Daniel King's Blog

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Return to Racing!

Although still not back to full fitness, I have been back in training now for a few weeks and was pleased to be able to represent Essex at this year's 8 Counties Championship. The Championships were held in Chelmsford on Saturday 9th August and were a great opportunity for me to put both my injured ankle and recent technical changes to the test in front of Southern Judges!

The race was over 3000m and the weather was unusually hot! Alongside Dom and one of the UK's best up and coming Junior Walker (Alex Wright - representing Surrey) I settled into a pace just under 4.30min km's. The race was quite tactical, with Dom and myself quite happy to let Alex lead most of the race. As planned, Dom pushed on with 3 laps to go, eventually winning the race in 13.09.23. Knowing that I was still recovering from an Injury, I was pleased to be able to sit in behind Alex and just do enough to take 2nd place overall (1st B Scorer) passing Alex in the final 150m.

What was especially pleasing was that we not only helped Essex get off to a great start, but ultimately Essex went on to win the Overall Championships. Full results link below:

Essex (396)
Surrey (366)
Kent (340)
Hertfordshire (299)
Sussex (266)
Hampshire (260)
Middlesex (192)
Oxfordshire (24)

Working with Specialists

As mentioned previously, I have been working in recent months on building a local support team in order to address ALL areas of training / racing preparation. Having been advised to consult a foot specialist by a number of the team, I have now formed a link with a local company that are experts in feet and lower body biomechanics. The RS Scan Foot Clinic - link below -(http://www.rsscan.co.uk/contact_us.php)
have kindly agreed to work closely with Dom and myself, providing an invaluable service that will hopefully allow us both to analyse our foot patterns and identify areas of improvement.

I am very pleased with how things are progressing and although 2009 Season is not over, I am very excited by the prospect of working closely with a number of experts over the next few months and through the winter to come out in 2010 ready to compete on the International Stage.

Support Team at Present:

Coach - Andi Drake
Technical Adviser / Physiotherapist - Raph Rinaldi
Sports Masseur - Steve (Mersea Road Clinic)
Sports Psychologist - Dominic Micklewright (University of Essex)
Biomechanist / Podiatrist - Dan Blakeman (RS Scan Lab - Foot Specialists)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Cultural Olympiad Weekend - 24/25/26 July 2009

Although still not quite back into full training, the weekend was action packed!
Rising to the Challenge - Open Launch Weekend
On Friday morning I attended the NRE (Nations & Regions East) Open Weekend Launch at Homerton College, Cambridge. http://www.risingtothechallengeeast.co.uk/ to give a talk on the Team Essex Ambassador Role and the benefits the scheme brings to athlete's. It was also an opportunity to inform people of all the work myself and other Ambassador's have done with local schools and communities.

Due to a prior commitment (friend's wedding) I had to pass on the opportunity of putting delegates through their paces in a technical racewalking demonstration / workshop. It was great to be invited to attend the event and be a real part of the celebrations of what the East of England are doing in celebrating the arrival of the 2012 Games.
Bett's Wedding

I was pleased to be able to attend my friends wedding - although I only just made it having travelled direct from the talk at the NRE in Cambridge. Fortunately the heavy downpour of rain not only delayed my arrival but also held up the bridal party.
The day turned out to be perfect and the venue was fantastic.
Although training and competing at an elite level requires a lot of hardwork and dedication, it is important for athlete's to be able to chill out and relax every now and again!

Back to Training - At last!!
Following a late night - partly due to being kept up half the night from TWO eight week old kittens, I was pleased to be able to get out and do a decent training session, both in terms of volume and quality. One of the big benefits of returning back to Colchester and receiving support through the Ambassador Scheme has been the ability to be able to start to build a decent support team locally. One person who is very much a part of this team is my physio / masseur Steve, who along with Dom, I now see on a regular basis (twice a week).

The benefits in seeing Steve on a regular basis mean I can have complete confidence in returning to training, knowing that if there are any problems, these can be addressed almost immediately. I have also been doing some specific technical work with an expert (experienced physiotherapist)and former race walker based in South London (Raphael Rinaldi).

This has been great for us (Dom, myself and coach Andi) to get another persons perspetive of our technique at present and areas that need to be addressed. Like many athlete's an area in particular need of attention is my core strength. Through a structured S&C (strength and conditioning) programme I am confident of returning to racing not only fitter but stronger!!

Xtremefest 2009 -Felixstowe

On Sunday, I attended Xtremefest in my role as Assistant Organiser of the event. As many of you will be aware, although being ranked No.1 in the UK and training to be at the 2012 Olympics, I still need to work in order to fund my lifestyle. That said, I enjoy the work I do and actually feel that the two (working & training) compliment each other. I have found throughout my studies at University and early employment that I am more productive (training & work) when I am busy and having to fit things in a tight schedule, rather than having lots of time on my hands!!

