As the Commonwealth Games kick off in Glasgow, Fitphernalia catches up with 800m medal contender Lynsey Sharp
No doubt about it, the 800m was the worst event in sports day. I had to do it once. I think I got over the humiliation of puffing, cherry-faced around the track in front of the whole school some time in 2013.
But Lynsey Sharp – the European Champion and Olympic semi-finalist – tells me she’s always been into it. (It takes all sorts). ‘I’ve always enjoyed it. It’s weird because it’s not a sprint and it’s not a distance event. It’s very much in the middle, so you need a mixture of speed and endurance and it’s quite tactical,’ she says, ‘People get tripped, there’s pushing to get the best positions, and the tiniest thing can completely throw you off, like getting blocked in in the first 200. I like the mind games.’
Lynsey reveals what gives her the edge….
THE MOVES: Body weight conditioning. In the winter, if you can get everything strong, then you start with a really good base for the rest of the year. And it stops you getting injuries.
THE KIT: A GPS watch. You can see exactly what distance and pace you’ve done and how you’re progressing. Also my coach is based in America so it means I’ve got proper feedback I can give him.
THE FUEL: A shake. This morning I made one with almond milk, banana and peanut butter, which is good for sustained energy throughout the day.
THE MINDSET: Look at each day individually. When I was injured [a tendon problem that knocked her out of the whole 2013 series] it was hard to stay positive. But I tried not to look at the weeks, or the months, or how far I had to get. Instead, I focused on making the most of each day. Do everything you can that day to get the best out of you. If you keep doing that you’ll get pretty far.
And finally, I asked Lynsey what she didn’t have the edge at (to make us all feel that bit better about ourselves). The answer? ‘Dancing. I think it looks so cool,’ she says, ‘You’ve either got it or you don’t. And I don’t.’
We caught up with Lynsey at an event to launch the Sainsbury’s Summer Series athletic events. Sainsbury’s partnership with British Athletics reflects its wider commitment to inspiring healthy lifestyles for all
VITALS: @LynseySharp; glasgow2014.com, @glasgow2014; sainsburys-live-well-for-less.co.uk, @sainsburys