Return to track is ‘huge’, says Scottish athlete Guy Learmonth – BBC News

Scottish 800m runner Guy Learmonth enjoying lockdown easing for elite athletes

Guidelines for a return to performance sport for Scottish athletes is “a big step in the right direction”, says 800m runner Guy Learmonth.

The start of the five-step roadmap means performance athletes can travel more than the government’s five-mile limit for training.

Groups can also now train together, if they adhere to social distancing.

“There is no substitute for running on the track,” said Learmonth, 28.

“The 5-miles radius was difficult. I train up at Tweed Bank, which is a good hour from Berwick and a lot of our training environments are in and around the Borders in Duns and in Kelso so it’s minimum 20 miles travelling, maybe 30 miles to get up to the track, so that was a big problem.

“Returning to the track is huge.”

Learmonth, who has competed at the past two Commonwealth Games, feels he needs “a solid month on the track” before he can compete and is looking forward to training around others again.

“It’s public knowledge that I let myself go in the off season and enjoyed myself a bit too much, and I’ve not done that at all since the indoors,” he added. “I wanted to keep fit and carry on this healthy lifestyle that I’ve been living a lot lately.

“Athletics is a lonely sport at the best of times, we all have big teams and big squads but it is an individual sport at the end of the day, so building a solid team around you and having your coaches and physios and squad around you is massive.

“A lot of athletes will just miss this season entirely. I don’t really want to do that. I don’t mind racing in October time if that’s when we can race properly.”

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