Collis Birmingham is an Australian Distance runner who has represented Australia at the Beijing and London Olympics. Collis has a wealth of experience with athletics and Athletics Exclusive thanks him for taking time to answer some questions.
Lachlan – What better place to begin then, how did you get involved in athletics?
Collis – I grew up in a country town where sport played a huge part most kids lives. And I tried most of them but athletics was always the constant. When I was 8 years old my brother made the state cross country team and I told myself that I’d make it the next year, I did and have been a runner ever since.
Lachlan – What does a weekly program look like for you?
Collis – It differs a little between competition and base training times. It can be between 150-200km a week. And the constants are a long run each week 90min-2hours, a threshold run usually 30min. We’ll spend certain times of the year on the track or doing hill training depending on the goal for that period. Most easy days involve a 60min morning run and 30min evening run.
Lachlan – What advice would you give to someone who is looking to start to dedicate more time to athletics?
Collis – Make sure there is progression in your training. A massive jump in training can bring good results but can also bring injury and/or fatigue. Ask for advice from people who have done it before.
Lachlan – After doing some research, I was surprised to find that your first state title was in fact for High Jump, back when you were in Under 9’s. What made you choose distance running over other events?
Collis – I competed in the 800m and came 3rd that same weekend. From memory it was a shock victory in the high jump and I’m not sure I have improved since. But I’ve always enjoyed running and gravitated to distance running after having early success in these events.
Lachlan – At Falls Creek over the 2012 / 2013 New Years break, yourself and Ryan Gregson spoke to up and coming distance athletes about your experiences at the London Olympic Games. Can you briefly explain anything you did differently in these games, compared to the Beijing games in 2008?
Collis – Beijing was my first major championship and there was a great deal of effort spent just to get there. I was still a fair way from being consistent at that level and the main goal was to recreate the form that had got me there. In London it was all about running well at the games, and about being fit and fast enough to compete against the best in the world. The London games didn’t turn out how I’d hoped but maybe I will get another shot.
Lachlan – Finally, what is your goal for the upcoming season?
Collis – This season we have Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. I would like to qualify for this in the 5000m and 10000m. There is also the World Half Marathon Championships which could be my first time at these champs.