Dame Kelly Holmes
Double Olympic Gold medallist, mental health campaigner and charity founder, it’s safe to say Dame Kelly Holmes is one inspirational woman. To celebrate the release of her book Running Life: Mindset, Fitness and Nutrition for Positive Wellbeing we caught up with her to talk running tips, chocolate and more…
Describe yourself in three words?
Determined, Real, Ambitious.
Top tips for staying balanced?
Consistency with your fitness and to still eat things you enjoy but in moderation. I love chocolate but I can’t have it every day!
What does a typical day look like to you?
Manic! It is a complete mixture of my own training, motivational speaking engagements, project managing and helping to renovate my business The 1809 Hub.
When do you feel best in yourself?
When I get into a fitness routine. When I am standing on stage doing a motivational speech. When I have a moment of creativity.
What does female empowerment mean to you?
So much, its important women realise that they can be someone with purpose in all walks of life.
What would you say to your younger self?
Keep going, keep trying and never give up.
How has your relationship with running changed since you retired from competing?
I’m more relaxed. I no longer feel that there’s an expectation I’m going to win everything I take part in. I’ll always give my best – I’m a 100% type of person – but it’s just not my lifestyle anymore.
Do you think you’ll always run?
I think so. I’ve been retired for 13 years, believe it or not, and I now use running to maintain fitness and get some head space. I was doing duathlons a few years ago, and I enjoyed that as it was a mixture of events and wasn’t too pressured. I don’t think I’ll be able to get out of running, which is fine by me.
Any tips for running for beginners
My advice for anyone who wants to take up running is to look into the Park Run movement as that’s a brilliant place to start. It’s a timed 5k run that takes place every Saturday morning at 9am in local parks around the country. It doesn’t matter what age, size, weight or ability you are – anyone can take part. The first step is making a commitment to doing it. Then, make sure you have decent running shoes and comfortable workout clothes to run in.
Try and get a friend to join you or maybe look at joining a running club. Groups are a great way of motivating yourself and staying committed. Finally, if you’re not used to running, start out by trying to run for a minute and then walking for a minute, and alternating it. It’s gradual and a build up over time.
How important is mental strength when it comes to running?
You can be incredibly talented and train hard, but it’s the mindset that really sets people apart. I’ve had ups and downs in my career and it’s the emotional side I’ve struggled with most. With running, there is so much physical and mental pressure. Often the wear and tear can lead to injuries that linger because you can’t give them enough time to heal and this in turn creates pressure and worry about not being at the top of your game.
If only is too late!
Your best workout songs?
I love 80s club classics like Push it by Salt n Pepa. The cheesier the better.
70% Dark Chocolate with sea salt.