Sunday, 26 February 2012

New Blog

Along with this blog (which I promise to update soon!) I will also be running a blog chronicling some experiments I will be conducting regarding my diet, among other things. You might find it interesting, you might find it boring, you might want to join in, but check it out at:


Friday, 12 August 2011

World Championship Selection

So a couple of weeks ago we had our National Championships and World Championship Selection Trials in Birmingham. I had been looking forward to the competition for a couple of weeks (since my last race had gone pretty well), and had a couple of decent runs in the heats and semi-finals. I felt like I was ready to run well in the final, and give a good account of myself to try and get selection for the Worlds in the 100m. However, as I got onto the track ready for the final, disaster struck as I got cramp in my hamstring. I couldn’t get rid of it, and so, not wanting to risk injury, I decided not to run. It was a difficult decision to make, not running in my biggest race of the year, in hindsight I feel like it was the right decision to make.

A week later, and feeling much better, I raced at the Aviva London GP in Crystal Palace. Again, I had a pretty solid run, running into a slight headwind, and I was only 0.05 off making the final. In a world-class field like that, I didn’t feel like it was a terrible result.

Two days later was the World Championship selection meeting, and whilst I still had hopes I would get selected in the 100m, I knew that it was more likely that I would just get selected in the 4x100m relay. And that is what happened – so now I am off for three weeks in Korea. Hopefully I will be able to come back with a medal in the relay, which will be a massive positive going into next year.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


For the past two months I have been blogging on EliteTrack ( In order to avoid repetition of my blogs, I will now be keeping all my technical blog posts on that website, and use this site solely for updates on how my racing/training is going.

If you are interested in Track and Field, you should checkout the site, there is something for everyone!

Recent Updates

The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy as I have been doing a short block of races for my final tune up before the UK Championships and World Championship Selection Trials in Birmingham on July 29th – 31st. My first race was the Birmingham Diamond League, where I competed in the 100m. This was a really high profile race, and I was ranked eight (i.e. last) fastest in my heat, so I knew I was up against it. I love competing in those situations though, where you know you have to run to the best of your ability. I think I did that, running an equal seasons best of 10.23, despite the rain, and coming sixth in my heat, and tenth overall.

My next race was at the England Championships. I had had a cold for the week prior to this, and woke up on the day feeling pretty rough. I remember considering pulling out before my heat, but figured I would just run and see how it went. I’m glad I did, because I ran a comfortable 10.29, which was a huge confidence booster. I then had another good run in my semi-final, clocking 10.19, just 0.01 seconds off the World Championships A standard, and my fastest time since 2008. It was a bittersweet feeling though, as the clock stopped at 10.18 (the A standard) – I thought I had achieved the standard, only for it to have been rounded up. In the final I ran 10.17 wind assisted for second behind my training partner, Harry Aikines-Aryeety.

I now have a two-week period in order to prepare for the Trials. During this time I will be having my second epidural of the year in order to help reduce some back pain I have been getting, and hopefully getting over this cold!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Craig Pickering’s Tour of Europe – Parts 2 & 3

In my last blog post, I gave a quick run over of my races in Holland and the Czech Republic. The day after I got back from the Czech Republic I had relay practice in London in preparation for a race in Germany that weekend. Relay practice went well, and the next day we flew to Munich, then took a short coach trip to Regensburg, where I would be running the relay for Great Britain. Unfortunately we were disqualified in the race, due to a freak accident involving one of our athletes. As he was running, he accidentally hit the baton against his leg, and dropped it!

As soon as I got back from Germany, I moved house with my girlfriend up to my new training centre in Loughborough. This was a very busy time, with most of my non-training time spent packing and then unpacking.

A couple of weeks later I was off to Stockholm for the European Team Championships as part of the 4x100m relay squad for Great Britain. On the Friday night, we ran in a “B” relay, running 38.72, which ranked us second in Europe this year. It was a useful race for us, as it gave us plenty of confidence to go into the main race the next day and try to win. For me, the main race provided and individual challenge – on my leg was Christophe Lemaitre, who 90 minutes earlier had run 9.95 seconds. I think I ran a good leg, and managed to hold off Lemaitre – and, as a bonus, the team managed to win in a European leading time of 38.60.

My next race will be on July 2nd, so between now and then I will just be focusing on training (as still unpacking from my house move!). 

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Craig Pickering’s Tour of Europe – Part One

Now that the athletics season is properly underway, my annual trips to various parts of Europe has begun. I started off with two races in quick succession – Hengelo (Holland) on May 29th, and Ostrava (Czech Republic) on May 31st. Trips in and around Europe often involve lots of travel, and this was no different. To get to Hengelo, I flew to Amsterdam and had a two-hour car journey to Hengelo itself. Getting to Ostrava was much more interesting. I was supposed to fly from Düsseldorf, but, instead (and through no fault of my own) was mistakenly driven to Amsterdam airport by my driver. As it was 7am in the morning when we arrived, and I had been sleeping in the car, it took me a few minutes to realise what had happened. I remember thinking, “Why are the signs in Dutch, and not German?” And then it dawned on me! I had to pay €400 to change my flights to fly from Amsterdam to Prague, have a 6 hour stop-over in Prague airport, and then fly to Ostrava. All in all, I spent 14 hours travelling that day, leaving my first hotel at 5am and arriving in my Ostrava hotel at 7pm.

The races themselves were fairly solid. In Hengelo, I ran 10.23 (+1.1), which is my second fastest legal time since 2008. Unfortunately, I couldn’t back it up in the final, coming last in 10.38. In Ostrava, I was unfortunate to catch a race without a favourable following wind, running 10.31 (-0.2). In hindsight, this was a pretty solid run, as with a +1 wind it could have easily become a 10.24 performance. Ostrava was a very high quality race, won by Usain Bolt in 9.91 seconds. Indeed, six people in the race had run under 10 seconds in their career!

Overall, I am relatively happy with how I am running. I am having some issues relating to a lot of the training I missed due to injury, which are causing me to under-perform slightly. I am probably going to spend 3-4 weeks in June doing some proper training in order to try to rectify these issues, so hopefully come July I will be running a tenth of a second or so faster. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Quick Update

After coming back from Italy, I competed at the Loughborough International, where I came 3rd in the 100m in 10.15. Unfortunately for me, this was accompanied by a following wind of +3.5m/s, which is over the allowable limit, and so my time does not count for record or qualification purposes.

I am due to race in Hengelo, Holland this Sunday, and then Ostrava next Tuesday. Hopefully the conditions will be a little more favourable, and I can build on my performance at Loughborough and hopefully run under 10.25 seconds legally, which will be a big step towards the World Championships qualifying standard of 10.18 seconds. I face tough competition though - Usain Bolt will be in Ostrava!

I will keep you posted with my results.