Hit RT,

As the 2013 National Championships creep closer I’d thought I’d give you an update on my progress in the season thus far and some of the changes I’ve implemented in my training.

As a bit of background info for everyone, at the end of 2011 I gave myself a nice 17cm tear in my right hamstring and tendon during a 200m. I was pretty devastated as it was leading into the Olympic season and it basically wrote me off for 3 months.

However! To put a positive spin on the injury, my coach and I along with my physio, and strength & conditioning coach all found some little imbalances and weaknesses in my body which contributed to the hamstring tear. Working on improving these allowed me to start back from scratch on the track and re-train my technique, while doing the rehab for my hamstring simultaneously.

Fast forward 12 months and this has proved to be very successful for me! So far I have run big 200m, 400m and 800m PB’s, which makes qualifying for World Champs in an individual event become a little more realistic. I hadn’t run a 200m since the injury but came back this season and did a PB of 23.78 in my first run, and subsequently lowered it to 23.54 at the Sydney Track Classic where I came 2nd behind Mel Breen. I ran a 400m PB of 53.06 in my first race this season and recently bettered that in Perth where I won in a time of 52.89, and just quietly, I am so happy to have finally broken the 53-second barrier!

I hadn’t really raced much in the Australian Athletics Tour before this year, but I am really enjoying seeing different tracks all around the country. Last weekend I ran as part of the Australian 4×400 team (Lauren Boden, Caitlin Sargent, and newbie Jacinta Doyle) to try and get the relay qualifying time for the World Championships of 3:33.0. Unfortunately we just missed it but hopefully we will have another opportunity in the coming months. Next up is the Melbourne IAAF World Challenge meet where I will run a 400m, and a few days later I’ll also do the one lap at the Australian Championships in Sydney. I’ve already run the World University Games qualifying time in the 400m and 200m, but hopefully I will gain the individual ‘B’ standard of 52.35 for World Champs, and also help the 4×400 team to a sub 3:33 time.

Having the opportunity to build my endurance over the off season has meant I am now stronger, fitter and faster than ever before, proven by my PB’s in all my events. The shift in focus to endurance and strength for the majority of the winter training block, has meant that my body has been able to cope with the demands of full time training a lot better than previous years. I have also adjusted my strength and conditioning program from the traditional heavy Olympic lifting style, to an explosive circuit that focuses more on stability and power than brute strength. This suits my body shape and my training so much better, as now my gym work isn’t impeding on the track sessions at all but I am just as strong if not more than I ever have been. I’ve come along way since 2009 where I could barely do a push up; recently I’ve been doing sets of 5 chin ups with an extra 12.5kg hanging off me!

I’d never really thought much about brand slogans but I’m lucky enough to have New Balance supporting me and their “Make Excellence Happen” motto has proved very true for me this year. Tearing my hamstring was a tough challenge, but it forced me to adjust my training and goals, which in the long run has been a huge blessing in disguise. So thanks NB for helping athletes make their excellence happen! Hopefully the hard yards I’ve been putting in over the last 12 months will pay off in my next few races, and you might see me on a plane to Russia!

You can follow my results on my twitter @annierubie, or my blog: http://annierubie.wordpress.com