Profile : Charlene Thomas – Athlete (1500/800m)
Name: Charlene Emma Thomas
Date of Birth: 06.05.82
Occupation: Part time supply teacher and full time athlete!
Sports I do: Athletics – 800/1500m
Sports kit I use: I love Saucony! I wear Saucony Triumphs for all the mileage I have to get in. I have had 2 stress fractures in my right foot so I started to wear the Triumph because of the great forefoot cushioning that they provide. I also wear the Suacony Jazz for the grass sessions I do. The Jazz are much lighter than the Triumph so I can turn my legs over quick in them. They also have good cushioning but more so in the heel.
I purchased this seasons race spikes from Sportsshoes. My choice of spikes is very important to me. I have previously worn the Nike Zoom milers but wanted to go with a shoe that had more forefoot cushioning. I spent a good hour or so in the shop and at one point was sprinting through the shop with a Nike zoom miler on one foot and the Saucony Endorphin LD on the other! The Saucony shoe felt great. It had much more cushioning and was very light. I also tried the Suacony Endorphin MD in Sportsshoes and felt really fast in them. I wear the Endorphin LD to train in and the Endorphin MD to race in. The Endorphin MD spikes really get you up on your toes so I’ll be wearing those for my super fast races!
I also love Skins! I have been wearing them for the first time this year and can’t believe the difference they make! After most track sessions I would be really sore the following day no matter how much stretching and icing I did. I then started to wear the Skins during my tough and faster sessions. For example, on the track and for hill sessions. I noticed a huge difference. I am now nowhere near as sore after really tough sessions. I need to purchase another pair though because I’m sick of hand washing the one pair I own to be ready for the next session!
A bit about me: I am coached by my husband Aaron Thomas and I live in Menston, West Yorkshire so I am very lucky to have some fantastic running routes on my doorstep. My second home (probably spend more time there actually) is Leeds Metropolitan University, Carnegie, in Headingley. I’m either on the track, in the free weights gym, in the physio with Alison Rose or going through my nutrition or sport psychology in the Carnegie Centre for Sports Performance and Wellbeing. It’s a hard knock life!
I am about to begin competing in the 09 track season still getting to grips with the 1500m, which I only really started seriously competing over last season. Last season I was .7 secs off the Olympic A qualifier after only 3 races over the distance. Unfortunately I picked up a stress fracture so my season was over pretty quickly. This year I am healthier stronger and raring to go! I love training and competing, which is really important to me to be successful this year in qualifying for the World Championships in Berlin.
Some of my best sporting achievements so far:
2009 – 3rd AVIVA UK Championships and European Trials 3000m
6th AVIVA Birmingham Grand Prix 3000m
Ranked 3rd in the UK 3000m indoor
2008 – Yorkshire County Champion 400m
0.7 sec off the Olympic A qualifier
Ranked 5th in the UK 1500m outdoor
2007 – 2nd AAA’S and National Championships 1500m
Fastest mile by a British Athlete in 12 years
Ranked 6th in the UK 1500m outdoor
My sporting objectives for this year: I really intend to enjoy my athletics this year. I think in Track and Field you can sometimes put too much pressure on yourself to run qualifying times and get selected for major championships. I believe if I can enjoy myself, fast times will come and I hope to be selected for the 1500m for the World Championships in Berlin. The qualifying time is achievable – 4.06.00 and then making the top three at the trials in July. Keep an eye out for me!