Saturday, June 12, 2010

Talking with Steph Twell, Long-distance Runner

Steph Twell, pic courtesty Nikewomen UK.

Do you ever wonder what goes into wining an Olympic Gold medal? 

Talking to Steph Twell, three times European Junior Cross Country champion and nominated European Athletics Rising Star, you quickly realize that training, training and training is the secret. 

When I talked to Twell, she had just run a PB in the Gurnsey Half Marathon clocking in at 1:11:56. She said:
“I felt so strong, got quicker and quicker as the miles ticked off. I love the longer distances – it’s mind over matter. That’s what I love.” 
Her training plan interested me as she doesn’t have a set Rest Day – she goes hard, listens to her body and then rests when something feels off. She says: “It’s the best way to schedule them in. Say you don’t feel tired on the set day but you might feel tired on Wednesday, so it’s best to take it then.” 

Why race?
And she had a few things to say about women in racing too: “It hurts – to use your body. But I think that girls are pushing up on male standards. You used to hear that girls were not strong enough or not fast enough but that’s changing now.” She holds Paula Radcliffe up as her inspiration. Radcliffe, a British marathoner, ran the fastest UK marathon time in 2003 – leaving the boys behind as well.

But the one thing she comes back to again and again is having aspirations and dreams, something to drive towards in training. Twell started her career in cross-country, and while making the Great Britain team is impressive enough, Twell says: “All my track performances were made possible by making the GB teams for cross-country. I wouldn’t have had the aspiration to make it on the world stage, being on that team was the first stepping stone to where I am now. “ And no doubt to where she will be.

You can read more from this interview in Life and Fitness mag

What inspires you to keep going?

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