GAF Athlete Series | Alex Beck 400m Olympic Runner
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
My name is Alex Beck and I am a three time Australian champion 400m runner from the Gold Coast in Queensland. During my career I have represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games, two World Athletics Championships and most recently finished 25th in the 400m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, running a personal best and a new QLD record of 45.54.
WHAT FIRST DREW YOU TO RUNNING?
I always enjoyed running and running fast as a kid and always wanted to be the fastest in school. At my first school carnival, where I won the 100m and 200m, I had a teacher offer me some running coaching as he thought I had some talent. I absolutely jumped at the chance and loved every moment of training and getting faster. Those early days really lit the fire to one day become an Olympic runner.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU, TO REPRESENT YOUR COUNTRY?
Absolutely everything! It’s the pinnacle of my sport and I feel so much pride whenever I get the opportunity to don the green and gold.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE LEAD UP TO & AT THE TOKYO OLYMPICS
The 2021 Australian domestic season was the best season of my life. I set new personal bests in the 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m, remaining undefeated all season over the 400m and becoming only the 7th Australian male in history to win the 200m and 400m national titles.
It was a very nervous wait to find out whether I had been selected on the Australian Olympic team, but thankfully I got the phone call that changed my life. After being officially selected I set my sights on running a personal best at the Olympics. In the lead up to the games I hit multiple training PBs and my coach and I both knew that I was in the best shape of my life.
Stepping foot in the village was surreal and the first time I stepped foot in the Olympic stadium was phenomenal. The days before my heat I was super excited and I could hardly sleep, all I was thinking about and visualising was my race. Stepping out onto the track was a bit of a blur but I was able to execute my race really well in my heat leading me to a personal best on the biggest sporting stage in the world. Missing the semi-finals by 0.03 was initially a tough pill to swallow but it has made me hungry and more determined to go one better at the 2024 Paris Olympic games.
WHICH EVENT DO YOU MOST ENJOY WATCHING AT THE OLYMPICS & WHY?
We were spoiled for choice with so many of my teammates performing so well over in Tokyo. If I had to pick just one it would have to be the women’s high jump. It was one of the last events on the program so the whole Australian Athletics team was in the stands cheering on our two girls in the final. Nicola McDermott’s final attempt at what would have been a new Australian record of 2.04m sent goose bumps through the entire crowd with her winning silver. It was such a great moment to watch.
WHY DO YOU CHOOSE TO TRAIN ON THE ASSAULTRUNNER PRO?
Simply put, the AssaultRunner Pro is the best curved manual treadmill I have run on. Technically the AssaultRunner Pro trains proper sprinting mechanics without the added forces associated with running on a track. This combination allows me to train specifically without leaving my legs feeling heavy for my next session.
OTHER THAN RUNNING, WHAT KIND OF TRAINING DO YOU UNDERTAKE AS A 400M RUNNER?
My training week is very busy, typically training up to 10 sessions a week. Apart from my key running sessions, which are broken up into speed, speed endurance and tempo sessions, I’m in the gym 4x per week. Twice a week is focused on resistance training while the other two are specific injury prevention or prehab sessions. I also do a pool running session once per week and have two dedicated recovery sessions which range from ice bathes to stretching sessions.
WHAT ARE THE BEST RUNNING TIPS YOU WOULD GIVE OUR READERS?
- Start steady! A Lot of running injuries come from errors with training with lots of people doing too much too soon.
- Do some strengthening work especially around key muscles like calves.
- Running is a skill, if you want to learn how to run well I would highly recommend seeing someone who can teach you some key fundamentals such as a running coach or a physiotherapist.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
The best advice I have gotten is to enjoy the ride and soak up every moment. I know how it sounds, but it is super important and something I have really tried to embrace especially in the last couple of seasons. You never know when you could have your last race so I try to make sure I enjoy every moment out on the track.