My Training Diary by Ellie Simpson

About Me & My Sport:

Hi everyone, I’m Ellie and I am 22-years-old. I am a Young Sporting Ambassador for CP Sport, so you’ve probably read about me and my sport, which is RaceRunning, before and in CP Sport’s ‘My Story’ section.

My type of Cerebral Palsy means that RaceRunning is one of the very few sports that I can participate in independently and competitively. Over the past two years, since I first got on a RaceRunner at a CP Sport Taster Day in 2015, RaceRunning has become my life and my passion.

I am an Athlete at City Of Sheffield and Dearne AC and I also compete internationally for the country.

CP Sport held their National Athletics Championships on Saturday 23rd September 2017 – here is all about me & my training in the lead up to the Nationals and following.

Monday 11th September 2017:

Today is my first training session back following a week’s summer holiday. On a Monday, I do 2 circuits with my Coach, Andy – I do not use my RaceRunner, these sessions are purely for building up core strength. Tonight, I did:

  • 10 squats with a 5kg medicine ball
  • Sitting on a bench and moving the medicine ball slowly side to side and up & down
  • Chest passes (without letting go!) with the medicine ball
  • 10 lunges with the medicine ball
  • 2 adapted planks (adapted in such a way I can do it, but still working the same muscles!)
  • L-ups (I lie down with my feet in the air, Andy ‘throws’ them down and I have to push them back up)
  • ‘Rowing’ with a theraband (a theraband is tied securely to a post and I use it like a rowing machine)

Before circuit training, I warm-up and following circuit training, I cool down.

Ellie 1

Wednesday 13th September 2017:

Every Wednesday is the RaceRunning Club night, so I am joined by 8 other RaceRunners for training. With over a week to go until the Nationals, Andy has decided that it is ‘safe’ to tire us out and work us hard as we have enough time before next Saturday to recover. However, this will be the last ‘heavy’ session until after the Nationals.

We did 5 x 100m at full speed in one hour. I had 4 really good 100m where I was ahead of the boys until the last 20m! My fifth 100m was really rubbish as I had really given the previous 4 100m my all. I have learnt tonight that instead of getting stressed about my start, I am better starting off at a reasonable pace and then putting everything I’ve got into it once I’ve got my momentum – this prevents my RaceRunner from wobbling/tipping and in the long run, saves me precious seconds as I don’t have to slow to regain control.

Andy didn’t do any timing tonight, but my first four 100m felt fast and promising.

Friday 15th September 2017:

Tonight I am back to training on my own with Andy. During the summer months, on a Friday evening I train at an outdoor track, but we’re back at the EIS tonight. I have the whole of the 60m straight to myself. Andy has decided to do some practice starts followed by some ‘flying 30’s’ – this is where I go at a steady pace with a steady build up until the 30m mark and then I go at full pace for the remaining 30m. I did six of these over the course of an hour.

Monday 18th September 2017:

Tonight is ‘circuit night’ again. I repeated what I did last Monday. The Nationals are on Saturday meaning that I only have one more training session this week – Andy doesn’t like me to train the day before a competition. Instead, I will do a steady 5k cycle on my exercise bike on Thursday and will have Friday off.

Wednesday 20th September 2017:

It is the RaceRunning Club night again and tonight we are practising starts in preparation for Saturday. However, I have a problem! We have gone to pump up my tyres as they were a bit flat and my back left-hand wheel is as flat as a pancake and is not taking any air at all. I unfortunately spent most of the session waiting in anticipation for my tyre to be re-pumped. It couldn’t be done, so I had to use another athlete’s RaceRunner, which luckily is identical to mine. It will be off to our local bike shop tomorrow in the hope that they can fix my back wheel!

THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS – Saturday 23rd September 2017:

Today is the day of the CP Sport National Championships 2017 at Harvey Hadden Stadium! I always love going to and competing at Harvey Hadden Stadium as I have wonderful memories from the 2015 World Cerebral Palsy Games.

ellie 2

Luckily, my back wheel was fixed by our local bike shop and I’m ready to go! I’m up at 7.00am to get ready and to have my breakfast. I arrive at Harvey Hadden at 9.30am and I collect my number – 107. The 100m is first up and this is my favourite event – I am definitely a sprinter!

On the start line, I always get really nervous, mainly because I know what I am capable of but I don’t know if I’ll do it justice! Unfortunately, the track was really wet and there was a headwind, but taking this into account I was happy that my time was within a second of my PB! I won Gold!

Ellie 4

Up next was the 400m. I always find distances really tough and I found this 400m particularly tough. I powered out off the start line in the hope that maybe I could get well ahead of my competitors. Unfortunately, I ran out of power and stamina around the 200m mark – I was incredibly out of breath and I was even starting to go a bit dizzy. I could hear my main competitor coming up behind me and I tried my hardest to stay ahead, but as she passed me and went off ahead I knew I wasn’t going to catch her. I decided to go for a PB instead. I was 2 seconds off a PB and I won Silver.

Lastly, I had the 200m. At this point, the track had dried out a bit and it was warmer. The 200m was most definitely the race I felt most confident with on the day. Again, I was 2 seconds off my PB, but I felt it was a good, solid race and I was proud to win Gold again!

Overall, it has been a great day with great friends and a good round off to the 2017 season. I am so excited for the 2018 season, and I am really hoping to be selected for the 2018 World Games!

ellie 5Elie 3

September 2017