Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
On Monday night I was lucky enough to attend the launch of the new Nike GPS Sportswatch powered by Tom Tom at the Nike Running store in Covent Garden. It just so happened that Olympic Gold medalist, the legendary Carl Lewis and 400m hurdler and British 2012 hopeful Perri Shakes Drayton were there for a little question and answer session. Lovely vibes all round, with of course, the added distraction of how ridiculously good Carl Lewis still looks. Damn him!
The two athletes shared their thoughts on training, race days, preparation, mentality and everything in between. The audience of 50 or so people was made up of Nike Plus users and everyone was really appreciative to hear the perspective and advice from the professionals.
I grabbed a few minutes with Perri after the Q & A. Considering all eyes are on her, with hopes of her nabbing a medal in 2012, this 22 year old, Brunel University student is incredibly down to earth, taking it all in her stride (there’s a pun in here somewhere about overcoming hurdles, but I’ll leave it alone). In fact, She’s not even thinking about the Olympics right now – she’s got a World Championship to get out the way this year first, so that’s where her focus lies.
We discussed the variety in her training – weights being something she doesn’t enjoy, but, she says ‘I think about my competitors. If they’re doing it, if this is what it takes, I have to do it.’ She also said when she has really hard training sessions and her legs are killing her and it hurts to even sit down, she wonders ‘why am I doing this to myself?’ – but she knows that if she doesn’t train, she’ll feel bad.
Coming off the back of running the Paris Half Marathon, it was really great to speak to someone as dedicated and focused as Perri – while I may never be on her level, she’s an inspiration to us all.
The Nike Plus GPS Sportswatch will be available in stores in April.