Quarter-miler McPherson making changes to techniqueFriday, May 07, 2021
Veteran 400m runner Stephenie-Ann McPherson has a need for speed.
The MVP Track Club athlete has run a number of 200m at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Qualification Trials Series held at National Stadium in recent weeks in order to get faster.
The 2013 World Championships 400m bronze medallist has identified two key areas that she needs to work on to make her better over the 400m.
“I'm working on my speed and technique which is my biggest problem,” she said.
McPherson has suffered a number of injuries over the years which has hindered her career significantly, but she now knows exactly what she needs to do in order to fix that problem.
“I'm learning how to sprint, because I have always hurt my hamstring when I sprint. I put more effort into the longer distance like 500m and 600m and less in the 200m and 150m and even the 30m, so I have to change all that,” she disclosed.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games 400m champion is looking to return to the days when she was the nation's top female quarter miler, but not before she gets over both the physical and psychological challenges that face her at the moment.
“I am slow because I am afraid to sprint, because I have it in my head that if I put 100 per cent in the sprint programme, I'm going to get hurt,” McPherson said.
She says that after comparing her race with that of her local compatriots, she has been able to identify just what is required to get back to the days when she ran times similar to her personal best of 49.92s.
“If you look at the other girls' times in the 200m, I'm the slowest in the field. When everybody can jog 23.8 in the first 200m of the 400m, I can't. So, that causes me to put out more, that is why I can't finish strong,” she shared.
But the work being done is starting to pay off as McPherson now has a new personal best of 22.90s (-0.2m/s) in the 200m, set on April 17th at the National Stadium and only last Saturday came close to that time when she ran 23.07s (-1.0m/s) to win the Women's 200m at yet another qualification trials series meet in Kingston.
With her 200m times trending down to 23 lows and sub-23s, we may just see the 2018 NACAC Champion return to running sub-50 seconds in the 400m yet again, even as the Tokyo Olympic Games nears.
— Dwayne Richards
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