ATHLETICS: TO the mere mortal, the prospect of practising running, jumping and throwing eight hours a day, six days a week is not something to savour.
But Roger Skedd reckons the pentathlon and decathlon are his reason to get out of bed everyday.
The 23-year-old, from Haslington, has just returned from Prague where he cemented his claim as one of Great Britain's best combined-events prospects with a stunning indoor pentathlon performance.
He notched five personal bests in seven events while representing his country against athletes from the Czech Republic, Holland, France and Spain. He certainly earned his call-up.
Roger, a former student at both Sandbach School and South Cheshire College, squeezes two training sessions a day in while studying for a degree in business management at Brunel University.
Allowing himself just one day off a week, he is intent on making up for lost time after severe back and shin injuries cost him more than three years of development.
Now he has set his sights on international meetings in Italy and France, along with the European Cup in Ukraine, later this year. He also has half an eye on the 2008 Olympics in China.
Roger, who competes for City of Stoke AC, said: 'I basically missed three years during my late teens due to injuries.
'It has taken me a few years to get back to my best, but I am really enjoying it. I train very hard and it is difficult to fit it in at times, but nothing deters me. It is what gets me out of bed in the morning.'
While many athletes only take up combined events when they fail to excel in a single discipline, Roger has always wanted to emulate his hero Daly Thompson.
In 2004 he was North of England indoor heptathlon and outdoor decathlon champion, British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) decathlon champion, and second in the North of England championships for 110m hurdles.
Last year he retained his North of England outdoor and British University decathlon titles, became bronze medallist in the AAA Decathlon Championships and represented Scotland.
Roger kicked off 2006 by getting a silver in the South of England indoor pentathlon championships, before a fourth place in the AAA Indoor Combined Events Championships at Sheffield in January earned an international call-up.
He helped the GB team to their best ever result in Prague. He notched 5,295 points - 217 more than his previous best - and came 14th overall on his full international debut.
He recorded 7.17 seconds in the 60m sprint (pb), a 7.03m long jump (pb), a 13.10m shot (pb is 13.16m), a 1.81m high jump (pb is 1.91m), 8.20 seconds in the 60m hurdles (pb), a 4.40m pole vault (pb) and 2mins 58.54secs for 1000m (pb).
Now Roger hopes to accumulate enough points in the international meetings in Italy in May, and in France in June, to earn a place in the GB squad for the European Cup of Combined Events in July.
The World Student Games in Thailand next year is another major aim and Roger, who now ranks 21st on the GB all-time list for indoor pentathlon, refuses to rule out the 2008 Olympics.
He added: 'I just missed out on the Commonwealth Games this year because they are being held unusually early in the calendar because they are in Australia.
'Realistically, if Dean Macey, who came fourth in the 2004 Olympics, is fit in 2008 he'll go to Beijing. But if not, the place will be up for scraps and I will fancy my chances.'