Lisa Dobriskey has had some incredible highs and lows in her career. The 28-year-old 1,500m runner won silver at the 2009 Worlds, came fourth at the Beijing Olympics and took gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Game.
However, at the World Championships in Daegu last year she surprised everyone by coming second-last in her qualifying group. Now she has her sights set on success with Team GB at the London Olympics but, as she explains in this exclusive Running Bug interview, she is taking it one day at a time.
1. What’s your first memory of running?School sports day, I must have been at infant school and I remember racing for the "red" team in a sprint race.
2. When did you start taking running seriously and competing?As soon as I started at Ashford AC, I would have been about 11 or 12 years old. My first major race was English schools.
3. How important do you think ‘learning’ to run is? How has your running style changed over your career?With experience I have changed so much from when I first started running. Running is such a pure, raw sport and so it's very easy just to do what comes naturally. To me that used to be just running as fast as I could as soon as the gun went off! Now I've developed tactics and ways of pacing myself, I have a better gauge for what my limits are both physiologically and physically. My actual style has also changed a lot in order to help prevent injuries and make me more efficient in races. I spend a lot of time working on drills, core and conditioning. This means I run a lot taller when I'm fatigued and don't waste energy sinking into the ground. My foot contact has improved so I don't tend to lope so much, this is particularly important when I'm trying to pick up the pace at the end of a race.
4. Is it ever to late to start running? What advice would you have for runners starting out?No, not at all, anyone can run at any age. For runners starting out I would always recommend they build up their training slowly and make it sustainable. Make sure you have the correct footwear but most importantly enjoy it! For first time runners the 1st couple of weeks may be hard going but once your fitness improves (and it will do so quickly) you'll notice the difference and really start to enjoy runs. So stick at it!
5. Come race day, what is your preparation, mentally physically and nutritionally?I'll do a light jog in the morning and then try to stay as sedate as possible throughout the day using minimal energy. I don't think too much about the race until a few hours before hand. I eat very plain food and smaller portions often rather than big meals.
6. How has low iron affected you in training and personally?Low iron has wiped me out in the past, I'd struggle to complete training sessions and felt tired day to day. Racing would be below par and I'd just feel exhausted. Once training started going poorly I'd get down and worry a lot about what was wrong so it was a relief to find how easy it was to fix and to keep on top of. By taking Spatone every day I was able to top up my iron levels, without any unwanted side effects.7. How is your training going and how does the intensity change in the build up to the Olympics?My training is going very well thank you. I have recently enjoyed 5 weeks away in South Africa and so it's been a shock to the system coming back to the cold. In terms of intensity, we pretty much keep things the same as any other year. It's important not to get carried away as that's when injuries happen. 8. How do you mentally prepare for and visualise winning the 1,500m?I don't allow myself to think that far ahead just yet, it's just a case of day by day, session by session, run by run. Focusing on the processes not the outcome.9. How will the Olympics being held at home affect you?It will make a massive difference, the home support will be amazing. It's such an opportunity to be part of something so big.
10. How do you think sports in general, and the Olympics in particular, benefit the UK and what legacy do you hope to see from the Games?I think it's a great way to inspire people of all ages to become involved in sport. I hope the legacy will make sport accessible to everyone and motivate and drive people to be the best they can be in whatever field they work in.
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