I was pleased to see that the event was recognised by the 2012 Committee and therefore included as one of the East Regions events as part of the Open Weekend (see above). The event is in it's third year and an estimated 4,000 people attended the free event. Through my role as Arts & Sports Development Officer for Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC), I was particularly pleased to see the event include a mix of 'Xtreme' sports, arts and music.
Through my work at SCDC I am also involved with Soundwaves (www.myspace.com/suffolksoundwaves), a group set up to allow Young People / Bands from the Suffolk Coastal Area the opportunity to showcase their talent.
Xtremefest was one of many events happening around the country during the weekend as part of the Cultural Olympiad Weekend. I was pleased to be part of it and look forward to working on future projects in helping promote sport and physical activity throughout the community.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Braintree BMX Club - Seb Coe Regional Visit

Today I was invited to attend Braintree BMX Club to meet Seb Coe on his Regional Tour.
It was a great opportunity to promote all the good work done through the Team Essex Ambassador Scheme as well as visit the newly refurbished BMX track.
Alongside meeting Lord Coe and posing for a number of photo's (look out for them in the locals!), I also was interviewed by Heart Fm (Essex & Suffolk) to discuss the Ambassador Role and also the forthcoming Cultural Olympiad Weekend which I am also involved in.

The weather was typically British, but that didn't seem to spoil the atmosphere enjoyed by those who attended. Having injured myself recently coming off a bike, I kindly refused the offer of trying the track out for myself - I don't fancy another 6 weeks out of training!

As well as meeting Lord Coe, it was fantastic to meet all the young people and parents who will benefit from having a top class facility on their doorstep. With the success of Team GB in Beijing, in particular the cycling, it is pleasing to see the positive impact this is seeming to have on young people back in the UK.

Monday, 13 July 2009


It's taken a while, but eventually I have found the time to create my very first blog and what I hope will be one of many. Through regular blogs I hope to share my experiences on the road to 2012 and beyond.

Following a fantastic 2008 season, the highlight being my achivement of the IAAF 'B' Standard for the Olympic 50km Walk, I started preparation for 2009 well.The last 6 months have been very much up and down with a number changes being made, hopefully for the better.

Towards the end of 2008, I had planned to relocate back down to Colchester, having based myself in Coventry for the last 8 years, to work closer with both Dom and Jerry.

2008 however ended on a very sad note when my club coach, mentor and close friend Jerry Everett passed away at the young age of 47. This was a massive blow not only to Dominic (twin brother) and myself but also to all those around him. Jerry was always supportive and very proud of our achivements and I am eternally grateful for all the work he did for us.

Awarded the Team Essex Ambassador Award

I'm honoured to be one of 12 Team Essex Ambassador's and have enjoyed the opportunites that have arisen to date to share my experiences and motivate others around the county to get active and regularly involved in sport and physical activity.

In return for my role as Essex Ambassador, Essex County Council have kindly supported me through the Ambassador Grant Scheme which has allowed me to make significant changes to my training.

Some of the immediate changes I have been able to make include regular massage (twice weekly) and work with experts in areas such as Psychology, Sports Nutrition and Sports Physiotherapy / Biomechanics. Improvements in all these areas are vital in ensuring I continue to develop as an athlete and be as competitive as possible on the International Circuit.

Arts & Sports Development Officer

Alongside twice daily training I continue to work full time in order to finance my sport and cost of living. My role as Arts & Sports Development Officer at Suffolk Coastal DC allows me to work in areas I am passionate about and similar to my Ambassador role for Essex, give something back to the community.

2009 Starts Well

I started 2009 very well with a victory at the popular London Open 10km and a high placing at the European Permit Lugano Grand Prix race (20km). In Lugano I represented England alongside my brother Dom and clubmate Luke Finch. Between us we won the Team Title, beating top oppostion from other European Countries.

Success in Lugano followed by mutliple training stints up at the new Race Walking Centre of Excellence (Leeds MetCarnegie)lead to another Great Britain and NI call up, this time in Metz, France for the European Cup of Race Walking. Competing in the 50km event, I was looking to get close to 4 hours bettering my current personal best (4.04.48). Unfortunately this was not to be at I was disqualified part way through.


In early June, two weeks post European Cup, I came off my bike and as a result ruptured two of the three ligaments that cross the ankle. Fortunately due the support from Essex County Council, i had been able to build a small team of support staff, so was able to seek expert advice almost immediately and begin 'Rehab' straight away.

A big part of rehab, especially the initial stages involves 'Aqua Jog' or running in the pool. This is ok to begin with, but after a while, you start to get bored of counting the number of tiles that line the pool! I have been mixing this form of training up with regular cycling (trying to stay on the bike this time!) as well as strength and conditioning programmes at home.

Although still not able to race walk fully, I have progressed well and through the close work of a number of experts I am confident of making a full return hopefully for the closing part of the 2009 season (September).