Dan Studley, an England international middle distance runner from Tytherington, has joined the Uni of New Mexico Cross-Country and Track team on an Athletic Scholarship and will be providing regular updates through the Gazette website. Read his first blog below.

SO TWO weeks ago I arrived culture shocked and shattered in a City with highs of 30-35 degrees almost every day.

Albuquerque, New Mexico, is situated central in the state of New Mexico, and the city sits a mile above sea level; a higher altitude than anywhere back in the UK.

My first week here was all about recovering from the 15-plus hours of travelling, and adjusting to the time difference.

After a very stressful first week of organising my academics, accommodation and endless form filling it feels great to be into the routine of a student-athlete.

I train daily with a group of 15 to 20 guys with a ridiculous amount of depth at anything from 800m up to 10k. To put the depth into perspective I’m one of nine athletes with a PB of under 3:45 for 1500m.

My preparations toward training out here tried to mirror their approach, which primarily meant reducing intensity and increasing volume. Another difference is the ‘easy’ running we do away from the harder days is consistently at a good pace, and especially heading into the cross-country season this obviously helps to build a solid aerobic base fitness.

Our longer run each week is usually done up in the spectacular Sandia Mountains; the city’s natural backdrop, and a further 1500ft higher. The makeup of a day is also a little different with training usually taking place between 7-9am, and lectures usually around 4-8pm, meaning almost the entirety of the day can be used for recovering.

Away from running itself, the multitude of additional support has been hugely beneficial. We have physios, nutritionists, psychologists and doctors available at our convenience and a fully stocked medical room, which I have been utilising on a daily basis to maximise recovery.

I have four more training weeks out here before we begin the cross-country season, which looks like around six races in nine weekends if all goes well; an exciting opportunity to explore a bit more of America and hopefully be part of one of the best cross-country teams in the nation.