Renaud Lavillenie clears 5.93m at Aulnay Sous Bois (© Jiro Mochizuki)
“Hi everybody! I am glad to meet you all again, in order to give you some news before the New Year's celebrations with my family.
“I am currently very busy with my training for the indoor season. Contrary to last year, I have not got any physical problems so I have been able to train well. I am very satisfied; I think that it is one of the best training periods of my career.
“Just to give you some indicators, early this winter I have been jumping with short approach runs: two, four, six and eight strides; and I have broken all my records. For example, I cleared 4.00m with a two stride approach, and 5.20m with a six stride approach.
“I then went to a training camp, in Reunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean. I took a longer approach and I put on spikes again. I was able to use bigger poles than the ones that I expected to use, and I cleared 5.70m as part of a show which was organized by the Téléthon, a famous charity event in France.(Renaud also cleared 5.93m at Aulnay Sous Bois on 21 December, his first indoor competition of the year.)
“It was amazing, since it was very sunny. Moreover, we were closer to the sea than usually. I made the most of the conditions, so I really enjoyed this training camp. The sun gives you energy and vitality. Sometimes, I even went running on the beach, smiling, which is not really usual for me during that kind of training.
“I had also good times with the French national team, during a week of thalassotherapy (seawater therapy). It was very nice and it did me a lot of good. I love massages, and it was amazing since there were water jets as well.
“During championships or meetings, we do not really have time to talk or get to know each other in the team because we are all very concentrated and focused on our competition. It is very difficult to spend time together. So this was a perfect opportunity for us to get to know each other. This week has been enriching for everybody.
“I would like to talk about another sport as well. I have been cycling quite a lot during the last few weeks. Since mid-October until today, I have travelled at least 500 kilometres, most of the time on the road. I actually prefer this kind of training most of the time than running, because it allows me to see the landscape… but when I climb a hill, I just want to go downhill!
“After this great period of training, I hope that I will be able to make all my efforts concrete this winter. Last year, my indoor season was excellent but we always want to do better than the previous year, so my challenge will be to win everything and to jump higher and higher.
“And I will try to win the World Indoor Championships for the second time this coming March, this time in Sopot.
“Happy New Year and best wishes for 2014, Renaud.”