Duncan Mackay

It sounds crazy, but I usually train about five hours a day, four to five days a week. I’m usually up and out ready for warm-up by 9:30 and ready to run by 10am. Training consists of everything from lifting weights, to pylos, to cardio, to running, to bike workouts, or any number of things like that.

My training group is an amazing one to be part of, I’m in great hands and always ready and willing to work hard every session. My coach is Al Joyner, who won an Olympic gold medal in triple jump and the husband of Olympic sprinter Flo Jo before she passed away. The coaching staff here knows exactly what needs to be done and how to do it.

The programme I train in is one of the first programmes where Olympic and Paralympic athletes train together. My coach is an Olympian, my teammates are Olympians and I do all the same work outs that they do. I think it’s pretty awesome to be part of something that’s taken so seriously.

It is hard work, but I enjoy every day. I go out to practice and think about all of the people with disabilities who aren’t able to run and remember that it’s such a privilege to be able to do this. There are times when it’s hard to make yourself work out and you need to find the motivation to keep doing it.

Although I’m a typically positive person, like everyone else I need to find things to keep me going.

In my spare time I do a lot of speaking engagements with various groups. It’s something I really enjoy doing, but I’ve especially enjoyed working with some of our injured service military people. 

This week I’ll be helping out with an event called the Warrior Games, which is where every branch of the US military comes together and competes in various events in this competition. We’ll have a couple of days of practice and then they have a real meet. I’m one of the coaches there and it’s really rewarding to see people that you’ve coached succeed.

Looking ahead to the summer, the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester always kicks off my European season. The athletes competing are the greatest athletes that we have in our sport and it is here that they come together and showcase their talents.

It’s great because it’s one of the only times outside of a World Championships or Paralympics where all of the top competitors come together. It’s always a tune up to see where you are and a great annual meeting with all of the other athletes that you don’t see very often.

The crowd and the kids are always really awesome too; it’s such a fun event to compete in. If the English weather would only cooperate sometimes that would be fantastic, but unfortunately that’s out of my control!

April Holmes, from the United States, is the T44 100 metres Paralympic champion and 100m, 200m and 400m world record holder. For more details on the BT Paralympic World Cup click here.