In her latest Fast10 blog Susanna Banjo talks us through the step between making it happen in training and then when it really matters, in competition. 

May is really the month where you start to feel like all the things you have worked on in training over the past year, is all coming together. Key words being “in training”.

I have been feeling really good “in training” running PBs for 250m, 300m and 350m. But training is like a dance rehearsal, everyday you practice elements of your race, paying attention to small details, that make a big difference.

The 400m is all about finding your rhythm and how you can distribute your speed more evenly. The overall goal is being able to execute your race plan successfully and of course, run FAST!

Getting back into the swing of competition

Due to the 2020 lockdown and restrictions, I only competed twice last year and finding my rhythm in 2021 has taken longer than expected, so I was happy to qualify for the British Championships in my first race of the season.

My first three races the main focus was all about getting my rhythm back. June is a great month for training and competitions, the weather is better and guess what? I found my rhythm.

The first competition in June was the new National League for my club, Newham and Essex Beagles.

Seeing your wider track and field family

The meet was a great experience. You tend to see many people you have grown up with in the sport, as well as coaches I have known since my first day arriving at the athletics track. Back then I was a young girl with big dreams.

It gives you as sense of happiness that they have supported your journey and progression over the years.

The National League race was okay, but, most importantly, it gave me confidence. It allowed me to to figure out my rhythm and that meant I was confident of running faster in the competitions ahead.

Turning training into success

The next race was the South of England Championships. It was a better executed race and that showed in the outcome. I won and was so happy to become the 2021 South of England 400m Champion, but I knew in my next race I was going to run a PB.

There wasn’t a long wait as I competed again the next day at the London Marathon Community track. This is right next to the 2012 Olympic Stadium and is also the home track of my club.

As I was warming up, I felt great, everything was clicking. All the training and dedication to work on the small things, came together and I ran a new PB of 53.38.

With only two weeks to go until the British Championships, confidence is high. My times will get faster and the work I have put it will show in my performances.

Follow my journey leading up to the 2021 Olympic Trials on the 25th – 26th June.