World Indoor Medalist Paul McKee
Regaining Full Health
22 January 2005
Belfast 400m athlete Paul McKee is
enjoying the adrenaline rush in training again as he aims to recover
from a hugely disappointing 2004. Illness and injury wrecked the
Irish record-holder's hopes of competing in the Olympic Games. It
was a hugely frustrating season for McKee who was unable to build on
his world indoor bronze won in 2003.
But through it all, McKee always
tried to remain unbeat and he is now focusing on regaining fitness
for this summer.
"It's going well so far although
I'm taking it slowly and not yet doing the full sessions with the
group that I'm training with," McKee told BBC Sport. "The important
thing is that I've had no setbacks and hopefully if things go well,
I'll be able to do full sessions with my coach Bill Kelly's group in
a couple of weeks. I'm enjoying getting out on the track again and I
had a particularly good session last Tuesday when the adrenaline
started to flow again."
A virus put paid to any lingering
hopes that McKee had of competing in Athens. The illness hit him in
May just as he appeared to be shaking off the hamstring problem
which had dogged him for a year.
At first he attempted to train in
spite of the virus but with no sign of improvement, he then was left
with the only option of completely curtailing training. It was only
in November that he was able to doing any light training and since
then, he has gradually stepped up his workload. McKee's fitness
problems meant he had to rule out any hope of competing on this
year's indoor circuit.
"It was never really on after
missing so many months and all my attention now is focused on
getting myself right for the summer. To be honest, it's really a
case of taking it day-by-day rather than thinking about the summer
and the World Championships in Helsinki. It's just a series of small
targets and hopefully I can get myself back gradually. Hopefully by
mid-February, I will finally be at the stage where I won't really
have to hold myself back in training."
With thanks to John Haughey
of BBC Sport