BIG On the Horizon

Apologies for the delay! I’m sure you’ve all been wondering what I’ve been up to! (maybe…maybe not).

So I’ve been back for just over a month now from San Diego. Had an amazing time out there with brilliant facilities, great atmosphere and weather to be envious of. Most importantly, I returned with the 2 important Olympic ‘B’ standards. Although this was slightly off what I was originally hoping for, a big chunk of pressure was now off my shoulders for me to enjoy the British season. Sadly however, every time I’ve competed in the UK so far, it’s been cold and wet! So enjoying was maybe a tad optimistic. Good news is I managed to retain my English title!

I’ve had a couple of other meets abroad in Germany, one was OK, the second, pretty bad! Annoyingly, they were much better conditions than the UK ones so I felt the result should have been better in both. Alas, t’was not meant to be.

Next on the agenda is Bedford International Games (or BIG as its known). Weather is predicted to be….yep, wet! Although I think I’d prefer it wet, I have a score to settle with the rain and that Bedford circle! Following on from BIG, might be going to Sweden, then we’re looking at the big weekend of the Olympic Trials. Over this time, ideally I’ll hit the ‘A’ standard of 62m and win the trials. If not, well I did my absolute best!

So I have a few weeks to continue with training, progressing and generally fine tuning everything I’ve worked on for the past year(s). Very exciting times ahead.

Fingers crossed my next post will have some good Olympic news. We shall see.


Final week of Warm Weather Training in San Diego

1 week left to go until my Warm Weather training comes to an end! :-( So far, so good though :-)

The first meet at UCLA was disappointing, it felt like my first competition of the season again! Having a 3 week gap didn’t help as the nerves all came back and I felt completely new to it all again. So for that meet, although I won, I only threw 54.97.
The second meet was held in La Jolla, this was a much more successful competition. I won the competition beating some good opposition with 60.51, only the second time I’ve been over 60m. This was also a big step towards my attempts of making the team for the Olympics as it was a ‘B’ standard. I would need one more ‘B’ to have officially hit the minimum requirement to be considered for the team.

The next day, I had another meet in Los Angeles. This is a well-known meet at Mount Sac, many elite athletes from around the world compete here. The temperatures were unbelievably hot! 99 degrees Fahrenheit when we were close by, 97 at the actual venue. I wasn’t due on until 5.30pm so the heat shouldn’t have been anywhere near its peak. Unfortunately, my competition was delayed by over an hour and there was very little shade available. By the time it actually started, I felt quite flat and tired. Luckily, I opened up my series really well and threw 59.60m, my 2nd ‘B’ standard by 10cm! Providing I come 1st or 2nd at the UK Trials, I will officially be considered for the London Olympics!

My next competition here is at our training centre in Chula Vista on 26/4/12, then 27/4/12 and finally 28/4/12. Hopefully I will cement my chances of being selected for the Games by throwing the ‘A’ standard of 62m.
Will fill you in upon my return to the UK


Early Comps and Warm Weather Training- San Diego

So, this time I’m blogging on my first warm weather training trip from sunny California! Although at present, not so sunny.
So far, I’m just under 2 weeks into the trip which is pretty much half way point. It’s been really good so far. Great weather, facilities, people, and no work! All has gone really good so I’m optimistic for my first competition tomorrow at UCLA. Looking at the weather however, it seems there’s quite a high risk of showers. Disappointing but hey, doesn’t change my physical shape so I’m still hoping/ expecting good things!

All in all, I’m expecting to do 4-5 comps out here. Hopefully I can return back to the UK with a new PB and the Olympic A standard. That’s the plan, lets see how it plays out!

Outside training, I went to SeaWorld, amazing! I recommend to all! And after the meet tomorrow, I will be popping down to Muscle Beach…proper excited about that!! Check out Golds gym, see Arnie’s old gym, anything else that’s around there! Maybe some celebs?? :-/

Also, earlier in the season I had a successful time in Vaxjo, Sweden. I won the competition with a new British Indoor record and a World Indoor Best of 58.97m. One week after that, I went to Montenegro for the European Winter Throws. I threw 56.92m which wasn’t what I was hoping for, but I was happy with the distance as the circle I threw it was quite difficult to deal with. Also the Women’s British Team won a Bronze overall which was a great achievement.

Until next time…


First Competition of this 2012 season

Ok, so we’re nice and close to the first competition of this 2012 season, thankfully! Training has been going well, throwing has been getting more consistent and the distance is creeping up. All the things you want to see when the first competition is looming! This first competition as well may know is the Loughborough Winter Throws. This also acts as a qualifying competition for the European Winter Throws held 2 weeks later in Montenegro. To help with the preparation for this meet, my husband very lovingly bought me a new Discus! It is a Nishi and was ordered from Japan. It’s a very nice disc and easily distinguished from all the other discs that are around- so keep an eye out for that this year!

