After new 400m season best, Olympian Candice McLeod feels she must suffer to run faster

By May 22, 2022
After new 400m season best, Olympian Candice McLeod feels she must suffer to run faster Sanzy Lifetsyle Media

Following an impressive season-best run over 400m at the second JAAA/SDF Jubilee Saturday night, Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Candice McLeod revealed that she has been working on a new race plan that she believes could make even faster than she was in 2021.

Inside the National Stadium in Kingston, the well-chiselled McLeod exploded at the 250m mark and pulled away from the field to win handsomely in 50.58. In her devastating wake were the Sprintec pair of Tiffany James and Ashley Williams, who ran 52.10 and 53.40 for second and third, respectively.

McLeod’s winning time was the third-fastest by a Jamaican woman behind Charokee Young (49.87) and Stacey-Ann Williams (50.21).

Surprisingly, she was pleased but not overly impressed with the performance.

 “I feel okay but I feel like I have a little more (to give). I feel like I was just working on what we have been working on in training,” she said following the victory.

The new race plan that she and coach Fitz Coleman has been putting together is intended to take her to the next level because despite running a massive personal best of 49.51 at the Olympics last summer, McLeod feels as if she needs to suffer to get the best out of her body.

“Honestly, even when I ran 49.5, I never felt like I gave it my all. I didn’t feel the leg pain, the headaches and whatever so I feel like I didn’t do enough,” she explained.

“I have always wanted to feel at my maximum regardless of what it feels like. I want to feel like I am dying so I felt like I needed to switch it up a bit to get that dying feeling. Today wasn’t bad, it still wasn’t there but it’s getting there.”

That plan has been coming together since the outdoor season began earlier this year when she opened with 51.78 at the MVP Velocity Fest meet in Kingston on April 2 before flying off to Bermuda where in extremely windy conditions on April 9, she clocked a solid 51.57. She was second in both races to the 2019 World Championship 400m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson.

The University of the West Indies accounting graduate followed up on April 23 with what was then a season-best 51.20 in Kingston.

However, just over a week ago, on May 13, the 25-year-old Olympic finalist ran her worst race of the season clocking 52.37 in a fifth place finish at the Doha Diamond League meeting. Despite the poor showing, McLeod said that race was important to her plans for this season even if things didn’t work out as planned.

“I needed Doha because after the 51.2 here, I needed to see if I could get it (the race plan) in play but, unfortunately, I didn’t do what I wanted to, so I came today even though it wasn’t part of the schedule to run,” she said while explaining what went wrong in Doha.

“It was the wind. It was bad execution by me too. Bad judgement of the wind and as for recovery, I am not too keen or known to recover well after travel but I am working on that. It takes time.”

She expressed confidence that most, if not everything, will fall into place by the time Jamaica’s National Championships roll around in late June when she believes a new lifetime best is probable as she heads into the World Championships in Oregon just over two weeks later.

“With practise comes improvement,” she said. “Everybody wants to be better than they were before so if I get that (below 49.51) then, wow. If I get 49.5, then wow again, but I am working towards just bettering myself,” said McLeod who is relishing the prospect of going up against the best that Jamaica has to offer, namely Young, Williams and defending national champion, Stephenie-Ann McPherson.

“I am very confident in my preparation, my conditioning and everything. I love competition. It’s all fun for me because I love what I do, so regardless, competition or not, I am here for it,” she said.

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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