I was a sporty child, but never really got into long-distance running until I went to university. In my second year of studying fine art at Newcastle, I started running early every morning and became quite obsessed. I’d been so active at school that I couldn’t not do any exercise at all.
For a time, running became something I did as part of my daily routine. Even if it was only three or four miles, that would be enough to get the endorphins flowing and set me up for the rest of the day.
I started running further when I went to Brazil four years ago. For the two months I was there working on some clothing designs, I’d run along Rio’s Ipanema beach every day. It was so hot, but such a beautiful setting.
Soon after coming back, I did my first (and only) half marathon, in London’s Richmond Park. I was delighted to do it in 1:25. I think my training in the heat helped once I was running here, where it’s cooler.
I’ve worked a lot with the British Heart Foundation. I met with the charity in 2014 to discuss a fundraising pop-up fashion shop and ended up agreeing to run the London Marathon for them. I’d always wanted to do it, but had been a bit scared.
I enjoy training alone. For the marathon, I did loops of Hyde Park and Battersea Park, as well as high-intensity running sessions in the gym. I love sticking in bursts of pace on long runs to mix it up and get my heart racing.
On marathon day last year, I didn’t feel great. I had a tight Achilles and a throbbing toothache. I was dosed up on painkillers and wasn’t looking forward to it at all. But soon my adrenaline was flowing and I ended up going much faster than I’d intended.
I loved the course. I didn’t know what to expect around the next corner, so it felt exciting compared with my training, where I was doing the same routes over and over.
I had aimed for under four hours, but eventually finished in 3:04. I got into a pace and just stayed there. I felt a mix of relief, excitement and pride as I crossed the line. There’s a history of heart problems in my family, so doing it for the charity was special.
I love both the physical and mental side of running. I get a real buzz from seeing how far you can push yourself beyond what you thought you were capable of.
Running gear is so on-trend these days. I find it so comfortable – I often wear it all day when I work. I don’t have any plans to start designing running gear, but I love how stylish so much of it looks.
Treat: After a run, I love a homemade smoothie made with an avocado, a banana, two scoops of vanilla protein, chia seeds and coconut water. I’m a big fan of beetroot juice with ginger, too.
Music: I got stressed just before the marathon when my headphones weren’t working; I realised how important my music is when I run. I like hip-hop and artists like Kanye West.
Route: My mother is from Sweden and when I visit, I love runs in the woods, around lakes and up and down hills. Heading out into the countryside there is always great, as it’s stunning.