Also today, I may have found a training venue to help with the strength side of my programme. I will confirm this in due course but the venue is closer than my current one and offers a bit more. Exciting times!

I will post another blog after my competition in Loughborough and let you know how it went. Until then, follow me on Twitter for live feeds of what’s going on in my world :-)


The start of 2012

Sooo, we’re near the middle of the second month of 2012, so far, so good! Training has gone well over the past few months. I’m excited to be in this new phase of speed. Everything will start coming together a bit more over the next few weeks which is great as I will be opening up my season early March in Loughborough. Followed by my first ever indoor Discus meeting in Vaxjo, Sweden. It has pulled in some big names since starting only a few years ago so excited about that! Then I will be looking towards potentially competing in Montenegro for my 2nd European Winter Throws Champs, although this is yet to be confirmed.

The body seems to have held up nicely over the gruelling months of winter. I can feel my adductors working a bit harder now with the increased intensity of throwing. This just means I need to stay organised and get in enough recovery work so I don’t over do it and create an injury. Easily managed- in theory!

As you can see, I now have a little page on my sponsor’s website- www.tudorwholesalefoods.co.uk. If you click on the RED writing, it’ll have some info on what I’m up to, how to support etc. I’m also making some headway on getting support from other companies too, of which I am very grateful for! I think it’s really good to see so many athletes (including myself) trying to make the most of the Home Olympics and get so many local people/ companies involved in supporting them! I’ve never seen so much effort from people to help out athletes as positively and enthusiastically as this! The Olympics has put a good vibe across the nation!

That’s all from me for now. I’d like to say a quick thanks to Sarah Hewitt who is my training partner and has trained eyeballs out with me since August when we started winter training. You’ve been a massive, massive help and I definitely wouldn’t have got anywhere near as many PB’s in the gym (or anywhere else for that matter) if you weren’t there! -Also my rep counting is rubbish so without you, I well may have turned into an endurance athlete by accident had you not been there to count for me!!

Speak soon!


Winter Training- phase 2

Sorry for the delay folks. Been really busy training, working and other new bits in my life!

So, training has been going well. Stronger than even before, maintaining speed and flexibility despite being a bit heavier. PB’s are coming out of everywhere in both the jumps and lifting :-) Great times ahead! I am however coming to the end of my strength block now. Couple more weeks to go and we’ll be into the phase of Mission: 2012, which will be specific strength. Exciting times!

In other news, my attempts to spread the word about my potential Olympian status is on the up! Been doing a number of award evenings, school visits and other things. Getting quite a lot of requests now so am finding myself having to turn down a few! So juggling and prioritising my time is becoming increasingly important. God knows how the likes of Jess Ennis and Mo Farah do it! I’m some way off that and feel really bad when I have to say no!

Other things in my life, I’ve been informed that my training venue in Horsham may be demolished next year in December! Bad news for everyone that trains there in all sports! Hopefully there will be enough people to change the council’s mind! Please sign the petition and help me save my (and others) training venue! http://nicky.epetitions.net/

Thats been the majority of my life so far, to stay updated, follow me on Twitter @JadeNichollsT69 for daily posts and updates.


Winter Training- phase 1

So, I’ve done my first block of winter training, 4 weeks in the bag already. Was a shock to the system to say the least when I started on that first day. But I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to get started earlier than everyone else who went to Daegu. I’m off to Cyprus today which will be a nice rest week. I’ll probably just be doing some light stuff, active recovery type training whilst I’m out there, but nothing more. Mostly just tanning it up ready to come back and hit it hard again!

Outside training, things have been moving along in terms of publicising myself and trying to get some additional sponsorship. Aside from my current sponsors- Tudor Wholesale Foods, I have been trying to gather more interest to help me get to the London Olympics. I have also cut down my work hours to just 16hrs per week. Means living on a bit more of a budget but if that’s the difference of making the Olympics and not making it, it’s a small price to pay!

So that’s pretty much everything. Nothing else major is coming up. Next milestone will be Christmas as we go into the new year. But between now and then, quietly keeping my head down and getting ready for the biggest season to date.

…Next blog will be when I’m a bit browner!


Post UK Champs and World Trials…

Sooo…news was not so great when the World announcements came out! Can’t say I never saw it coming though. Unfortunately I didn’t get my second B standard so I could not be considered for the World Champs, even after guesting at 2 competitions of which I was begging to be part of!

So the Trials were nothing more than ‘OK’ for me. I won which was half the job, but did not get that 2nd 59.50m I needed to secure my place on the team. Although conditions were not great, I was pretty unhappy with my distance that day (56.19m) and felt it should have been further. The following weekend (last chance to qualify), I guested at Lee Valley at a UKWL where the wind is likely to be helpful. But again I fell short of the qualifying mark and threw 58.7?. Just not good enough. To take my mind off the selections, I went to Helsingborg in Sweden to compete at another venue where the wind is known to be good for Discus throwers. Warmed up around 59m+ but only managed 57m in the comp. Just not meant to be this year!

