August 8, 2014

Commonwealth disappointment spurs Shakira on to Rio 2016

Tenerife training camp panorama

Well time’s up and unfortunately I didn’t make it to the Commonwealth Games. After taking a year out after 2012 to focus on teaching and passing my NQT year, I knew making a comeback in 2014 was going to be a tough journey. I began my indoor season well, producing some distances close to my personal best and this gave me a positive, confident start.

At the beginning of my outdoor season, I picked up a slight hamstring and Achilles injury which gradually got worse over the following weeks. This meant that my coach and I had to sit down and reassess my training schedule. We decided to cut back on a lot of sprints and plyometrics which are essential for triple jumpers and focus more on rehab exercises to build up my strength.

This season I also went on my first warm weather training camp to Tenerife with my training group. It was good fun but also a lot of hard work where we were training twice a day. My coach and I hoped to take full advantage of the optimum training facilities, however, my injury didn’t allow my body to withstand the high volume of work. This meant that my technical sessions had to be cut short and weren’t as positive as we would have liked. I spent a lot of time in ice baths trying to refresh my body ready for the next session but ice baths can only do so much.
Shakira Training in Tenerife
After returning from warm weather training, I visited my physio straight away to discuss next steps for a speedy recovery, he suggested that I take a few days rest from training which would hopefully let me continue my season successfully. I did as I was told and when I returned to training and competing my injury did feel slightly better but I still wasn’t 100%. I wasn’t producing distances anywhere near where I should have been and ended up leaving competitions early. My coach allowed me to have a few more days rest and during that time I focused solely on rehab and strengthening my hamstring. The UK Championships at the end of June was my last chance to try and reach that Commonwealth standard. Whilst I performed my best distance of the outdoor season and came a solid 4th out of the top triple jumpers in the country, I was still not able to get the standard.

I am extremely disappointed I didn’t make the team this year as I felt I was definitely capable, however, my injury held me back physically and mentally. On a positive note, I have finished my season ranked 5th in the UK! I have already set my next goal which is to make the 2016 Olympic team. I have just under 2 years to get myself fully prepared, so a lot of time to work on everything that didn’t work this year. Along with CQC Solutions, I continue to have a brilliant support network now including a lot of teachers, children and parents from my school who ask me daily how my preparation is going. I am proud of myself this year for pushing through the hard times and I hope to make them proud sometime soon too.