I’m an international Javelin thrower and UK Champion (2011 & 12). I have been using ithlete for a few weeks now and feel it will be a great asset to my training.
I started throwing when I was just 12 years old after picking up a cricket ball at the Gateshead Tartan Games and breaking a long standing record. Many people said to give javelin throwing a try, which I quickly took in as I couldn’t think of anything worse than running around and around the athletics track which I was doing! What’s easier than running 20-25m down a runway and throwing a long stick? (Well I soon realised that it is harder than it looks with a split second between doing something good to doing something bad which is obviously the difference between a big throw and a really bad throw!).
Really I followed in my sisters footsteps, Colette Doran (who claimed Silver at the European Deaf Championships in 2007), as she began throwing before me and at the time and was a better thrower. My sister turned into a really good training partner for me and to this day inspires me. In my first year of competing as a U13 Javelin Thrower I finished 2nd in the rankings to a big guy named Edward Dunford who is now quite a successful decathlete. My coach then was my father, Michael Doran, who at the time didn’t know much about the javelin but I had to respect him as he studied through reading books and contacting other coaches and to this day he has coached numerous English Schools Champions, with most recent being Natasha Wilson. When I reached 14 years old my father thought it was time for me to move on. He thought he had taken me as far as he could and moved me on to Ex Commonwealth Games Finalist Karen Costello of Scotland, it was then I quickly excelled to being one of the best throwers in my age groups picking up numerous UK age group titles and gaining top 10 UK All-Time Ranking u17 throwing a personal best of 67.31m to take the UK Schools Title by almost 9metres! In 2002 I went to a training camp out in South Africa with the Great Britain throws team and was throwing some very good distances but when I got back I competed and did quite a bit of damage to a disc in my back which completely destroyed my season and my whole year to be honest.
In 2004, I recovered from my back injury but felt I was completely back to where I started in terms of building up my technique but turned out to be an ok year representing Great Britain U20, AAA’s UK Champion with a personal best 66.14m (winning on my last throw) and being accepted into UWIC University where I would be departing from my great coach Karen Costello and joining a training group run by my present coach John Davies. I found to further my career I needed to join a group of a good standard and this included the likes of Rhys Williams (PB=67.94), Jason Hallett (PB=64.88) and Lianne Clarke (PB=52.68). I slowly progressed and in 2007 threw a personal best of 73.75m in Sousse, Tunisia leaving me Number 1 UK U23 and Number 4 Senior but after a groin strain I just missed out on European U23 selection so decided to finish my season early. I changed coaches in 2008 which just didn’t work well for me and struggled throughout the campaign so decided to move back to John Davies with Sarah Moore taking over my strength and conditioning, together we have slowly improved year after year and have always planned this leading up to London 2012. 2010 I competed for Wales at the XIX Commonwealth Games, Delhi. I finished in 5th place which has to be one of the highlights of my career to date and left me hungry for more. 2011 has been a great season for me to be consistent and to win the Aviva UK Trials & Championships with a personal best (78.63) was a great feeling and edging ever closer to that Olympic Qualifying standard.
2012 has been a frustrating year with season starting off with promise; I had hit the best opener ever with a throw of 3 metres over this but suffered an ankle injury in May. I still managed to throw a personal best of 79.72m and an Olympic ‘B’ Standard but wasn’t enough to gain selection for the team. This was heartbreaking after my operation and the pain of missing out on my life-long goal, but this has given me more hunger and drive to succeed and reach my targets. So I hope you enjoy my blog posts and following my news on my training with HRV throughout the build up over the next 4 years leading into Rio 2016 Olympic Games!
To find out more please check out my website http://www.leedoran.com/ or follow me on Twitter