Colin Griffin’s preparations for the London Olympic 50Km race walk continued impressively last Sunday when the Ballinamore walker won the Athletics Ireland 10Km walk in Morton Stadium, Santry.
Taking a break from an altitude training camp with Ireland’s other Olympic race-walkers in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain, Colin made a quick decision last Thursday to fly back to Dublin to win his first national 10km track title.
Speaking to the Observer in Santry, Colin said “It is good to get my first national track title and it is good to get it in an Olympic year. I only decided late in the week to do it when training was going well and under control otherwise, it wouldn’t be advisable to break my training camp.
“I just decided Thursday evening to come home and do it. I had a plan to lap in around 4.10 a kilometre and I held that comfortably without killing myself. Once everything was going well and I was happy enough with my training, my main sessions, if there was any doubt at all, I would have just stayed up there.”
The race, which Colin won in a time of 41.47.66, also served to give the Leitrim man some feed-back on his training – “I just came home last night, did the race today and more as well to go through the routine of the race, the whole discipline of it, get some technical feedback and have the race videotaped as well, look at biomechanical analysis as well.
“Preparations are going very well, I’m just in the middle of hard work so a little bit tired as you’d expect to be but it is five weeks out now so these next three weeks are the time to do all the hard work and then taper back then.”
Colin’s Olympic preparations now enter their final phase as he heads back to Spain for another ten days at a high altitude training camp where Mohill’s Laura Reynolds is also based before heading back to Limerick to take up residence for 10 days in the Altitude House in Limerick.
Ireland’s Olympic team will then head to St. Mary’s College for a holding camp with Colin moving to the Athletes Village two days before his race on August 11, a day that will also see Laura Reynolds in action which makes it a very busy day for Colin, who is also Laura’s coach.
“Its a double job now,” joked Colin about the challenge of both racing and coaching in the Olympics, “I’m used to doing it now, I’ve been coaching Laura for years and we’re often doing races at European Cup or Grand Prix so it is no different.
“Laura is fairly independent; she knows to do the right things so it is a nice challenge. It will be a unique occasion for Leitrim, especially on the same day so it is something to be proud of.”
Colin’s winning time was 41 minutes 47.66 seconds. Second was James Treanor of Shercock AC in 45 minutes 09.22 seconds and third place went to Luke Hickey of Leevale AC in 46 minutes 31.81 seconds in misty conditions in Santry.