Sally Brown: I've had a few setbacks with my foot injury but you're always going to have days like that... I'm getting there slowly

We’ve just got back from a training camp in South Africa and that was a really good experience. It was hot – about 35C every day – so it was really warm and great for training. I went last year and it’s an amazing place to train – we were based in Stellenbosch quite near to Cape Town.

It’s a very beautiful spot and has all these amazing facilities as well so it was a good trip. There were about 30 to 40 of us out there including athletes and support staff and we were there for three weeks. We went on January 2, so much not time to recover after New Year’s!

I was actually staying in a really nice B&B with a few other athletes and it was a lot nicer than where everybody else was staying. The town’s not very big and it was much closer to the track too so I was able to walk there every morning in about 10 minutes where most of the others had to catch a bus. I was lucky and it was really beautiful.

Training in general is going well. I’ve had a few setbacks with my foot injury but you’re always going to get days like that. I’m not fully back running but I’m getting there slowly, and that’s what we want to do. We don’t want to rush it too much and me end up breaking something again!

I’m only up to running 120 metres which doesn’t feel like much when I’m eventually going to have to do 400m! That is running at about 80 per cent because at the moment I’m not ready to go full pelt.

Sally Brown in action during the Women's 200m heats at the Paralympics in London in 2012

Sally Brown in action during the Women's 200m heats at the Paralympics in London in 2012

Brown with fellow GB athletes Adam Gemili and Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Brown with fellow GB athletes Adam Gemili and Katarina Johnson-Thompson

I was doing a lot of aqua jogging over there and some cycling but the hardest was running on the spot on the high jump mat. It’s the most awful thing ever! It’s really baggy so you don’t get anything back – there’s no bounce back so you start from square one each time, having to curl your legs up for every step. It’s really hard and so much worse than just running.

Sometimes I would do 10 seconds on then 10 seconds off and others it was more like 50 on and 15 off. But it was really hard – it’s like the equivalent of doing 100m reps.

As for down time, we went to some lovely restaurants and art galleries in Stellenbosch because it’s quite a touristy place, but we didn’t venture very far. But by the time I got to my day off I was so knackered I wanted the rest anyway! We were training twice a day and that killed me.

I’m still a way away from racing again and the Worlds towards the end of the year is what I’m really targeting. I don’t want to pressure myself, I want to just take it easy and focus on getting myself fit and ready.

Great Britain's Brown (left) during the women's 100m T48  at the Olympic stadium, London.

Great Britain's Brown (left) during the women's 100m T48 at the Olympic stadium, London.

That was the problem last year, even though I was injured I was still determined to compete and race. A lot of the time I was racing to just get a time and not really enjoying any of it.

That’s quite important this year – I want to get back running and enjoy it rather than just run for the sake of it. I’m going to take things day by day.

Away from the track I’ve enjoyed getting to know my new pet dog Luna, but I missed her a lot recently. I went home over Christmas but didn’t take her with me and then spent three weeks in South Africa so it was a long time to be away. She got so big while I was away! She’s only about seven months but she feels very grown up now. She’s fully house trained and behaves perfectly!

I’d take her with me to do some training but because she’s a French bulldog she has one of those weird noses where she can’t breathe too well. So when we take her for a walk she only lasts about 10 minutes before she has to stop. Hopefully I’ll be able to go for a bit longer than that over the next few weeks!

 

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