Fast 10’s Alexandra Bell is gearing up for the Vitality Westminster Mile this weekend and this month answered a few questions for the readers.
One month on from writing about a positive training camp in Majorca and meeting a local star, exciting 800m and country runner Alex Bell talks training, spreading the wings with different races and racing 800s by early July.
FR: How’s training been the last few weeks? Meet any more local heroes?
Really solid. I have continued the hard work since returning from Majorca and really enjoying training at the moment. Unfortunately I’ve not come across any more “Joes” since my return. Like I mentioned before though, he gave me a new perspective on your effort levels and performance and the fact that you shouldn’t have any excuses or hurdles in your way holding you back, if you want something so bad.. go get it!
FR: The season is about to kick off and you’re starting with the Westminster Mile. Why the traditional distance race?
Why not? My mantra this season is that I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. I want test the water and spread my wings a little this season and not feel restricted to competing in just the 800m.I displayed some strong performances over the winter period with the mixed relays and I want to bring some of that strength and depth to my track season too.
Competing in longer distances this season of course is going to put me out of my comfort zone but I really want to test myself and see what I am capable of. With this summer season being so long it also keeps it fresh too, giving myself plenty opportunities to shave some of my times down.
FR: Any particularly fun sessions you’ve done with this mile race in mind?
So usually, by now in the season I would have tapped into a fair few “sprint sessions” but alternatively, with the decision to do more distance this season, I’ve not even whacked out the spikes yet! I’ve dropped a few quick 200s in my flats which I’m happy with, so I know I’ve got some gears at the moment, I’m looking forward to the fine tuning in a couple of weeks. But with regards to training on the lead up to the mile, I’ve really been enjoying my tempo runs.
We had an amazing bank holiday in Leeds a few weeks back where the whole of the Team Hendo squad met on the Leeds Liverpool canal to train. Coach was on the bike overlooking everyone’s performances, the sun was blazing, we all produced a spectacular mornings graft and to top it off, we even had ice cream for recovery.
I am surrounded by a great bunch at Leeds Beckett, my coach, Andy has been doing a fine job in helping me find pacers and other athletes to have company to train with making sure we all get the most out of each other and nailing the paces, times and distances set.
FR: Do you think you can go quicker than your Great North City Games 4:40 from 2017?
I am very very hopeful. Newcastle was at the end of a busy 2017 for me and I was truly exhausted. A holiday was long overdue when I raced there in September! Also, from what I remember, we finished on what seemed to be a massive hill at the time, so take that out of the equation and it should be quicker!
I’ve had a great winter behind me and going into this summer season I am very hopeful and confident from the training I’ve done that it will be quicker.
FR: Your run at the Northern Counties XC showed some great endurance, do you think the XC will help with the track season ahead?
Definitely, I’ve always dabbled in cross country but this year in particular, the winter has been stronger and longer than ever. Hitting my highest mileage, producing some mighty grass sessions, it’s all going to be beneficial in the long run.
FR: What races have you got next?
After the mile I will be racing in a few events in Europe competing over different distances. I plan to race the 800s early July.
FR: Highlight of the year so far?
Representing GB in the Mixed relay, Stirling.
FR: One piece of advice for any aspiring 800m runners of the summer ahead?
Be patient with yourself and your performances and keep believing in yourself. Always listen to your body and take rest when needed. If mistakes happen along your performance journey, welcome them as it can never be seen as a failure, always a lesson!
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Alexandra Bell features in the ‘Fast 10: class of 2019’ and over the course of the year will share her running journey. You can follow Alexandra on Twitter and on Instagram, while further information about the ‘class of 2019’ can be found here.
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