Q & A with Hannah England

GB Middle distance athlete Hannah England speaks to us at the launch of Nike's Flyknit Lunar running shoe.



by Annie Rice

Tell us about your experience at the London 2012 Olympics  

It was amazing to be part of The Games. Unfortunately I got injured in late May so athletically I didn’t quite get what I wanted to get out of it but I did as much as I could with the way I was. It was just awesome, really fun. It was especially significant being in London; every time you walked through a British crowd, they were so enthusiastic and having it all over the TV was great.

What was your injury beforehand?

I got spiked in late May, which was really annoying. I was lucky to make the Games at all. I tried to make sure I absorbed it all and enjoyed the whole experience, as I nearly wasn’t there. I couldn’t run for five weeks so I was only running again about three weeks before the Games. I still managed to run pretty fast so it was a big surprise really.

What’s coming up for you this year?

We’ve got the World Championships in Moscow this summer, and we’ve got about ten weeks to go until the start of the outdoor season so I’m doing the last bit of hard training before sharpening up for outdoors.

Talk us through an average training day

I get up about 7 o' clock, which is quite early for a professional runner but my husband works so I just choose to get up at the same time as Luke otherwise I wouldn’t see him. A lot of the friends that I do my runs with are still at university or work so I tend to get up quite early and run with them. I then spend the rest of the day pottering around the house, reading a book or doing some housework and then go back out. The morning session will be 30 or 40 minutes and then I usually do my bigger session in the afternoon, maybe weights and a longer run or a track session. So I have two sessions everyday apart from Friday.

This time of year I cover 8K of volume, broken down into any sort of numeration, maybe three minutes, five minutes or sometimes if my coach is being really mean, all at once in a tempo. But I'm really trying to get a lot of volume in at the moment with hills and things like that, then come the summer it will be a much nicer 3 - 5K volume.

What do you do on rest days?

I usually get a massage, which takes a while. I try to wear normal clothes too, wash my hair and wear it down for a day!

Do you have any favourite treats to reward yourself?

I generally eat whatever I want most of the time until I get to late May when the track season starts, but I don’t really restrict myself too much. My favourite treat would be a chocolate éclair - a big one!

What do you eat on a day-to-day basis?

I try to have a good breakfast, usually eggs on toast or something like that, with a bit of protein, then tuna with mayonnaise or a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I always try to have meat or fish with my evening meal.

Do you take nutrition supplements or shakes?

Not really, I take some shakes after track sessions if I can’t get food in fast enough, otherwise I stick to real food.

Who are your sporting heroes?

I really admire Kelly Holmes because of what she did and I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with her mentoring scheme for the last 12 years. It’s great to meet someone that you’ve held as a hero. I admire anyone that really dominates their sport; I really admire all the tennis players because I think that’s a big mental battle and the ones that come out at the top are always really intriguing.

Do you ever think about crossing over into other sports?

I have absolutely no hand-eye coordination; people think I’m joking but I really don’t! I can’t throw a Frisbee and I can't catch anything. I can only do solo sports that don’t involve any other pieces of equipment!

Have you considered doing some longer distance work?

I really don’t like long stuff when it’s in training, it’s just not my forte and I’m much better suited to sprinting. But never say never! I'm just a lot better at speed work therefore it’s a lot more fun and getting thrashed by the other girls who I can out-sprint is frustrating. But I think I will give something like a half marathon or a marathon a go, but probably for charity.

What is your regime for injury prevention? 

I stretch before and after everything, which I really think has helped me stay injury free. A lot of people, particularly guys, seem to really neglect stretching - it’s not cool but it helps you to stay injury free and helps to improve your running. Even self-massage, foam rollering and things like that are great. I’m lucky because I’m on funding through British Athletics that we do get support so I’m spoilt. But there are ways to stay injury free without forking out for a physio. I spend ten minutes a day foam rolling - you can do it in front of the telly so it's great.

Tell us a bit about why you’re here today with Nike

We’re here for the Flyknit Lunar experience. It's a new shoe that is really comfortable and pretty. It's good for any level of runner. 

Hannah England runs in the Nike Flyknit Lunar1+: the perfect fit, for the perfect run. Available from www.nike.com.


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