Nina's running efforts began at the age of 25 as a means to lose weight and improve fitness. In 1997 she slowly jogged her way through her first marathon and when the man in the rhino suit ran past her she felt it might be pertinent to try more focused and structured training for her next race! Her times steadily improved culminating in a marathon personal best of 3:28:27. At the age of 29 Nina first stepped on to the track and discovered that she was more suited to running both 1 and 2 laps than marathon. She now specialises in both the 400m and 800m and is coached by Greg Richards. At the age of 35 (2007) Nina became eligible to compete as a Master (or Veteran) and since that time has focused her efforts and seasons on securing medals at the World Masters and European Veterans Championships.
Nina moved up an age category this year and the aim of her season was to retain her 400m and 800m European Veterans titles at the Championships in Germany. Despite her Winter training going well and her recovery following a hip operation in 2011 she nonetheless struggled to find her form in both the latter stages of training and racing. She and her coach (Greg Richards) went through her programme and were able to rule out training factors. Having done this she then had a variety of blood tests and subsequently saw a sports nutritionist with whom she had worked previously which led to her make adjustments to her diet. This did the trick and with renewed energy she competed in Germany where she won two gold medals and so retained both her titles. She finished the season by being ranked number 1 in Britain for 200m, 400m and 800m and in addition was ranked number 1 in the World Masters Rankings for 400m (all age group W40).
Nina had a mixed Winter due to hip problems which broke up her training and ultimately put an end to her season. She had hip surgery on August 11th to resolve the problem and is currently enjoying the start of her Winter training. Nina is very excited about 2012 and aims to go to the European Veterans Championships in a bid to retain her titles as she moves up an age category to V40.
This was a great season for Nina and at the age of 38 was delighted to record season's bests (SBs) of 56.57 for the 400m and 2.8.53 for the 800m. She also returned from the European Championships in Hungary where she won gold in both 400m and 800m in very competitive races. Overall Nina was pleased with her season as the primary goal had been to retain her European Championship titles. Having said that both Greg and she felt that the times she achieved in her races did not reflect times achieved in training so she was left wanting a little more.
The goal in 2009 was to retain her 400m and 800m World titles at the Championships in Finland. However she had a frustrating Winter followed by an equally difficult Spring as the osteoarthritis in her foot caused biomechanical problems which took some months to diagnose. The consequence was that whilst she continued to row, bike and weight lift she only managed a total of 3 months running in the period leading up to the Championships. Greg and she discussed tactics for the 800m. Based on the fact that her maximum repetition distance had only been 300m in that 12 week period but knowing she had some speed they felt that the only way to win the race would be from a tactical run i.e. a slow first lap and sprint finish. Everything went to plan and she was relieved and delighted to earn her Gold medal place on the podium in her only 800m race of the Summer.
She also came away with a bronze (and season's best time) in the 400m and felt that as race rusty as she was and with an obvious lack of training this was as much as she could have achieved under the circumstances.
Nina is currently on a rest period following a long season. She will begin Winter training in late November.
No races until next year now!
Click here to view her statistics page on The Power of 10