What’s happened to Allyson Felix?
We didn’t see much of the six-time Olympic gold medalist in 2018; she ran just five times between late April and mid-June, with very modest results: 11.30 in the 100 m and 51.35 in the 400 m.
But she has a plan and noted it a couple of days ago on Twitter:
“season #15 was different for me. an investment in myself. i had a limited race schedule, so that i can be at my best the next few years. most of the work i did was unseen. as a competitor it’s hard to see the bigger picture, but I trust the plan & look forward to it paying off!”
Felix has suffered since 2016 from the workout injury that nearly derailed her Olympic hopes for Rio, then managed two relay golds at the 2017 World Championships and a bronze medal in the 400 m behind Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH) and Salwa Eid Naser (BRN).
She knows that she has to run faster than ever before – and she’s 32 now – to compete with those two and so the training time is now key. It’s not enough to be healthy enough to compete; she needs to be healthy enough to put in the kind of training that is going to lower her 400 m best from 49.26 (‘15) to challenge Miller-Uibo’s 48.97 and Naser’s 49.08 marks from 2018.
Felix’s favorite event is the 200 m, but she hasn’t seriously approached her 21.69 best from 2012 since then. The best in 2018? Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith at 21.89 at the European Championships.
Felix is right; that training time is the investment she needs to have a chance to compete at the elite level again.