresh yourself.
"I’ve always had the aim of finishing my study, no matter what happens in athletics. Even if I was to go on and break the World record, or whatever, my course is something that I’ve spent quite a lot of time on, I enjoy it, and I’d like to have something to put to my name.
"Even if eventually I get a job doing something completely unrelated to my degree, I think it’s a good thing to have. People respect the fact that you’ve gone to university and juggled being a professional athlete and Olympian as well.
"Looking further ahead, I’d like to combine my sport and my degree. I’ve still got a few more years to think about how to do it, but I would like to merge my sport and study somehow.
"Last time I wrote, I was looking for a house to buy. I’m still looking! What I have found already is that being a 24-year-old who didn’t really expect his athletics career to take off in the way it did a couple of years ago, I’ve got a lot to learn about buying a house.
"Mostly, it’s about trying to be patient and not jumping into anything. I’m taking it slow and steady, taking advice from my parents and real estate agents. Going to house inspections is taking up a bit of my spare time at the moment. It’s pretty exciting.
"I’m looking at a riverside suburb, maybe inner-city Paddington or near the university at St Lucia. I’m at university a fair bit of the time, or training at QE II stadium, so anywhere in between those two is the range.
"Everything I look at seems to appeal to me. I guess that’s what happens when it’s your first house. If I see the right one soon, everything is in place to go ahead.
"As far as training goes, I’m doing a lot of running, including stairs and getting back into the gym, but I won’t be jumping in training until the New Year.
"Things are going well. I’ve been able to do things – like run in sprint spikes - which I wasn’t able to do all last year. I’d almost forgotten what it’s like to be able to run without worrying about my achilles tendon, but the last three or four weeks I’ve been able to do that.
"I’ve been training 4-5 days a well, building back to six days, lifting the number and volume of the repetitions by small amounts. Things are going very well at the moment, far better than the same time last year.
"We’ll probably start jumping in training in January, then compete domestically in early March. The plan is to replicate 2011, when I had a really good domestic season that really set me up for the whole year in Europe.
"Uni, training and looking for a house is about everything I’ve been doing for the past month or two.
"Until next time,"