Athletics News

How they train: Georgia Bell

How they train: Georgia Bell

We catch up with the World Indoors fourth placer and duathlete about her impressive return to athletics

To the home crowd, Georgia Bell had achieved a remarkable feat. From relative obscurity – or so it would seem to the majority, at least – the 30-year-old had just finished fourth in the women’s 1500m final at the World Indoor Championships.

Yet it wasn’t a huge surprise to those who had been following her progress over the winter. The British indoor champion had arrived in Glasgow unbeaten in 2024 and had lowered her personal best from 4:16.21 to 4:03.22 in 18 months. To some, including Bell herself, she was a serious medal contender.

“Overall, I have to be happy with the result and the experience, but to just miss a medal … I know I was capable of it, so that’s a little bit gutting,” she reflects. “I’d hoped at the very least it would be a fast race so that we’d run the Olympic qualifying time [4:02.50] and we just missed that as well, so from an outcomes perspective I was hoping for a little bit better, but I am really proud of how far I’ve come.”

To set such ambitious goals in her first major championship says a lot about Bell and the remarkable progress she’s made since her return to the sport. An athlete who has experienced both joy and misery in athletics, she is not one to do things by halves.

Georgia Bell (Getty)

Crowned English Schools 800m champion in 2008, the podium soon became familiar territory. She enjoyed success as a student at the University of Birmingham where she ran PBs over 800m (2:03.38) and 1500m (4:16.96). She endured the frustration of inconsistency when she moved to the University of California, Berkeley, spending more time on the sidelines than the track. Rather than fight the relentless cycle of injury and rehabilitation, she chose to step away.

Bell made a gradual return to running throughout 2022, balancing training with a full-time job in cyber security. Boosted by significant miles on the bike (Bell won the women’s age-group title at the 2023 World Duathlon Championships) and a combination of parkruns and British Milers’ Club meetings, she clocked her quickest 1500m since 2015.

With growing confidence and expectation, she called her former coach Trevor Painter in early 2023 and presented an exciting proposition. “I just said: ‘If I could do that on my own what could we do if we work together?’” she recalls.

Georgia Bell in 2014 (Mark Shearman)

Painter had previously…

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