Nadia Power and Mixed Relay team aim for Euro medal

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2022 has been a frustrating year for Nadia Power. The 24-year-old went from the high of competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last summer, to spending several months off the track battling injury. Following a summer where she only raced three times and missed both the World and European Championships, Power will once again get the opportunity to wear the Irish vest this weekend at the European Cross Country Championships in Turin, Italy. After an 18-month absence from representing her country, she is “raring to go.”

“It’s been a long year, but I’m excited now to just get back in an Irish vest and finish it off on a high, hopefully,” Power tells Irish Runner.

Power will anchor the Mixed Relay team on Sunday in the 4x1500m race. The team finished fourth last year on home soil in Dublin having led the race for most of the way. Power will be joined by fellow Olympian Andrew Coscoran, Luke McCann and Georgie Hartigan and after being so close to a podium position last year they are hungry to not see a repeat of history.

“I’m feeling really good about it,” Power admits.

“I’m running last so the pressure is on a little bit but I’m ready to embrace that, I’m pretty excited and I think we’re a lot more competitive than we were in 2019 (Power ran this race in Lisbon) so we’re definitely going to be shooting for a medal.

“I’m feeling confident, I like training on hills a lot so I’m excited to use that this weekend.”

Power appears to have gotten over her injury issues that plagued her year. In December 2021 she picked up a bout of Covid, opting to take a month out to recover. Her lack of training at the time led to her developing plantar fasciitis in her foot before things got even worse.

“I found out at the end of indoor season that it was actually a tear so I’m pretty sure I ran through January and February and raced with a plantar tear,” she says.

“I was three months off running then and got a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection.

“I’ve been slowly rehabbing it since, but it’s been very tricky.

“I tried to make it back for summer but due to tendon injuries, you don’t know how they’re going to respond.

“My body just wasn’t ready, fitness wise, and my foot wasn’t ready either, so I had to take a month off and just rebuild but thankfully I’m in a pretty good place now.”

The Dubliner has also faced change in other aspects of her life. Power graduated from DCU recently with a first class honours in Marketing, Innovation and Technology and has also moved to London where she works part-time with sports entertainment company hasta World, who she describes as being “really great” to her.

Nadia Power on adjusting to life in London

She has also switched coach leaving Enda Fitzpatrick behind to link up with Adidas coach Matt Yates and his group ‘The Run Yard’ which includes top British middle-distance athletes Charlie Grice and Jamie Webb.

“I always knew I’d need to push myself a little out of my comfort zone in terms of living at home, it felt like the right time.

“I had itchy feet after Covid and wanted to try a new setup.

“I was looking for a professional group that suited me, but I didn’t necessarily have the budget to go anywhere.”

“It’s working out well now.”

A cautious and consistent approach to training this winter has been vital for Power. She returned to racing a couple of weeks ago running 2k on the course that she will face this weekend.

“I’ve definitely been far less aggressive when it comes to my winter training, I’ve been doing a lot of cross training, a lot less mileage and have been building really slowly.

“I’m super happy to have that experience (running on the course) and I definitely learnt a few things that I want to use this weekend.

“For me, it was quite similar to Lisbon – firm but with super steep hills and very steep downhills and tight turns.”

Sunday’s Mixed Relay is one of seven races across an action packed few hours for the Irish team with several medal opportunities. For Nadia Power given the adversity she’s faced it’s a “super positive opportunity” to get to race and one she will relish as she looks to put 2022 behind her and finish on a high.

The European Athletics Cross Country Championships will be broadcast live on RTÉ 2 (Senior Races) and on the RTÉ oPlayer. Action will also be streamed live on the European Athletics YouTube Channel.

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