Commonwealth Games blog: Robbie Renwick
My preparation for Glasgow 2014 began as soon as I left the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010. Winning the 200m freestyle gave me a real hunger to come back and do the same in four years time, so my mind has never really been off it. Obviously, the London 2012 Games came first, and that was an unbelievable experience, but there is something really unique for me about being able to compete in Scotland at such a great event. It’s even more exciting this time since the Commonwealth Games is being held in my home city. It’s a huge honour to represent your country, but to have the opportunity to do that at a home games in front of a home crowd in Scotland is just amazing; it’s once in a lifetime. I hope that I can do myself and my country proud.
I have no doubt that the Scottish fans will be a big part of driving me home down those final few meters and I’m really looking forward to getting up there and competing on the Commonwealth stage. I have trained for many years now to get to this point and knowing the home crowd will be behind me will mean everything.
The atmosphere in the Athlete’s Village and the pool is quite tense; everyone is putting in their final bit of preparation and focusing on their performance to come. It’s great though because you know that everyone there has a common goal. It’s quite a motivating environment. At the pool, it’s just electric. There’s a real buzz and excitement about the place and, for me, with this being my home pool, it’s all the more special to see the place where I train day in day out transformed into such an amazing arena.
There isn’t really a ‘typical’ day here in the village. Everyone is knuckling down with their own individual preparations, whilst also just getting familiar with the place. For an athlete, living somewhere away from your normal routine for several weeks can take some real adjustment, so it’s all about getting yourself settled as quickly as possible. The faster you can acclimatise to a change in environment the better you are likely to perform; there are fewer variables to content with. For most, once you’re settled in its then all about resting up as much as possible and preparing for race day.
At this stage, all of my training is really geared towards the events I will be racing. So typically, I’ll swim for two hours, working on a main set that has been purposefully designed by my coach to compliment my race strategy. An example of a set I might do would be 10x400m swim, kick and pull - really honing down on the key elements of my performance.
As with most international athletes, I am always working myself exceptionally hard in training. With 10 two-hour sessions each week, this can be really tiring, but I make sure that I’m always recovering in the best and most efficient way possible to ensure that every training session counts.
I’m feeling pretty excited at the moment, and confident in my ability to perform well. I have no doubt I’ll have some pre-race nerves on race day, but at this stage in my career I’m in a position where I know exactly how to handle those emotions and turn them into positives. Having competed for Great Britain for over 10 years, there comes a certain experience and comfort in knowing exactly how to handle your race preparation right. I use this experience to help settle any nerves I may have and allow me to focus solely on the job in hand. A factor that really helps in this is the amount which I compete. For me, it’s every day in training. I am constantly racing hard against my teammates and make even the smallest of sets into a competitive challenge. This drive and racing instinct makes competing on the international stage a very natural thing for me. Racing head to head with the best in the world is where I feel my most comfortable, and I’m hoping that is what will help me come out on top this summer.
I have built up lots of experience competing on the big stage, and every little tweak or adjustment that goes into preparing for these meets is what will hopefully help me get it right when it counts. It is my time to shine again and I’m really looking forward to it.
Fundamentally I am hoping to perform as well as I can and get the best out of myself. If that’s a gold, silver or a bronze medal, as long as I know I’ve done my best then I am happy.
Good luck, Robbie!
Robbie will compete in the following events:
Thursday 24 July
400m Freestyle Final
Friday 25 July
200m Freestyle Final
4x100m Freestyle Relay Final
4x200m Freestyle Relay Final
Sunday 27 July
100m Freestyle Final
Tuesday 29 July
4x100m Medley Relay Heats
4x100m Medley Relay Final