Our International athlete, Jonny Davies, has agreed to share his journey with us as he aims to qualify for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo. This is the first of what will hopefully be a series of blog posts showing what it takes to be an international. Now over to Jonny:
I was invited to write a little blog for the club to document my journey to try and make the Tokyo Olympics for the 5000m. Hopefully, people may find at least some of what I say interesting and may give a little bit of insight on what it takes to make an Olympic games. I have a huge amount of affection for the club who gave me a pathway into the sport and allowed me to chase my dreams and seeing my athletic potential. The coaching I received by Rob Mckim and others, laid solid foundations and I still quiver with fear thinking of some of the brutal, yet carefully calculated sessions, I used to do around ‘The Stadium of Dreams’- aka Palmer Park.
I intended this first blog to be a little bit of an introduction to myself and my goals and potentially pave the way for future blogs. For a little bit of context/background, I am a lifelong member of Reading AC and competed for the club throughout my school years and continue to do so today. I am a middle to long distance runner and have competed for Great Britain on a number of occasions, most recently at the world indoor championships in Birmingham, where I am currently based. I studied Biology at the University of Birmingham for my undergraduate degree and am lucky enough to still be supported by the university as a graduate scholar. I also work part time within the Metallurgy and Materials department with an incredibly flexible job which I can work around my training and also allows me to train abroad when necessary.
The Olympics is the pinnacle of our sport and the idea of being part of it is incredibly exciting but making the team is no easy feat. I narrowly missed out 3 years ago as a 21 year old to make the Rio team- running the qualifying time but suffering from injury and illness running into the trial and eventually falling just short. Since then my running career has taken a series of ups and downs with some incredible moments, such as winning two medals at the world student games in Taiwan, but also long term injuries and illness. The worst being an almost 6 month layoff with a back injury last winter- our sport is always an adventure!
As in life, athletics is a constant learning experience. I have made countless mistakes throughout my running career, but as long as you are able to learn the lessons and apply them in the future; you are already halfway there. I am hoping I have learnt from the past! I currently have an amazing training group and team supporting me and feel in the best place possible for taking 10 seconds off my PB to run under 13:13.50 and book my spot to Tokyo. It will of course need a lot of hard work and no short supply of good fortune but I am excited for the journey to come.
Best of luck to everyone just starting their winter training!
Up the Ding!
Ps-- if people would like me to cover anything particular I’d be more than happy to do so. Equally, if people have any questions or would like any advice on anything feel free to message me on facebook etc.