Julz Adeniran

The best thing about Warm Weather Training Camp…

– Swapping the arctic fronts of England for tropics?

– The opportunity to concentrate fully on training and recovery?

– The timely stimulus before the start of the Outdoor season?

Answer: All of the above.

However, the part I enjoy the most is the chance to revert back to the lifestyle of a toddler – the good old days, when all meals were cooked for you, bills and domestic pressures were a blissful ignorance, and we could get away with taking naps in the middle of the day without guilt or judgement.

It’s really no wonder nursery children have so much energy, all they’re actually burdened with is running around in circles all day and building Lego airplanes until they drop. Jealous is an understatement, but by following their example it wasn’t at all surprising to see that quality of training noticeably improved whilst away in Tenerife. After all for two solid weeks circling the track and ‘playing with our toys’ in the gym were the only things asked of us.

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Favourable weather, courtesy of the Sahara Desert’s currents, has also made the world of difference. *Moan Alert* let’s be honest, training sessions that regularly bring you to your knees with nausea are challenging enough without the unhelpful addition of numb toes, frozen tracks and burning lungs from cutting cold air. The 30°C heat does make sessions safer, but more than anything it simply makes for more enjoyable training. I mean which P.E. lessons did you prefer – the ones in the rain and frost, or the ones in the summer sun?

Another bonus of being on a Training Camp is the around the clock medical treatment available, a big shout-out to Simone Collio (pictured below) and his medical team for keeping me and many others in one piece whilst out here. We were fortunate enough to have Tecar technology on tap, a kind of ultrasound – don’t ask me how, but it certainly works! I was plagued by an Achilles niggle for most of the Camp so this proved to be my saving grace.

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We’ve also been fortunate to be by joined by some friendly faces during our time out here, British and foreign athletes like Artur Noga (the Polish giant pictured up above), Eline Berings and Mike van Kruchten; friends I’ve been travelling and competing with since I was 17. It really makes for a great training environment when you’re surrounded by other like-minded athletes from around the world, and more to the point who wouldn’t want to share an ice-bath with Ivet Lalova! #justsaying

Sadly the Spanish love-affair with this tropical training paradise must come to an end. The start of the Outdoor season beckons, which means it’s time to start cashing the cheques we’ve been banking all winter, but rest assured it probably won’t be our last visit. Hasta luego Tenerife!

Julz Adeniran

I.am.over.the.moon… to finally be back competing again, it seemed like an eternity since the last time I stood behind a white line and took my clothes off under the orders of a man with a gun in his hand. The patient wait was finally over about a fortnight ago as the Birmingham Games in the National Indoor Arena marked my long awaited return to competition.

As diligent and disciplined as an athlete ensures their rehabilitation programme is carried out, I don’t think you’re ever completely convinced that everything is ‘back to normal’ until you’ve been ‘battle-tested’. Which hopefully provides some kind of perspective for the confused onlookers in the Birmingham crowd, who, judging by my reaction to crossing the line in 1st place, probably thought I had mistaken my preliminary heat for an Olympic Final!?! To be fair, after the best part of a year spent in rehab, the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and relief you feel when you cross the finish line (with all your limbs still safely attached) isn’t something I’d anticipated.

It was a real boost, to not only race through the rounds without so much as a hitch, but to also go on to place 2nd in a very competitive final. With it being only a few weeks since I had been allowed to start hurdling again and having missed so much of last year I had little expectations of my first race back. Off the back of such a promising performance I’ll admit I did dare to think ahead of what could be possible over the weeks that were to follow, at the UK Indoor Championships and British Indoor Grand Prix…

…“Not so fast!” it yelled.

>>> Okay, so for those of you unfamiliar with the sound of that voice, it was ‘Sods Law’ – whilst I’m not usually one to join in with those bashing the government of the day, I’ll happily go on record and say it’s not a great law, probably one of the worst I’ve come across. Who the Scrooge was that helped enact it? I don’t know. Why any parliament would give it a thumbs up? I’m not sure. But if you don’t already know, ‘Sods Law’ smugly proclaims: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”.<<<

And a fortnight before the Birmingham Games I fell victim to this ruling – within the space of 4 hours I went from having a headache and feeling a little queasy –> to waking up in A&E with tubes stuck up my veins and suspected Pneumonia flipping me the middle finger. Less than ideal race preparation you might say. And predictably, leaving hospital full to the brim with anti-biotics and pushing my body (and my luck) to still attempt to race at the Birmingham Games [primarily so I could at least test-out my knee before the Outdoor season] only hastened my return to hospital the following week:

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A word of advice: listen to your doctor

Fast forward 2 weeks of bittersweet bed-rest. The bad news is that I was forced to miss the UK Indoor Champs and the Grand Prix, but the very good news is I now have a clean bill of health and a proven pair of race-ready legs! Spring training is about to begin ahead of the 2013 Outdoor season in May and I’m more keen than ever to get back into the blocks under starter’s orders!

Julz Adeniran

Unsurprisingly my initial reaction upon learning my fate for the summer included lyrics slightly more explicit than “No, No, No”. But… having bide my time, I’m ecstatic to share that injury is no more *cue trumpet fanfare*! I have officially been given the green light to resume full training, some 8 months after the freak accident that ruled me out of Olympic contention.

