Australian runner Jessica Trengove, achieved the Olympic marathon qualifying time at her very first marathon race in Nagoya, Japan in 2012. Following this came a nervous wait before the qualifying period ended, hoping no one would beat her time and push her out of the Olympic team. Triumphant, Jessica was selected to represent Australia at the London Olympics and finished in 39th place in the marathon event.
Here, Jessica shares what that dream run was like, some of her favourite training runs and, as a physiotherapist, some exercise tips for other runners.
Describe the experience competing in the London marathon
It is a moment in my life that I will treasure forever. The noise of the spectators lining the entire course, the coloured flags, the iconic landmarks and the excitement of hearing my family and friends in the crowd created an atmosphere that will be hard to match in another race experience! It was an incredible opportunity to learn about racing at the elite level and to achieve my dream of representing Australia.
What have you been doing since the Olympics?
I spent a few weeks after the Olympics travelling through Europe with my partner, Matt. We then returned to our work in Australia and competed in the domestic summer/track season. I am currently working as a physiotherapist at Flex Clinic in Adelaide, where I have been since 2007.
What were the biggest challenges you faced increasing from 1500m to the marathon?
The biggest challenge was the increase in training volume – not only does it result in tired legs but it also takes up more of your time! I’ve gradually found ways to be more efficient with my time and have adopted more recovery strategies to manage the training load.
What do you think is your best distance?
I feel that I perform best over the longer distances, like the marathon. I feel more comfortable at marathon pace than at faster speeds and enjoy getting into my own rhythm.
What are your short and long term running goals?
I hope to compete in the upcoming Commonwealth and Olympic Games and will be aiming to better my result from the London 2012 Olympics. My short term goals are to continue progressing my training quality and load, which will hopefully lead to personal best times from the 5000m to the marathon over the coming years.
What does a regular training week involve?
It involves three key running sessions and a long run of up to 2.5 hours on the weekend. A lot of the other runs are at recovery/jog pace. During marathon training, I cover between 145-170km per week, which I hope to continue progressing over time. I also do three gym or pilates sessions each week.
Where are your favourite training runs?
I love the Sunday long run with my training group, Team Tempo. We occasionally run through the hills in Belair National Park, which I enjoy. Some of the trails at Falls Creek in Victoria would also have to feature in my list of favourite runs!
Which runners, past or present, would you love to compete against?
Emil Zatopek – I would only get to see him in the race for a very brief period but I would love to see his gutsy approach! I would also love to have been in the race with Paula Radcliffe when she ran the women’s marathon world record just to see how fast the pace was!
Top five tips from a physiotherapist to a recreational runner
1. Address any concerns regarding injury as early as possible
2. Focus on quality with technique when it comes to training, exercises, stretching, drills
3. Take a preventative approach - identify and work on your own susceptible areas such as weak or tight muscle groups
4. Establish rapport with a health care professional whom you can trust
5. Keep a record of your training and how your body feels – it only needs to be brief
Sporting prowess runs deep in the Trengove family with Jessica a marathon Olympian, brother Jack an AFL player and sister Abbie a former state rower.
To keep stride follow Jess on Twitter twitter.com/JessTrengove