Outside interest: athletics

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 13 Jan 2016

Will SteelOutside of office hours at the Leeds base of Cushman & Wakefield, planner Will Steel is a keen athlete and is Yorkshire champion for 400m running and hammer throwing.

How did you get into athletics?

I've been doing athletics for around 12 years and really started taking it seriously in sixth form and then at university. I'm Yorkshire champion for 400m and hammer throwing, which is quite a rare combination of events, and in 2005 won five medals in two days of competing at the county championships. 

What does it involve?

From the outset of your athletics career you have to plan to reach your peak at a certain time through a balance of high-volume versus intensity training. At my peak I train six days a week - four hard sessions involving weights and running and two recovery-based sessions such as stretching and running drills to 'warm down' and increase my flexibility and technique.

Why do you do it?

The thrill of winning races was my first motivation, but later I became just as interested in exploring the unique characteristic of athletics, where you work together as a team to achieve individual goals.

What’s the toughest thing about it?

Tackling 400m speed endurance training puts incredible pressure on your body – combining aerobic and anaerobic fitness is painful. 

What’s the most rewarding thing about it?

Two rewards spring to mind: working with all sorts of different people and seeing good results come from lots of long-term planning and training.

Are there any similarities between your day job and competing in athletics?

Similarities include the need to process and assess your goals, establish a strategy and then make it happen by identifying an effective way of working. 

Do you have any unusual interests or hobbies that you would like to tell us about? If so, please email planning@haymarket.com