AW‘s John Shepherd launches a new blog series in which he will share coaching ideas and his practical experiences

Hi, I’m John Shepherd, the performance section editor of AW. I’m primarily a sprints, long and triple jump coach, however I also coach multi-events, which covers quite a few other disciplines. So, quite useful for the performance section, then.

Okay, for all you runners, I will admit that the furthest I have put foot is a couple of miles – I was also a long jumper/sprinter in my youth (7.89m/21.8sec). However, as a sports and fitness writer for many years, I’ve covered many endurance races and activities, including the Marathon des Sables and the Jungle Marathon (I’ve also written extensively on endurance in the past).

I’ve also trained for rowing (indoor rowing that is) … rowing the 2km Olympic distance as fast as you can is the most painful sporting activity I’ve ever done! You completely empty the tank. My claim to fame is a 6:35.01 clocking and not using the sick- bucket!

I hope with this occasional blog to keep you up to date with coaching ideas and my practical experiences. I coach five to six days a week and when the summer season come around, never seem to have time to cut the grass, what with all those meetings to attend, from British Leagues to the ‘Trials’.

John Shepherd and sprint hurdler Pippa Earley

Many of you reading this and AW will be coaches and will have similar experiences. Like myself you will have experienced the highs and lows … the highs when an athlete achieves a PB (my coaching highlights so far, probably coaching a junior European champion and being selected as an England team coach). The lows, athletes getting injured, and really talented athletes being lost to the sport for various reasons.

Oh, I’ve also done quite a few masters comps and may return to the track again … my last outing was the Lyon world masters, where I managed a sliver in the 4x100m team. Masters is a part of our sport that deserves more attention.

Some of you may know that I have a coaching-based YouTube channel and on this I update on my group’s training but also on the technical and conditioning aspects of the horizontal jumps and sprints in the main. I get asked questions from coaches and athletes around the world and do my best to answer as many as I can. So, if you have a question that you’d like to be answered. I’ll do my best as long as it’s within my skill-set and knowledge base.

Check out AW‘s online performance section here.

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