Dina Asher-Smith sets new British 100m record, winning gold at the European Championships

Dina Asher-Smith sets new British 100m record

Asher-Smith ran 0.07 faster than her own previous British record in the European Championships 100m, setting a new British record.

Before last night, Asher-Smith’s best was 10.99, which she set at the age of 19 in 2015. Over the past few years, she has suffered a hamstring problem and a foot fracture, yet still claimed a 200m European gold in 2016 and forth place in last year’s World Championships.

Lining up at the European Championships in Berlin, Asher-Smith was injury-free and ready to race. Storming to the 100m gold in 10.85 seconds, Asher-Smith recorded the joint-fastest world time this year, to become European champion.

Related: Our Q and A with Dina Asher-Smith

Taking to her own Instagram account, she wrote: “10.85 and European Champion!! Ten EIGHTY FIVE!!! From me! A new British Record and = fastest time in the world this year!!!! Thank you all so much for the support both at home and from those screaming with me in the stadium last night. I am honestly still pinching myself at that time! We knew we had it in us but seeing it actually on the clock felt incredible. Time to reset and refocus for the 200!”

Asher-Smith shared her top tips for running faster at launch of The Nike Air Zoom Elite 8: 

6 ways to run faster according to Dina Asher-Smith:

1. Increase your strength to increase speed

Much like marathon runners who know miles alone won’t get them gold, being quick on your feet requires functional strength. So the first of the Dina Asher-Smith running tips? Get strong.

"I’ve upped my gym sessions to twice a week. I now do two weights sessions; lots of squats, core work, conditioning and strengthening the muscles to make sure they can go through the rounds and handle the max effort each time," says Smith.

"It’s the extra effort that you put into these things behind the scenes that is what feeds down to the track."

2. Train your brain like your body

The hardest part of any training plan is beating the excuses that stop you from getting sweaty.

"When I started going to university I realised I don’t have time to sit around, I have to make every moment productive. This has fed into my training and athletics as well."

3. Protein powers performance

The third of the Dina Asher-Smith running tips is nutriton focused - because eating like an athlete demands knowledge of all-mighty macros. The amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats is a unique recipe, but it's the time you take in these food groups that is key too.

Related: The definitive guide to protein powders for runners 

"I’ve upped my protein after the gym so that my muscles can repair. I don’t do protein shakes so I have the protein chocolate bars. I make sure that whatever I eat is optimised towards performance, like electrolytes on race day and good recovery drinks. In between rounds I have carbs to make sure my body is able to perform to its maximum potential."

4. Focus on your form

Flappy, floppy arms will only slow you down. As will hitting the ground like King Kong.

"Pump your arms and pick your feet up when you’re feeling tired. Your knees will follow," suggests Smith.

5. Do what feels natural

Breathing is the simplest of everyday activities but when you’re going out at breakneck speed it can be a common stress among runners. Although if you take on board these Dina Asher-Smith running tips, it doesn’t have to be.

"If someone tells you to take x number of breaths a minute or in through your nose and out through your mouth it’s not necessarily going to work as everyone’s body works differently. I don’t think about breathing when I’m running, I just do whatever feels natural."

6. You can’t run unless you recover

Rolling your muscles is not the only way to release after adrenaline-fuelled activities.

"I’ll always go into the pool to stretch out. It’s a really effective way to stretch without overstretching or causing injury. There’s something about the water that acts as compression and helps with lactic acid."

Related: 5 reasons why all runners should be swimming more 

A version of this article appeared on Women’s Health UK