The Blue Bird chatted to some aspiring fresher athletes at the Hare and Hounds September training camp as they shape up to take on The Other Place in Michaelmas term.
College: Trinity Hall
Athletics background: has run XC and track since year 6
Athletics background: originally was a keen footballer before getting involved in athletics at the age of 15
Subject: VetMed (a second year new to the Hare and Hounds)
Athletics background: began running at school and is looking to increase her training this year
Athletics background: former rower, has recently taken up cycling and running
Athletics background: former Junior Boys English schools 1500m, keen to build back into running after some time away from the sport
Thanks for speaking to us. What would a normal week of training at home involve and how does it compare to what you have seen so far of the Hareys?
Veronica: ‘It does seem to be reasonably similar. Normally my training involves a mixture of long runs and intervals, with some tempo running as well. I also do lots of trail running and some core strength work too.’
Joe: ‘A normal training week for me would involve around three hard sessions and easy runs on the other days.’
What attracted you to choose Cambridge for your course and did athletics play an important role in your decision?
Veronica: ‘It wasn’t so much the running that influenced my decision but I wanted to go to uni in the UK and I really liked the city when I looked around.’
Flo: ‘I chose Cambridge for the course but I was aware of the good level of sport at the university.’
As we all know (unless you’re doing land economy) Cambridge terms tend to fairly tough-going in terms of work, how do you see yourself managing the academic, social and sporting aspects of your life at university?
Amy: ‘One thing that my DoS said that I think is probably a good way of doing things is to avoid repeatable events and do things that are a one-off. So going out too regularly isn’t great but concerts and stuff like that are a good idea.’
Veronica: ‘I just want to do a mixture of everything. I think running is really good as a way of relaxing and being social.’
What are your hopes and aspirations in athletics for your time at Cambridge?
Amy: ‘I’d like to improve all aspects of my athletics. I’ve done a bit of steeplechase before but it would be nice to improve in a variety of events.’
Joe: ‘I’d like to be looking to hopefully make the Blues team and to run at BUCS next term.’
James: ‘I’m hoping to improve my PBs and just to get involved with the Hareys.’
What is your favourite ever race?
James: ‘It was the junior boy’s English schools 1500m. I’d done all my sessions by myself that year so I just ran for a time and didn’t think about anyone else and it ended up working out really well.’
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
Amy: ‘At a charity event at my school we brought my guinea pig in for a “pet a guinea pig for 50p” stall and he bit my head teacher.’
Veronica: ‘I once managed to turn an Oktoberfest beer tent into a ballroom dance.’
James: ‘I’m a quarter Basque.’
What do you find is the hardest thing about running?
James: ‘I find the hardest thing is just staying injury-free.’
Joe: ‘I think it’s that you have to do it consistently for so long; there’s no shortcuts or cheating to running well.’
Flo: ‘The tarmac.’
What is your favourite pre-race food?
James: ‘cheese sandwich’
Do you have a worst running-related experience
Flo: ‘Aged 8 I was taking part in a national biathlon race and I burst into tears on the start line.’
James: ‘I produced one of my fastest 200m reps in training out of embarrassment after farting very loudly in front of a big group of people.’
Men’s captain’s comments: ‘realising you’re going to come last within the first 100m of a race and having to run seven miles with people politely applauding you for the rest of the way.’
Do you have a favourite place to run?
James: ‘Probably in the mountains in the Basque country.’
Flo: ‘I really like it around Lake Bled, but running in the mountains is always nice.’
A girl/boy knocks on your door at 8pm the night before Varsity, what do you do?
James: ‘8 is alright isn’t it, considering bed time is 10 O’clock before a race…’
Flo: ‘I’d invite them in for some stretching and foam rolling.’
Men’s captain’s comments: ‘Anything within three days is completely detrimental to performance.’
If you are a keen runner who thinks they might like to get involved with the Hare and Hounds don’t hesitate to contact the club captain, Lizzy Apsley (email@example.com).