As I’ve probably mentioned before, if injury is the worst thing about being a professional sportsman, then rehab is a close and cumbersome second! Admittedly it has been a challenging period to say the least, of course not helped by the year of its timing, but I am proud to have faced up to what can often be a harsh reality of professional sport. It would be remiss not to acknowledge that my rehabilitation back to full fitness has been a massive team effort; it took the time and effort of 4 physiotherapists, 3 coaches, 2 sports doctors, 2 consultants, as well as my sponsors and numerous friends & family. In fact, there are a bus load of people I must thank, but I’ll save you the Oscar speech for another time perhaps.

‘Opportunity through adversity’ has been the mantra that has seen me through this past year and a diamond in the rough that has surfaced is my partnering up with a new sponsor, HFS Clinics, a fantastic sports medical group based on Harley St and other London locations. Their expert team of practitioners will be helping me to stay in one piece along the ‘road to Rio’! If you have an ache, pain or sprain I couldn’t recommend their services highly enough! (click on the logo to check out their site).

Before the clocks bring in another year, I just wanted to say a Happy Belated Birthday to my BLOG: ‘Patiently Waiting for a Track to Explode On’. I’ve only just realised that I committed to starting and keeping it going well over a year ago now – how time flies when you’re having fun! I’ll be the first to say that there is nothing more annoying than stumbling across a narcissistic open diary of a wannabe track & field star, only to find that it’s only ever updated once in a blue moon. So thank you all for continuing to read my ramblings and share this journey with me, it’s been an interesting year hey! As long as you’re still reading I’ll keep musing from my soapbox – at regular intervals – promise!

As a side note, if you haven’t got a BLOG of your own I’d seriously suggest you think about getting one, I mean they’re great – kinda like an ever faithful and patient friend, who never judges you or steals the quilt from you in the middle of the night, but has no flees and doesn’t need feeding. Even better than a Tamagotchi. Think about it.

Happy New Year!!!

Julz Adeniran

7 simple words. Not only is this the title of my latest overly righteous self-help novel (strategically deployed to keep me from quickly getting bored, falling asleep and drowning whilst in the bath), but it’s also a question I try to keep in mind from day to day. The rationale being: where there exists only a short window of opportunity, if something isn’t contributing to helping you reach your goal (in my case: ‘to become the most electrifying man over small fences!’™) then it’s probably either a) using up the time of something that could be OR b) working against you achieving your goal.

Now it’s usually around this time of year that most athletes pander to this theory, reflecting on their previous 12 months, as the deadline for the ‘British athletics transfer window’ looms. Inevitably, one finds themself awkwardly standing in front of a bedroom mirror, prompted to ask:

“What did I do not so well/very well this season?”…“What do I need to do differently/the same to perform better next season?”.

In my own attempt to respond to the above questions, the first light bulb to spark (inside my ironically ‘go-faster’ shaped cranium) hastened to advise that next year it would probably be for the better if I made an effort to GO OVER the first hurdle during races. Instead, of attempting to go through it… whilst trying in vain to pull-off a ‘forward-somersault-one-and-a-half-twist’ as the track surface hurries to greet your face! – if nothing else it’s hoped this might help prevent the recurrence of a rather inconvenient 6 months of REHAB. Oh and missing out on any more minor summer sports tournaments.

Sound advice. I’m sure you’ll agree.

A less obvious but equally useful suggestion, to rack up the Knots, has been to rethink a nomadic weekly commute which has seen me drive/train/bus/tube/sleep-walk between Birmingham, London, Loughborough and my family home in Cambridgeshire, for training sessions etc this past year. Admittedly this was a short-term solution warranted by the enormous, sweet, organic carrot that was ‘London 2012’. However, spending a maximum of 2-3 days per week in each of these locations (so that I could work with chosen coaches/facilities/training partners/medical staff, in the months leading up to the Games) has a Titanic effect on the boat, whatever the justification.

Navigating motorways, dashing down train platforms and being ‘that guy’ – you know, the idiot who gets in everyone’s way, struggling up the stairs at Euston Station as he drags his life contents behind him in an obnoxious tourist-sized wheelie case. (Turns out this is even more annoying when, you, are that idiot). Aside from the physical and mental fatigue, all the above is at odds with aiding recovery from training sessions. Plus, the hours upon hours of travelling/travel planning eats up valuable time that could be spent working a part-time job, or better still, playing FIFA.

So, as rumour has it, I’ve decided to set sail to a single, fixed training base and have dropped my anchor in London – cheap and cheerful I hear you say (!). Not a decision I’ve captained lightly, but if the goal is Gold the motto is: ‘by any means possible’!!! (Disclaimer: minus the Lance Armstrong interpretation of this phrase).

Truth be told, in its current disrepair the boat would be more likely to medal at the next Paralympics, but, as rehab draws to a conclusion over the next few months I am assured that in good time this soon to be super-yacht will be going much faster than you remember!

Thank you for all of your support and well wishes!