The middle distance runner discusses the importance of using tactics to deliver on the track.
Raise Your Game: How do you keep yourself motivated for an entire race?
Lisa Dobriskey: I love running. For me, just running as fast and as far as I can is lovely. I've always loved it. To be motivated you have to want something really badly. You have to want to be successful. You need to be really determined.
RYG: What is it about running that keeps you motivated to keep working so hard?
LD: It's that buzz you get if you win something, or if you beat your personal best and achieve more than you did last time. It's a fantastic achievement to know that you've pushed yourself, that you've gone through all the nerves and the hard work and you've come out the other side with something that you can be really proud of.
RYG: What do you say to yourself during a race that spurs you on to achieve more?
23 December 1983
- Gold - 1500m - Aviva British Grand Prix, Gateshead (2009)
- Silver - 1500m - IAAF World Championships, Berlin (2009)
- Winner - Melbourne Commonwealth Games (2006)
- Winner - AAA UK Indoor 3000m (2006 and 2007)
LD: Mostly I think about my tactics. I have a clear race plan in my head of what I'm going to do and how I'm going to perform. Beneath all that you've got to have ambition and a desire to really go for it. When you're tired and when it really hurts, it's quite tempting to think 'I just want to jog.' You have to keep thinking positive thoughts and keep your eye on other people as well. That's what makes the 1500m so much fun, you've got so many other people to perform against.
RYG: How do you plan tactically for a race like the 1500m?
LD: It depends on what other people are going to do. It also depends on what the weather's doing. You have several different scenarios in your head. I go through races with my coach. We work out if it's going to be slow, if it's going to be fast, and at what point we think people might kick and lift the pace. You've got to be really prepared. It's quite nice to keep your brain ticking over, it keeps your mind off your tired legs (laughs).
RYG: When people pass you on the track how do you stay disciplined and stick to your tactics?
LD: That's really hard. I've got it wrong quite a few times and you learn a lot from the mistakes you make. It's important to keep focus but, also, when things don't quite go your way, you will get something out of it in the long run.
RYG: How do you bounce back from a mistake?
LD: If you mess up on the big stage, it can be devastating. You think to yourself 'Why do I do this? Do I want to carry on?' There's something inside you that tells you not to give up. I always run well after a disappointment. If I've had a bad run I'll go out and perform a lot better in the next race.
RYG: How important is it to set goals?
LD: It's very important. You need to keep yourself motivated, not just in the short term, but in the long term as well. My ambition has always been to go to the Olympics. You're not going to run for Great Britain in the Olympics when you're 11-years-old so you need to take little steps to get there. It's not always about winning or competing in major championships, you just need to make sure you keep progressing.
RYG: What advice would you give to young people looking to get into sport?
LD: My advice would be to try everything and enjoy it. I was doing sprinting at school and I stumbled across the 800m and the 1500m. I was never the best and it took me a while to find my forte in the 1500m.
Make the most of the people around you because there are so many people that want to help and support you. You get so many opportunities, and if you make the most of those, you can achieve really great things.
The motivation needs to come from inside each individual.
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