Beth Taylor – Big Improvements in 2015

Hi guys my name is Beth and I’m a heptathlete from Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
Beth Taylor CTG
So my 2015 season has been pretty good to me, in fact it’s been one of my best yet! Last year I made the decision to move to a new coach and looking back now it was one of the best decisions I made!
My outdoor season started with my first heptathlon in April down in Somerset. Going in to the 2015 season my personal best score for the heptathlon was 3343 points. Somerset was a fantastic competition for me as I increased my overall score by 450 points which took me up to a total of 3891. I also had a few personal bests along the way in that competition.
My next heptathlon was in May and this was the England Combined Event Championships down in Bedford. Unfortunately I wasn’t in the best form going into this competition as I had been suffering from quite a bad virus just a few days before, but I still wanted to compete! Anyway after a very poor shot put I still managed a score of 3781 so I was quite pleased considering how I was feeling.
June was my next heptathlon at Doncaster and this was the qualifying round for the English Schools Combined Event Championships. The weather conditions for this competition were not great at all, however I still managed to increase my high jump personal best that had stood for 3 years! Later on in the competition a very bad javelin let me down meaning that I only gained a score of 3841. However this was only 50 points off my personal best score so I was quite pleased. I also qualified for the championships with being one of the highest qualifiers!
Heptathlon number 4 of the season meant another trip down to Bedford in July and this was for the Southern Combined Event Championships. I felt in really good shape for this competition as training had been going well so I felt quite confident going into this championship. Starting with a personal best in the hurdles this made me feel great for the rest of the competition. Gaining more personal bests from the shot put, long jump and a season’s best in the 800m this meant that I finally got the score I was after. Over 4000 points! My end result was 4169 points I was so delighted!
A few weeks after this competition I started to get a bad pain in the heel of my left foot. The pain was getting worse and it got to the stage where I was struggling to walk. I went to the see the physio and he explained that I had a bit of bone stress at the back of my heel bone. I was slightly relieved as was expecting much worse! This meant I had to stick to trainers for a while and ease right back off my training. I was very low for a couple of weeks as things had been going so well and i had to pull out of the Yorkshire combined event championships. The English schools were a matter of weeks away and I was starting to worry.
However I was not going to let this get the better of me and it made me more determined to do better than ever at the English Schools. My heel was still sore during training session but I still managed to put in some good hard work. I was running quicker than ever in the sprints and throwing really well in the javelin.
The English Schools came around so quickly. Just last week I was back to Bedford for the final time this year. I was so excited to get out and compete. The first event was the hurdles, I ran ok in this race but I was a little disappointed with the time. I was in 26th place after this event. The high jump was next and this had been going really well in training. I managed to increase my personal best by 5cm to clear a height of 1.62m! This moved me right up the rankings to 15th place! The next was the shot put and all I wanted was a throw over 9m. First round throw and I threw a mark of 9.10 and I managed to increase that in the second round to 9.17m! This moved me up to 13th place. The 200m was the last event of the first day and I was feeling good. I felt so quick in the race and managed to win my heat in a new personal best time of 26.52 seconds knocking a massive 0.9 seconds off my previous personal best!
After the first day I was sitting in 10th place. I was very happy as this was my target for the whole of the competition, to finish in the top 10. The first event of day 2 was the long jump. I felt good but a little tired from my 200m the previous day. I managed to jump a heptathlon personal best in the long jump of 4.94cm keeping me in 10th place. The next event was the javelin and this had been going great in training over the past couple of weeks. First round throw was a big personal best of 28.40m! Going into the 800m I was very nervous as I really wanted to keep my top 10 position and also I wanted to run a quick time. I was in the second to last heat as I was in the top 10 position. When the gun went I started steady and I was near to the back of the pack. Coming down the home straight of the first lap I started to slowly pick up the pace as I felt really good. I found myself 30m a head of the pack and ran so hard for the finish line. I crossed the finish line in a time of 2.24 which was a season best and the quickest 800m I had ran for two years. I was so delighted with the way that I ran. Running that time moved me into 9th position overall with a big personal best score of 4307. This works out at a 1000 point improvement from last year.
Overall I couldn’t be any happier with how 2015 has gone. I am very proud of how I have managed to cope if things didn’t go so well. Being an athlete and having depression is a real struggle. However having the support from my mum and dad, my training group, my amazing boyfriend and not forgetting my coach I couldn’t have got to where I am now without any of them. For that I am so grateful! Time to get my head down and work hard during winter training and hopefully have an amazing season in 2016!
Thank you for taking the time to read my article!

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