Pre-Olympic qualifying attempt: Q&A with Matthew Ramsden
At 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday, May 11, at WA Athletics Stadium, Matthew Ramsden will try to qualify for the Olympic 5,000m at 1:13.50. We caught up with Matt for this short question and answer period.
* Note: Runner’s Tribe will be broadcasting the race live on our Facebook page here from 7.20pm Perth WA (GMT + 8): https://www.facebook.com/runnerstribe
How do you rate your physical condition for this next Olympic qualification attempt and are you confident that you will hit the target?
I have been training well for 3 weeks, have been in Perth non-stop and I’m certainly in better shape than when I ran 13.16 in Gothenburg so if we have good conditions and a semi-decent atmosphere on Tuesday night it doesn’t There’s no reason I shouldn’t go close to running the qualifier.
Can you confirm the other riders who will still accompany you?
Matt Smith, who also helped me qualify for my 1500m in January, will do 4-5 laps and then Stewy, who has obviously been in qualifying several times himself, will go as far as he can after that. There will also be David McNeill and Jack Bruce on the train and maybe a few young guys from WA aiming for about 14 minutes.
Have you calculated the split times per km for which you will shoot during a qualification attempt in the 5000m?
I asked Stewy 63s / lap, so 2.37 / km. That would give me a 13.10 but I think in races like this where the goal is to try to run fast rather than just compete, you better get out a little faster.
What’s the post-race plan for travel to the Olympics?
I will leave for Europe on the 12the and base in London for Gateshead DL and Doha DL (both 1500s). After that we can go elsewhere, but I will do a few more 5000m races, then most likely Stockholm and Olso in early July (although not confirmed).
Some people might not know it, but you also train some very talented athletes at the MTC Perth branch. Can you tell us a little more about this and how do you balance your own running with coaching?
I coach 12 guys aged 17-35, all semi-elite to elite, so I don’t charge any of them because they help me as much as I help them. About a third of the group are triathletes, then there are a few marathon guys and the rest are more middle distance oriented. The variety is good as there is always a different event around the corner for someone, which motivates the whole group to keep improving the results.
It’s easy to find a balance between my own interests and theirs, even in my absence. I meet with them individually usually at the start of the season and map out what they’re doing based on their goals. They function very much like MTC, they all know what to do on their easy days and know what is expected of them if they want to become better athletes; all I have to do is make sure their sessions are geared towards what they want to achieve and offer them advice when needed. I am very good friends with everyone so keep in touch frequently when in Perth or elsewhere. I will say that since I started taking care of these boys my own running has improved and I think that could be because now I have to pay more attention to the logic behind the sessions and notice the related trends. to lows like injuries and highs like personal bests.
Top 3 favorite places to train in WA?
- Helena Valley (there are unlimited loop options there, all hilly on dirt / rocky terrain so perfect for long runs)
- Floreat Zone (you can choose from 10km of rolling limestone at Bold Park, 2km of flat and perfectly manicured grass on the McGillvray reserve, or 4km of mostly flat grass and dirt at Perry Lakes, all within a radius of 1 km).
- Mt Pleasant / Deep Water Point (great for easy days, 4 different time hoop options, all on bike trail and right next to the Swan River).