Trengove pushing for PB in London
18 April 2017
ATHLETICS: The women’s field for the upcoming London Marathon is packed with superstars of the sport but the fanfare of sharing such a famous course with the fastest distance runners in the world is of little concern for two-time Olympian Jess Trengove.
Her performances in major championship races have been impressive, underlined by a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but it will be mostly about time for the 29-year-old in the English capital later this week.
Entering the race with a personal best of 2:27:45 from the Melbourne Marathon in 2015, Trengove will come up against four women that have broken 2:20, along with 5000m world record holder Tirunesh Dibaba and Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot on debut.
“I am really excited about racing in the London Marathon,” Trengove explained.
“2016 was a challenging year on the competition front due to injury and whilst cross training was a great way to maintain fitness, I have been grateful to spend a lot of time running to prepare for this marathon.
“Having a strong body and a strong appreciation for being able to 'run' has enabled me to achieve a level of training that I am happy with and to achieve a positive mindset for London.
“It is now just a matter of ticking the final boxes to be my best on race day.”
Already the sixth fastest Australian woman all-time over the distance, injuries in recent times have slightly stalled Trengove’s progression, but it can be assumed there is a lot more to come from her over the next Olympic cycle.
A personal best in London followed by an uninterrupted build-up to the Commonwealth Games next year may see her be just the third Australian female to break the 2:25 barrier.
“I am aiming to better my personal best time… ultimately my goal is to qualify for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018,” Trengove said.
“For me it is really about going through the processes and sticking to my own plan to get the most out of myself on race day.
“In saying that I will certainly be aiming to capitalise on the energy and buzz that comes with competing against some of the world's best.”
Getting a little bit closer to the national record of 2:22:36 set by Benita Willis in Chicago over ten years ago would start to put Trengove in the frame for a top-ten finish at a global championships marathon.
Her development under the guidance of coach Adam Didyk has been steady since making her debut in the marathon in 2012, which qualified her for the London Olympics.
The regular help Trengove has received from training partners within her group, Team Tempo, has been invaluable and is very much appreciated – along with the support from boyfriend Dylan Stenson who is a national level middle distance runner himself.
“I am fortunate to have a fantastic training squad, Team Tempo, and I can't imagine preparing for a marathon without the group,” Trengove said.
“The vibe out at training this season has been really positive and we have anywhere between 10-30 enthusiastic junior to senior runners out at our sessions and long runs.
“Riley Cocks is currently preparing for a 10000m track race in the US and we have been working together quite a bit recently, I really admire his work-ethic.
“Other training partners include Shane McGregor, Matt Fenech and Stephen Thurston and my coach Adam Didyk joins me on the bike sometimes.
“All have generously committed to helping out in key sessions and I am very thankful.”
Trengove will line up on Sunday in London with good form not too long after finishing second in the 5000m national championships behind Heidi See in a time not far away from her personal best.
A good result on Sunday, even if not a personal best, should be enough to see the practicing physiotherapist qualify for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next year.
She is finally healthy after serious injuries have made the last twelve months difficult for Trengove and severely hampered her build up to the Rio Olympics, doing most of her work cross training to manage a stress fracture in her foot.
For someone that runs for a living, having such a debilitating injury prior to an Olympics and before that the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow can be overwhelmingly disappointing and depressing.
The extended run of serious injuries suffered by Trengove’s brother, Jack, throughout his career at the Melbourne Demons have however given her tremendous perspective on her own injury troubles.
“When I'm not happy with a result, I tend to spend a few days reflecting on what I could have done differently and write down strategies to improve for next time,” Trengove said.
“Once I have processed this with my coach and other people in my support network I can usually move on pretty smoothly.
“Situations such as my brother's two-plus years of not being able to run due to injury put things back into perspective pretty quickly for me.
“Jack is a great person for me to talk to during these times as his persistence and attitude always fuels my motivation."
With the help of multiple health professionals at the South Australian Sports Institute she has been able to work on a strength program after Rio that has allowed her to run more often than she has in recent times.
A clean bill of health has also been enjoyed recently by brother Jack who enjoyed a full season of football in 2016, while also playing three senior games for the Demons.
Also running in London is another Commonwealth Games marathon bronze medallist Lisa Weightman, a three-time Olympian also vying for a qualifying mark for Gold Coast.
She will be joined by fellow Australians Melanie Panayiotou, Commonwealth Games representative in 2014, and debutant Casey Wood.
While in the men’s race, reigning Commonwealth Games marathon champion Michael Shelley will be in a field headlined by the great Kenenisa Bekele who will likely be eyeing off the course record of 2:03:05 and Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57.
“Ultimately, I hope to reach a point where I feel that I have achieved my potential as a runner. I also love seeing others fall in love with running and hope to encourage this through my own sporting, ambassador and physiotherapy pursuits,” Trengove explained.
“I am so excited that Australia is hosting next year's Commonwealth Games. I really hope to be part of the team and would certainly be striving to better my result in Glasgow 2014 if I have the opportunity.
“That moment stands as one of my running highlights.”