For Clapham Chasers athlete, Steph Davis, her spot on the Olympic team has already been officially confirmed. The 2:27 marathoner already had the qualifying time but cemented her position by going on to win the Olympic trials at Kew Gardens with a significant lead. She has booked her ticket on the plane to Tokyo and we couldn’t be more excited to watch her race!
Being able to say you are going to the Olympics is something a lot of people wish, but for Steph, those words are very much her reality. We spoke to Steph and asked her how it feels to say she is going to be an Olympian.
“It still feels quite surreal, when I say the words out loud, I have to remind myself that it is actually happening! It is very exciting.”
Prior to the trials the Olympics was in Davis’ reach but far from guaranteed. Knowing there is a high possibility you could be selected for the Olympics if everything goes to plan could be quite nerve-wracking, but for Steph, the important thing was focusing on the trials and not what could be beyond them. For Steph it was important to compartmentalise her emotions and not let the possibility of attending the Olympics become too real too soon.
“I wasn’t really thinking about the Olympics or seeing myself as a potential Olympian in the lead up to the race. That’s not to say I didn’t believe in myself, but I was focusing on the journey and the first step of that journey was the trials at Kew Gardens. In order to secure a top 2 place, the focus was on my training, working hard, recovering well etc. If I did that, and no major hiccups occurred, then going to the Olympics would be more of a possibility. On race day, I felt nervous but also excited and relaxed. I’d done all the pre-race chats and analysis early on so that on race day I was only focusing on getting myself to the start line.”
More and more we are seeing runners who benefit from not only running, but also cross training. It is a great way to reduce the impact and load through your legs but still work your aerobic system. Steph Davis is one of these athletes. Whilst her training may not be typical of most marathon runners, it certainly works for her and gets her into incredible shape.
“Due to an injury in late 2020, my training for the trials started later than planned but as I had cross trained throughout the injury and during previous marathon blocks, we continued with the same approach. This time round (because of lockdown) I did a lot of recovery sessions on the turbo, rather than on the elliptical and in the pool. I don’t do double run days as I find less impact helps my legs recover better for the next session. With each marathon block I have found a good balance between running, cross training, swimming, weights, stretching and yoga.”
Despite finding out Tokyo is ahead of her, Steph knows what works well for her and doesn’t feel the need to change that.
“I am not going to make any drastic changes to my routine or lifestyle. I will continue working 3 days a week at Lazard Asset Management and my training plan won’t differ too much from Kew – although I am sure my coach will throw in a few surprises!”
With the Olympics only a couple of months away, we asked Steph what the next big block of training will bring and whether she’ll be heading away for any training camps.
“My coach and I are still discussing and planning. I’d love to get in some races if they fit with the plan but will have to see what is available! I am planning to go to Mallorca for some warm weather training – hoping it stays off the red list otherwise we will need to rethink!”
As excited as Steph is for the 2021 Olympics, we too can’t wait to have an unbelievable amount of athletics talent pouring out of our tv screens. We will certainly be shouting for Steph from our homes!