Aberdeen athlete Zoey Clark says it’s “thrilling” to be back on the track for the first time since March.
Great Britain sprinter Clark is one of the elite athletes who have been given access to the outdoor track at Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV) as the facility takes its first tentative step towards reopening, although the building remains off limits and the whole site is still closed to the public due to Scottish Government rules around Covid-19.
Tokyo Olympics hopeful Clark, 25, who has been training on grass near her home and on the playing fields at Kings College during the pandemic, said: “It’s honestly so exciting. I can run on the grass, so I can keep training, but it’s not quite the same.
“You can’t quite get the same intensities or the same distances.
“It’s so thrilling to come back and start to get back to wee bit of normality.”
The British Olympic Trials were supposed to take place last weekend, however, like Tokyo 2020 itself, they are now expected to be rescheduled for next summer.
World Championships silver-medallist Clark, who is also now able to see coach Eddie McKenna again, is “sceptical” about whether any athletics competitions will be able to take place this year, and her training at the moment resembles how she would normally work in the winter months.
Clark, who is looking forward to the further boost of being able to link-up with the rest of her training group when restrictions ease further, said: “We can’t train the way we normally would in terms of the high intensity stuff, so we’ve viewing this as base work.
“It’s almost like winter training, when the competitions aren’t as far away – the longer not as fast stuff.
“I do running on certain days and gym on the other – I’ve got a home gym in my garage. It’s just keeping the daily routine and trying to put in the base work, so when I’m back on the track I’m strong enough to run.”
In contrast to what you might think, 400m specialist Clark is viewing the postponement of the Olympics due to coronavirus as a “bit of a blessing”, as she has just recovered from a niggling injury which she feels would have impinged her performances in the build-up to Japan.
She explained: “I think, if Tokyo had gone ahead this year, the injury would’ve been in my mind and I don’t think I would have fully kicked it by that point.
“Now I can take a big breath and know physically I’m in great shape and there are no niggles which would affect me there.”