Team GB Athlete
- Purely Belter
- It changes with my mood. Anything from Eminem to Take That and everything in between
- To Kill A Mockingbird
Dream Holiday Destination
- A round the world ticket so I can experience all different cultures and places. I love the beach but I’m not very good at just lying on a sunbed all day. I need activities to do.
Who are the most important people in your life?
- My family
When you aren’t training, what are you doing?
- Sleeping or eating
Any other hobbies?
- Not really got many as don't have much time for anything else. But I love being outdoors doing something active.
Have you always been into fitness?
I have always been sporty from an early age. As a child I did everything, swimming, dance, gymnastics, trampolining, netball, badminton.
How did you get involved with athletics?
My dad was a marathon runner so running is kind of in my blood.
I joined the local running club when I was 12 so that I could go on a trip to Flamingo land theme park and it all started from there!!
Best athletic achievement so far?
In terms of personal significance it is finally winning the Blaydon Race this year. Blaydon is a massive race up here in the North East. It has a huge tradition and is the second biggest road race behind the GNR. I first ran Blaydon as a 16 year old back in 1995 I’ve only missed it 4 times since then and despite going into it in really good shape some years, the highest I have previously finished is 2nd. This year I ran it 2 days after doing a gruelling track 10,000m in 33 degrees heat. I didn’t know what to expect but took the lead at about 400m (it’s a 5.7miles race) and never looked back. 20 years after I first ran it I finally added my name to the Winner’s trophy!!
What are you ambitions for 2015 and beyond?
At the minute I am preparing for the Berlin Marathon in September. I hope to run a PB there and go under the 2.30 barrier for the first time. My aim for next year is to make the team for the Rio Olympics and the World Half Marathon Championships which will be held in Cardiff in March.
Who are your sporting / non sporting role models?
Sporting: Paula Radcliffe. She’s an amazing person and what she has achieved in the marathon is mind blowing. I’ve been very fortunate to become friends with her over the last year or so and she has helped me a lot this year with training advice.
Most of my life has been focussed around sport so I don’t really have a non-sporting role model.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you?
I’m scared of horses and cows.
Can you describe the feeling when you won a race or made a great improvement/achievement in your sport?
It’s always a mixture of elation and relief. I am over the moon that I have won or have achieved my goals etc and also relieved that all the hard work and dedication has paid off. All of my performances are down to the hard work of not just me but the whole team I have around me from S&C coach to physio to nutritionist so I make sure that I thank them for all of their help and include them in my celebrations etc.
What are you top three sport nutrition tips?
- Speak to someone who knows what they are talking about. There is far too much rubbish on the internet.
- Don’t neglect food groups – Carbs, proteins etc
- Don’t follow fas diets. Food is fuel, you can’t put your body through hard training and racing if you are denying it vital energy stores.
What are your top three training tips?
- Don’t race your training – keep easy days easy and hard days hard.
- Don’t neglect rest and recovery. The harder you train, the more you need rest and recovery.
- Get a well-structured plan that is tailored to your goals and lifestyle and if you have a coach, do what they tell you. Don’t miss sessions or change them because you don’t like them.
Why do you use Beet It and how has it helped you?
Back in 2011 I spent some time with Prof Andy Jones on an altitude camp in Font Romeu. He told me all about his work with beetroot and the benefits it can give you. I tried it before a few sessions and had some good results. I then used it prior to a race and ran a big PB from then on I was a convert! I hate beetroot but I tolerate it to gain the benefits. The shots and bar aren’t too bad!
How important to you is it that it is natural?
As an athlete I don’t like to consume too much ‘junk’ and additives as they are not the best fuel to help me through training. Knowing that Beet it shots are all natural is great as its only goodness going into your system. It’s also reassuring that there will be no contamination from other products in terms of anti-doping.