David Greene of Great Britain celebrates after crossing the finish line and claiming gold in the men's 400 metres hurdles final (© Getty Images)
22 November 2012 – In his latest IAAF Diary, Dai Greene writes that the disappointment of his fourth place finish at the Olympic Games in London is adding to his motivation as he prepares to defend his World 400m Hurdles title next summer in Moscow.
“After the personal disappointment of the London Olympics, I’ve now been back in winter training for seven weeks fully focused on defending my World title in Moscow.
“The 2012 season was a difficult one. I wasn’t in the best shape coming into the season because of injuries, so I couldn’t achieve what I wanted to. Yet discussing the year with my coach, Malcolm Arnold, we both felt what we did achieve was far better than we hoped (because of the injuries), certainly at some points of the summer.
“Anyway, the disappointment is now well behind me and finishing fourth in London helps with the desire and the motivation to improve. I’ve also got a World title to defend, where, of course, I’ll be up against the guys I raced this year. I’m desperate to get back.
“The winter training has so far gone well and I feel really fit and healthy and, hopefully, a stronger athlete. I haven’t changed too many sessions this winter, but I have added extra volume and perhaps a few more aerobic, running sessions. We are really pushing the boundaries. When I first joined Malcolm’s training group I wouldn’t have been able to do the extra work. I would have just broken down. But now I’m a lot stronger. So, for example, I might run 9x300m on a morning while on an afternoon I’ll run six by three minute running efforts with two minutes off – a lot more endurance based. I can do this on the treadmill, at a playing field at the University of Bath or I sometimes run around the streets from my house. I’m very excited to see where the training will take me.
“My training group had a mixed 2012. Lawrence Clarke finished fourth in the 110m Hurdles at the Olympics and performed very well. Andy Pozzi had a great start to the year and then got injured in London while Jack Green had an up and down year. We’ve a new addition to the training group in 400m hurdler Nathan Woodward, the 2011 European Under-23 silver medallist, which is great. Usually when Jack and I are training it seems as if one of us is injured or struggling, so we end up training on our own. With Nathan we now have a third member of the 400m hurdles group and he seems to excel in training at some of the things I don’t, which is fantastic for me. Everyone is really excited with the group dynamic and the new recruits are desperate to prove themselves.
“Earlier this month we even had a flurry of snow – the earliest I can remember the snow coming while training in Bath. It didn’t last long, but it was a shock to the system.
“Media interest has waned since the Olympics Games and I’ve turned down a lot of requests, simply because I didn’t feel I had too much to say and because I wanted to concentrate on training. I’ve spent most of my time in Bath and the first part of the winter without too many distractions has gone smoothly. It is also the awards season, but other than a couple of awards ceremonies I’ve turned down the chance to go, but then again it is much easier to turn them down when you haven’t got a chance of winning any!
“It hasn’t all been training, though and I have been able to take my mind off training with a couple of non-athletics related activities. I was invited to the Cardiff premiere of the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, and it was great to catch up with some friends there. I was also invited to a Red Bull event called Culture Clash at the Wembley Arena. They set up four different stages and each DJ had 15 minutes to entertain the crowd. It was set up like a competition and the crowd were going nuts. It was a great night, which gave me a release from the intensity of training.
“Until next time,