Each year ALTIS opens its doors to a number of visiting training groups that use the center, warm weather, and the expertise, as the perfect preparation for the upcoming season.
Ojie Edoburun, is a member of Coach Jonas Dodoo’s elite sprints group based from London, United Kingdom, who are currently visiting ALTIS. We caught up with the young British sprinter to give us an insight into what it’s like to visit sunny Arizona with his training group.
“We first visited Phoenix two years ago and I can honestly say that was one of the biggest turning points in my career so far,” reflected Ojie. “It opened my eyes to the amount of work athletes put in, the attention to detail, and learning from the ALTIS coaches. Working with them, even for the short time I did, made massive technical improvements to the work Jonas and I were doing.”
“We were able to build on it for the rest of the season. I think that contributed to the 10.16 I ran in 2014. Just hearing the wisdom of the coaches is encouraging. We are back out here now and I just hope to keep learning from everyone here.”
Sharing knowledge together will develop faster people.
“I think there need to be more places like ALTIS that welcome people with open arms, as I think sprinting isn’t something secretive. There’s only so much one individual can know. Sharing knowledge together will develop faster people.”
“I’ve learned recently is that there’s no magic code to running quick. You look at most people’s programmes and many things are quite similar, so then you just need to understand the training methods, and how the coaching methods engage with the athlete personally. I think these are the little factors that we need to look at and I don’t think that you’re going to learn that unless you step out of your comfort zone and go and experience it.”
Ojie first met his coach Jonas Dodoo when he was 15 years old in the 2012 Olympic Cycle, and shortly after joined his training group based at Lee Valley.
“I remember hearing a lot about Jonas (Dodoo) before I joined him. I was really excited to be in his training group and just wanted to show him I was worthy to be working with him.”
“We went from 10.91 to 10.16 in a matter of two seasons working together – so that kind of speaks for itself in terms of how effective our training relationship has been.”
It is not just the level of coaching that has enabled Edoburun to progress, he also credits the success to the training environment and the competitive training that sees him pit his wits against sub-10 sprinter Chijindu Ujah and Sean Safo Antwi.
“It’s one of the best groups around, the energy that we bring helps us to thrive off competition. If somebody is running fast times from our group, it lifts us up, we feed off each other.”
“Training with CJ (Ujah) gave me the confidence that I could go out there and win a medal, as I have been training one of the fastest guys in the country.”
“Training with CJ (Ujah) gave me the confidence that I could go out there and win a medal”
That confidence was there for all to see as the young sprinter earned himself a bronze medal at the British Championships last year, his first senior medal.
“It was a good year for me as I felt I started to perform at championships and execute my race when it mattered. Now that I’ve been able to get on the podium it has given me the confidence moving forward to do it again.”
Having impressed in Birmingham, Ojie went into the European Junior Championships in Eskilstuna two weeks later as the favourite. A pressure that the young Brit enjoyed and excelled in, winning the 100m final.
“I had never really gone to an international competition being number one and the target, so there was a lot a pressure. I just saw it as it was mine to lose and went in there doing all I could to come away with the gold.”
“This year the technical aspect of my race has been a priority from day one of winter training. In the summer I’ll be opening up around early May and the aim there is to qualify for the Olympic team. I really want to make an individual spot in the 100m, so I’m just doing everything in my power right now to ensure when the time comes I can get the job done.”
You can keep up-to-date on Ojie’s athletic season through his twitter page.