Upon reflection, although I am disappointed with the inconsistency this year, my top 5 throws are better than last year and I did manage to break the 60m barrier. So there are a few positives that have emerged. As for the Worlds, well I will be watching from my sofa at home and using the time to my advantage. Me and my coach (Andy Neal) have had a conversation and decided to start winter training on 15th August 2011. Much earlier than ever before but for good reason. These will be my most important winter months to date. Traditionally I hate winter training but this year, were training for the Olympics. This is a whole new ball game! I’m actually looking forward to it and we will be trying a few new things this year which I’m very excited about. Also I estimate that I will have approx. a month if not more before the rest of the world starts winter training. Not going to the Worlds could prove a blessing in disguise.

I have one more scheduled competition this year in Birmingham which is the UK Challenge but would have started winter training by then so not too sure what will happen at that! Going there to win. Any prize money will be added to my ’2012 fund’ that I am saving myself.

Wish me luck!


Pre UK Champs and World Trials…

So its the big day tomorrow! Really looking forward to it. Its the day most of the British athletes have been waiting for and is the time to shine! And the sun is meant to be joining us!!

Prep for this comp has been good. Weather has been decent recently and I have been training well at the elite training camp that is Maplehurst Farm (field in West Sussex that my training group throws at in the company of sheep but more recently, alpaca). ’tis fun! Had a rest day yesterday however work was crazy busy and a had some photos done straight after my shift so didnt really feel like a rest day at all! Never mind. Today is a proper rest day just with a visit to my Chiropractor and the drive to Birmingham. Then compete tomorrow at 4.38 precisely! Should be a good comp tomorrow. It’ll be another head-to-head with Eden Francis- both of us have 1 ‘B’ standard for the Worlds and will be looking to get the all important second qualifier of 59.50. Also Philippa Roles is down to compete which, to my knowledge, will only be her second comp of the year. Phil has been winning medals at this Championships for the past 15 or so years so I will be expecting a battle from both of them.

Have to big up my training partners Chris Scott and Dave Coleman who go in for a much improved level of competition that is the mens Discus on the Sunday. 4 guys with the ‘A’ standard, 1 with a ‘B’, only won can win…ladies and gentlemen, place your bets!

Other than that, all is well in my camp and I am ready to go! Should be a good one to watch so watch this space. Saturday coverage on the BBC starts at 6pm :-)


Great Start to July!

Hey hey, what a good start to July! After a few wet (and bad) performances, I had some sun and things went well!

My first comp was a league match for Shaftesbury Barnet at the home track of Copthall. I produced a new SB of 58.17m and broke the divisional record. Also went to the top of the rankings :-)

Then couple of days ago we had throwsfest. Oh throwsfest…..!!!!! Wow what a great, great day and we couldn’t of had better conditions. This was a big comp for me as I was going against Eden (Francis) who is the main British rival for me right now and also I had Diammond League the next day. Eden started off really well and opened with a PB (59.72). I had 2 no throws for the first 2 rounds :-/ which wasn’t exactly my plan. Then round 3 came and I PBed with 59.60- an Olympic and World B standard although 12cm behind Eden. Then round 4 I threw the magic distance of 60m! 60.76 to be exact! I can finally say Im a 60m thrower! whoop whoop! Great feeling although I didnt show it. I think I’ve become one of those miserable people that never look happy, even when they’ve hit their first Olympic standard!! I need to work on that. Round 5 was 58 something (over my previous best of 58.38) and the final round was 59.70. All 4 of my leagal throws were PB’s. What a good day. Really happy with my distance and happier about my competitive response.

Yesterday was the Birmingham Diamond League. As I currently have no sponsor, I wore the GB kit. Showers were predicted and I assumed it would rain whilst I was throwing. (Not because I’m a pessimist but because I have not worn the British vest in dry weather since the U23 Europeans in 2009!!). However, to my surprise, it was dry!! Well mostly, it was really light spitting but nothing to worry about. I was ranked 8th, was 6th up to round 3, then the Olympic Champ over took me-damn, but finished 7th. So not too bad. I threw 58.65 (I think) which would have been a PB had I not competed the day before. So cant complain. Series was rubbish but it only takes one throw to win, so Im happy I had a decent throw early on.

Overall, that weekend I had a total of 12 throws, 5 were PB’s, 3 were Olympic and World B standards and 1 was 60m. Not bad considering I dont know what Im doing technically! When I get some good feelings about throwing, I’ll be very excited!

Next for me is English Champs in Bedford, then Trials.

Quick well done to Lawrence who set a new British record of 67m, my training partners Chris Scott who also got the Olympic and World B standard and a PB of 63m, Dave Coleman new PB 56m and Simon Cooke 56m. Also well done to Emma Jackson who ran so well last night!

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