Ready Steady Tokyo

I’m currently on the long flight back home from Tokyo (via Seoul) and I thought it would be a good opportunity to write about the last 10 days in Tokyo.

We travelled out before the official competition for a training camp in Tokyo. This allowed us to really test our jet lag strategy for the Paralympics and gave us time to acclimatise before it was competition time.

We had 5 days of training at the Tokyo ParaArena which was a fantastic facility for disabled athletes in the area, complete with 4 para benches and other bits of gym equipment. It provided a great base for our training when we arrived in the city. Our journey to the training venue was on the Yurikamome Transit Line which is a fully accessible train line in the Tokyo Bay area. On the first day we were leaving the station as rush hour was starting and I’ve never seen so many people trying to get on a train, even on the London Underground!

On the first few days, training was really difficult because of travel fatigue and jet lag but after a few days I actually managed to sneak a couple of PBs, which was completely unexpected.

We didn’t get much time to explore the city between jet lag and training but we did get out for about half a day. We went to the Shibuya Crossing, The Imperial Palace and had an extensive tour of the Tokyo Underground system (it was very complicated).

Other competitors started arriving a few days later and we were then in full competition mode. It was a small event with just 70 competitors so there were only two days of competition but the competition was still a Tokyo 2020 qualifying event so I felt it was important for me to strengthen my ranking if possible.

Ali and Mic competed on the first day and I was on the second day. Both the guys had overcome some pretty huge hurdles to be at the competition after they both missed the World Championships in July. They both got silver medals in their respective classes.

Since it was a small competition, it was just me and one other competing in my class so my goal was to get more on the bar than I did at the World Championships. I opened on the same weight (116kg) as I did at the World’s but then I jumped up to 121kg. It moved well and I got 3 white lights. We then went up to 122kg, once again it moved well and I got the lift but this time it was only 2 white lights out of 3.

I was so pleased with my performance because I’ve had a really challenging training block since the World’s and the most I’d lifted previously was 120kg. But having had a good week of training in Japan my confidence was high and although I didn’t feel as well prepared as I did for the World Championships, my bar speed in training suggested I was more than capable of a PB. When I’m going for a PB I try not to think about the weight on the bar, I just keep my process the same and stay as confident as I would be on weights I’ve pressed before…and it worked 🙂

There’s now a bit of a break until my next competition so I’ve got a great opportunity to get some serious training in. I love competing but sometimes it’s great to have time to focus totally on training.

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