Mitch Goose and Ross Murray: St Mary's athletes
In his latest 2012 diary Michael Hobson looks forward to Winter training and the European Cross Country Championships in Dublin.
The month of October signalled the start of the Cross Country season and the nitty gritty of winter training.
Long gone were the warm summer nights and fast reps on the track, replaced by the mud, hills and the infamous winter mileage.
For me the buzz of competition feels like a distant memory, something of an enigma that appears again like magic side by side with the summer months.
For others however, the winter is a whole different playing field. This is when the mud larks come out to play, revelling in the boggy, hilly, and downright gruelling courses that many a track specialist detests.
For many the focus will be upon the trial for the European Cross Country championships at Liverpool's Sefton Park on November 29th. It is here that many a Brit hopes to book their place on a flight to Dublin to compete against Europe's best mud lovers at the European Cross Country Championships on December 13th.
With almost 60 runners based at St Mary's hopes are high that more Simms (St Mary's athletes) than ever can do the business and be on that start line in Dublin, whether it be as a junior, under 23, or senior.
This being the case the hard work put in between now and the trial will be decisive in deciding who will be leading Great Britain's hunt for success in Dublin.
As the long light nights of summer gradually faded away along with the warm weather and Track season, I started the third and final year of my degree.
I surprised myself upon receiving the results of my second year in July. By achieving what equated to a first I had ultimately upped the pressure upon myself to achieve a good degree classification. This would mean having to balance training, working, and university commitments very carefully.
Returning to university for my final year also meant that I would have to embark upon a Major Independent Study (sometimes known as a dissertation) as part of my degree.
With the piece being responsible for a quarter of the my final grade it was important for me to decide upon a subject area of which I have a lot of interest: the focus of my study being the different methods adopted to develop elite athletes in the USA and Great Britain, Elite Athlete Development being an area of particular interest to me.