In his first Fast10 Blog Abdel Laadjel talks about how winter base training has stretched a little longer than usual. 

We usually associate base training in winter but for most people especially around Europe it has stretched out now till out spring from the lack of races.

As for me I’ve done a big block of base training in this lockdown while still attending school getting ready for my leaving cert.

The key I found to keep consistent for the past 2 months is try new things out , experiment, try new runs and try new routes for my long Sunday runs. Experimenting mileage what I am comfortable at. 

Not a race in months

Even though since September I haven’t raced or even done a time trial, throughout the winter it was hard to train and motivate myself. This could be because I couldn’t see when the next race was going ahead from everything getting cancelled. It’s something I imagine a few people can relate to.

But since the New Year I’ve really pulled my socks up and gotten to work, since we can see the end of the tunnel now from COVID and races getting scheduled it really is easy to train again. Motivation really is something that dips and grows and it’s important to be aware of that.

Another hurdle I am going to face later in the year in training is Ramadan.

Photo: Keith McClure

What Ramadan means for an athlete

As an Irish Muslim athlete I’ll be seeing tougher times in training with not being able to drink or eat apart from when it’s dark, especially in the long days in spring and summer.

But For me I see it as another training method to make me more mentally and physically strong by the end of the 28 days. A lot of elites and greats practise Ramadan towards big competition so I’m positive I can get through four weeks training while doing it. Hopefully my next blog can be about how we plan to work through and even utilise those 28 days to my advantage as an athlete. 

My Coaches, Gerry Naughton and Lee van Haeften, are getting all the lads through this hard times with training, helping out all the lads with motivation and training plans.

The goals I’m working towards for this summer is definitely national juniors and qualifying for European juniors. I’d love to try get on the team for eurocross in Dublin at the end of the year too as who doesn’t want to be running in there home soil.

But from the meanwhile it’s another big training block for towards the end of May and the start June to get back ready to race.