John Lane – The Interview

John Lane (British Athlete)

If you were asked to name the most famous British decathlete and heptathlete, then most people would say the two Olympic gold medalists Daley Thompson and Jessica Ennis Hill.

However there is a new name emerging, that of 25 year old British athlete John Lane, Born in the USA, Lane moved to Australia at the age of three and is now back in the UK breaking records.

Over the last 12 months John has represented his country at both the European Championships and the Commonwealth games. Additionally, Lane is the new UK indoor heptathlon record holder after breaking Olympian Alex Kruger’s 19-year-old record.

John Lane

Whilst living in Australia, Lane was no stranger to sport taking part in athletics’, swimming, surfing and football, but it was as an elite sports rugby union player that John started to make a name for himself, unfortunately injury and two shoulder operations cut short his rugby career.

John returned to the UK in 2009 set-up base in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and after impressing Steve Cram he was introduced to his coach Tony Minichiello. Lane also has a world class training partner in London Olympic Gold Medal winner Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Having improved year on year, Lane is now focusing on the European Championships in 2015 and of course the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio were he hopes to bring back a decathlon gold medal for Team GB.

As the 2016 Olympic games in Rio move ever closer, John faces another challenge on top of his busy training schedule that of raising funds for his equipment, training camps and travel to events.

John Lane 1

John won a prize of a grant from the Ron Pickering Foundation last season, which has assisted the athlete over the last year, but in order to get to the 2016 Olympics’ in Rio Lane will need financial assistance for training camps, equipment and travel over the next two years.

In order to raise extra revenue to assist his development, John is currently looking to work in partnership with companies to promote their businesses and to work with them on corporate social responsibility community projects in return for sponsorship and funding.

The Interview

Biggest Influence

It’s difficult to name just one person that has influenced my career, as there have been a number of people who have been involved in my development. I would say my parents have been the biggest influence assisting me with finances as well as supporting me at sporting events around the world.

The two other major influences in my career have been Tony Minichiello my coach who has developed me as an athlete and improved my points total year on year, the other major influence is my training partner Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Training with Tony and Jess has had a massive influence on me, not every athlete can say they train with an Olympic athlete every day, watching Jess leading up to London 2012 and training alongside her has inspired me to fulfil my potential.


I would normally do around 30 hours per week, five hours per day, six days a week starting 9.30am until 12.30pm and then 2-00pm until 4-00pm with one rest day normally mid-week.

Typically, Tony my coach will plan training to include each event at least twice a week, with technical training tending to be done in the morning, alongside running and conditioning sessions. We try to priorities different events at different times of the year, especially if I am learn new techniques.

Tony is my main coach and covers most of the events at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, however he also drafts in event specialists such as Mark Johnson for Pole Vaulting at South Leeds Stadium and Mick Hill at Leeds Met University for javelin.

Best Event

The best event is the 100 meters because it’s over in10 seconds from the start to the end of the race. The Pole Vault and Long Jump are the events that I enjoy the most, as you have to commit 100% to the jump.

Worst Event

The worst event is the 1,500 meters because it’s a full sprint from the start to the finish, the race has a massive impact on the body and muscles and you really feel the pain. Personally my least favorite event is the Javelin as I find it difficult with the shoulder injuries.

Ashton Eaton

American athlete Ashton Eaton is the current Olympic champion and world record holder at the decathlon and heptathlon event, he is also only the second decathlete (after Roman Šebrle) to break the 9,000-point barrier.

I am hoping to travel to the USA this winter to train in the sun alongside Ashton, which will be another excellent experience and also a great learn curve to work with another Olympic champion.

My coach Tony Minichiello is a personal friend of Ashton’s coach Harry Marra and they are looking to arrange a joint training camp, it will depend on if we are both available at the same time and if not then I will go back to Africa and follow a training plan from Tony.

Future Targets

I have set a target of finishing the 2015 season ranked No.1 in the UK indoors and outdoors, in terms of scoring points I would like to reach 6,000 points indoors and around 8,200 outdoors.

The long-term target would be to qualify for the European Indoor Championships in the Czech Republic and the World Outdoor Championships in 2015, plus gaining selection for the World Indoors Championship and the Olympics in 2016.

Community Projects

In partnership with the Ron Pickering Foundation I have been working within local communities going into schools and assisting with PE lessons, whilst also advising the child on setting goals and targets, not just in terms of sport, but also life and career goals.

I really enjoy working with the children as you can assist them to set high goals whilst assisting them to achieve those goals, which means you have the potential to change their lives.

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