As London gets ready to host the Invictus Games this week, former SAC Luke Wigman is looking forward to getting on the athletics track to compete in the 1500m event. Luke, who received support from the RAF Benevolent Fund after being injured by an IED in Afghanistan, shares his excitement with us.
I first heard about the Invictus Games earlier in the year and it was something that appealed to me from the start. I have a very competitive nature and these games opened up a completely new challenge for me.
The shortest race I have run to date is the 5000m, which I still class as a fairly short distance to run.
The longest distance race at the Invictus Games is the 1500m, which is totally alien to me. My biggest challenge during this event will be to get the pacing correct and not totally blow up too early; but also not have too much in the tank, towards the end.
My training in the lead up to the Games has been going really well, which is mainly focused on improving my 5k-10k times.
I have a strict training program which is all set out for me by my coach. My main sessions are on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Typically I run intervals on a Tuesday, which are mainly short and sharp, and are perfect for fine-tuning speed/form. I usually run a tempo session on the Thursday, which varies in distance and pace.
Saturday's session is often similar to Thursdays, with a few shorter intervals often thrown in. I almost always end the week with a longer run, which is great for increasing endurance.
The other three days are just used to recover, so I keep my runs fairly steady during this period. I adjust my training leading up to races to allow for a stronger performance.
I have a pre-race ritual which is all about winding my training down and getting my nutrition just right. Though it's probably the most difficult part for me as I do enjoy my chocolate and biscuits! I'll still be running in the days leading up to the race but I'll make sure to cut down on both distance and speed.
I'm very much raring to go and I'm looking forward to the whole experience from arriving at the athletes' village to attending the Closing Ceremony, plus I can't wait to get stuck in to my race.
It's going to be the experience of a lifetime and I feel very fortunate to be part of it. The trials for these games have already ignited a new love for track running and I'm sure I'll be carrying this on post-Games.
By Luke Wigman
Luke won a gold medal in the Men's Open IT6 1500m.
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