The 2011 world 400m hurdles champion on how athletes may need to get creative in order to train during the Covid-19 outbreak

Some of Britain’s top athletes are sharing insight into how they are coping during the coronavirus outbreak, which continues to cause great uncertainty and disruption to training and competition. Here 2011 world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene talks about his own situation and shares some advice for athletes in a similar position.

“We have to be flexible and find other ways to get the work in”

“My training camp was cancelled and along with that the first two races I was planning on doing have been cancelled also,” says Greene, who was due to travel to Florida. “My coach is Swedish and has decided to go home to be with and care for his family in this uncertain time, which is understandable. So the group has their training programmes but it is up to us to execute them to the best of our ability.

“I think in the next few days we will likely see closures of tracks and gyms. It will make it very difficult to do our scheduled programmes but we have to be flexible and find other ways to get the work in. I’m sure I’ll be guilty of jumping a fence to get access to the track in the coming weeks, in order to get my track sessions done on my own.

“As for gym workouts, I’ll have to be creative. I’ll likely do more plyometric work, jumps and bounding to replace the power exercises I usually do in the gym. I live on a working farm so there’s plenty of heavy items around that I can use to replace barbells and dumbbells.”

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9th March training week

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Everyone is in the same boat

“Athletes should remember that it’s the same for everyone, wherever they are, and to not let it stress you that you cannot do exactly what is written in the programme,” he adds.

“As long as the main workouts are ticked off then the rest is support stuff and that can be tweaked.

“The bigger issue surrounding the Olympics and other competitions in the summer is probably a little more stressful.

“I’m hoping we will get more clarity on that from World Athletics and the IOC. It’s all well and good holding the Games but what about the qualification period? How will athletes qualify if they cannot compete? Some countries will be more affected than others by the virus and there needs to be a selection criteria that reflects that.

“If Brits cannot travel to where the competitions are then there will be a lot of frustrated athletes. I think we just want to hear from a sensible voice in power that understands and sympathises with the process leading up to the Games. I’m sure we aren’t the only Olympic sport going through this.”

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