Prince Albert sprinter Mike Taylor shaved time off his unofficial Saskatchewan record at the 2014 Alberta Outdoor Track and Field Championships this past weekend.
Taylor had entered into the 100-metre race in Edmonton and set a time of 11.13 seconds -- 0.06 seconds faster than the time he set at the 2014 Saskatchewan Open Championship in June.
Though he ended up in eighth place, Taylor is happy with the time he set.
“I ran faster than before, so that was good news,” Taylor said. “I ranked 10th and came in eighth place.”
The 32-year-old sprinter expected that he would end up within the top eight before going into the championships.
He noted that the race didn’t go as smoothly as he would have liked.
Taylor explained there are different phases in sprinting -- starting out of the blocks, the acceleration, the transition into standing, and finally, running and maintenance throughout the run
“My start this year, the block phase is OK but the acceleration didn’t go well,” he said. “There were some missteps so I had to power through.”
He added that professional sprinters come out of the blocks running on their toes, the proper form for good extension.
Taylor said during his race he came out of the blocks fast, on a full foot.
“That was OK, I was way closer in the mix than I thought I was going to be,” he said.
Because of his misstep coming out of the starting blocks, Taylor found the rest of the race more of a struggle than it should have been.
“If you have problems in one phase, that manifests down the line,” he said. “The goal of running is to perfect every phase. You use a lot of energy to recover from that, that’s why you’re so tired all of a sudden.”
“For 100 metres you’d be shocked at how many things happen in it,” he added.
Taylor noted that if he fixes the mistakes he made in the race, he thinks a 10 second sprint time, or faster, could be within his reach.
“I don’t think it’s out of the question,” he said. “The whole goal is to be stronger and fix the flaws I didn’t realize I could still fix.”
Taylor has one more year in the pre-masters 30-34 year old age group to achieve his ideal time.
Since becoming a coach for the CC Track Club in 2010, Taylor said he has become a smarter trainer.
Taylor ran in high school and in university, setting records as national champ in the 200-metre event and junior record in the 100-metre event respectively. His view on running past the age of 30 has changed since he began competing again.
“When we were in university, when we saw anyone over the age of 30 still training we thought, ‘What are they doing, they’re so old.’ I always wonder if people think that about me,” he laughed. “I’m still happy to be able to run as fast as I can and know that run wasn’t the best I could do and I could still keep getting faster. Age isn’t the end of the world.”