“I love the intensity of the competition and the feeling of winning races. It’s addicting, you always want more.”
Those are the words of promising British athlete Zak Seddon who is setting his targets for the summer at a high standard.
“This year I want to win the British championships, I fell last year in the last 150m whilst in the lead so to go back and win would be awesome. I also aim to qualify for both the world championships in London later this year, and next years commonwealth games. I will also be looking to get to the final in both of these championships.”
Seddon, 22, who competes for Bracknell Athletics club, has been running since he was 11 and has been coached by his father Jeff Seddon for his whole career to date.
He was also coached by Coach Braman and Coach Long whilst he studied at Florida State University from 2012-2016, in which he gained a major in sociology and a minor in business.
The youngster is training both in England and abroad as he prepares for races this year. ”
“I am based in Ross on Wye in England, training with my Dad for a lot of the year as i feel the facilities and running trails nearby are awesome, however i do spend parts of the year away. In October/ November I was in Florida, warm weather training, and plan to go out there in April too for more warm weather training and some quality early season races.”
Seddon competes primarily in the Steeplechase but also represents his club and country in a number of different events, and he admits he isn’t the best in all of the events he’s competed in.
“My main event is the 3000m steeplechase, but I regularly compete in 1500m, 3000m and cross country. I have also tried loads of other events when running for my club, like hurdles, sprints and long or triple jump, however my performances were nothing to get excited about!”
With Seddon competing in long distance events, he explained that it’s important to train in high altitude which is a vital training method for a long distance runner.
“Altitude is also another important factor in my training program, I spent all of January away with UK Athletics in the rift valley in Kenya, training at about 8,000ft above sea level as the altitude helps a lot with making improvements in endurance running. I will also look into training at altitude later this year if possible .”
The Berkshire born runner has had many achievements in his career so far but it was a memory earlier on in his career that stands out for him as one of his proudest moments.
“One of my proudest moments was when I was only about 14, I got selected for my first England vest. I remember I had been wanting to gain selection for the whole year and had looked up to the athletes who had been selected in the previous years.
Winning the European Junior Championships (pictured above) and standing on the podium with the national anthem playing was also an amazing feeling. I felt so proud to have represented my country so well.”
Seddon’s role model in sport surprisingly isn’t a man in his sport, but a man who is at the top of his game and one of the most famous sportsmen in the world.
“My role model is Cristiano Ronaldo, he is one of the very best at what he does, but you can tell he always wants more, he always wants to get better, win more games and keep pushing himself. He stays motivated through all victories and losses and I think that is very important in all sports and everyday life.”
And Seddon will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Ronaldo and other athletics stars that he has faced by competing at the highest level possible at representing his country on the biggest stage, having faced big names in athletics such as Conselus Kipruto, Kemoy Campbell and Charlie Grice.
“I have competed against quite a few Olympians, back in 2011 I raced the world youth championships and came 5th, the guy that won, Conselus Kipruto from Kenya was this years Olympic champion in the 3000m steeple chase. I also grew up racing Charlie Grice on the domestic circuit who was an Olympic finalist in the 2016 Olympic games for 1500m.”
Seddon also admitted that athletics needs to improve the public interest in the sport so that funding can improve in the future.
“I do believe that there is potential for there to be more funding in athletics, but i also believe Athletics has to help itself. Money just doesn’t just appear so we as athletes and the people running the sport need to figure out a way for Athletics to generate more money and improve its status. We need to increase the public’s interest in what we do.”
Seddon will be looking to continue the success that seems to run in the family with younger brothers Matt and Steve already competing at a high level. Steve plays football for Birmingham City, whilst Matt’s most notable achievement is being a two time national champion as a youth athlete back in 2012.
Zak’s next competition is at The University of Florida next week where we will be looking to for a positive outcome out in America.
Follow Zak’s progress on Twitter- @Zakeroo12