RW Interviews: Steph Twell

Injury can’t keep down one of Britain’s brightest middle-distance talents



What does competing in 2012 mean to you?

I want to keep it close to my chest, but I've definitely got aspirations. I went to the Beijing Olympics and I want to build on that in the London Games.

What is your proudest achievement?

Winning the World Junior championships in 2008 in the 1,5000m was an amazing moment. It was the final springboard before competing at senior level and it was a real confidence boost to know I could beat Kenyans and Ethiopians. Standing at the start line at Beijing, looking at the torch and not being nervous was also incredible. I knew I was exactly where I wanted to be and this should be my future.  

What are the biggest sacrifices you've made for your running?

I probably don't get to see my family as much as I'd like as training can be so time consuming. I also missed my prom when I was at school, it was gutting at the time but I think I'm over it now.

What does your typical training week look like?

Five days out of seven I'll be running twice a day. On a Monday and Wednesday I'll use a treadmill in an altitude chamber. On Monday I'll do an extra fast road run with my coach cycling alongside me and Tuesday will usually be a 10K cross-country session with different intervals. Wednesday night is another fast run and I train with a group of men to really push my legs. Thursday night is hill work; Friday will be one or two medium runs and Saturday will be a long run up to 75 minutes. Then Sunday's my biggest session. I do a good warm up, a good warm down and a lot of reps, I'll probably cover at least a half-marathon cross-country on a Sunday session. Throughout the week I'll also go to the gym for some strength and conditioning work, core exercises and single limb work. I also do yoga.

How do you find yoga helps your running?

I shouldn't really have called yoga training as it's more about switching my mind off. My yoga teacher is incredibly spiritual and I like that. I've tried using some of the yoga breathing techniques before races and it's definitely something I want to look into more. It also helps you in terms of flexibility. Running is such a linear sport and yoga can help you to correct your posture and channel your energy.

Find out more about how yoga complements running in our fortnightly Yoga for Runners blog.

Steph Twell (1500m and 5000m) talked to RW at an exclusive event at Niketown London to celebrate the launch of the Nike Free Run+2 on NIKEiD.com. The Nike Free Run+2 delivers the benefits of barefoot running by maximising the foot's natural range of motion whilst providing protection and cushioning for a smooth ride. Find out more at NIKEiD.com'


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