Richard Hill

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The British 800m runner tells us how athletics taught him self-discipline.

RYG: What are your feelings after today's race in Annecy?

Richard Hill: That race was a tactical race where I went through in about 55 seconds. I'm pleased with the way I ran, but with 200m to go I got chopped a little bit and it sent me back a yard, and that yard makes all the difference when you're in a finish like that.

RYG: How important are tactics during a race?


Richard Hill

12 February 1986

East Midlands



  • Winner - UK (indoor) National Championships, 800m (2008)
  • Winner - UK AAA U23 National Championships, 800m (2007)

RH: Tactics play a very big part in 800m running and can be very hard to learn. When I was younger my coach took me under his wing and said "We'll coach you to run quickly," but then I ran in bigger races and at that time I didn't know how to run tactically. I'm starting to get a lot better at that!

Today's race was not a reflection on my tactical ability. Those guys are running very quickly and I'm in there with them running tactically well.

RYG: Does confidence play a part in your performance on the track?

RH: Confidence is a massive thing. Going into races like this can be a bit difficult to read sometimes, especially when the press say "I don't think he's going to feature in the race," because I've taken that on board before going into the race. It's a little bit disheartening, but I always tell myself "I'm going to prove them wrong."

RYG: How difficult is it to combine study and preparation for an event?

RH: It can be very difficult. During my time at university, I found it hard to put in the same number of quality sessions because you've got to train twice a day, study and rest. I'm fortunate enough to be a full time athlete at the moment, so by training twice a day I can keep the quality in there.

RYG: Are there any skills from your studying that you've taken into your racing career?

RH: I think you tend to learn discipline more than anything else. When you're out there on the track, a big part of your race comes down to discipline. Knowing when to wait, when to go and knowing how to look after yourself.

The managers look after you to a certain extent, but it's a big boys' world out there in senior athletics, and I think that teaches you self discipline more than anything.

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