Celebrity Health - Paula Radcliffe
Born to run
When it comes to long distance running, Paula Radcliffe is one of the world’s best. The 43-year-old not only won the London Marathon in 2002, 2003 and 2005, but she also holds the women’s world record for the marathon with her time of 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds. In 2004 she won the New York Marathon and a year later she took home the gold medal at the Helsinki World Championships for the same distance. In 2002 she received an MBE and was named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.
Q: What projects are you currently working on, since you ended your competitive running career in 2015?
Paula: I am still a Nike ambassador for Women’s Running. I commentate for the BBC and others. I am vice chair of the IAAF Athletes’ Commission and sit on the Cross Country Committee. I also do some motivational speaking and ambassador work for events.
Q: How did you feel when you ran your last competitive marathon at London in 2015? Was it an emotional experience?
Paula: It was very emotional. It was a journey and a battle for me to be able to finish my career on my terms and achieve the goal of running one more time at London. I anticipated the emotions I would feel at achieving my goal but underestimated how special and warm the crowd reaction to me would be and that almost totally bowled me over.
Q: Of all the big city marathons that you have taken part in, which was your favourite and why?
Paula: I would say London, because it is an iconic event that I have grown up with. It’s my home marathon and the crowd, organisation and atmosphere are second to none. New York is also very special and a very close second!
Q: What would you say has been the biggest highlight of your running career?
Paula: I would say probably running the marathon World Record in 2003 in London. However winning my first senior World Cross Country in 2001 was also a big highlight since it had been a major goal for nine years before I achieved it. The World Title in 2005 was also very special.
Q: What advice do you have for people who would like to get started in running but are unsure of where to begin?
Paula: I always say to join a running group or club as it really helps with motivation and first steps. Pick a goal and make a plan working towards it that is reasonable and flexible. Look after yourself sleep and nutrition-wise to help support your body.
Q: What are your best tips for avoiding running injuries?
Paula: Stretch regularly, have rest days, eat well and balanced and be sure to drink enough to stay well hydrated. Also ensure you get enough sleep as this is when your body heals. Eat something within 20 minutes of finishing training to optimise recovery. Vary your training and the terrain you run on and try to always include some off-road running and general core stability training.
Q: If you ever find yourself having a difficult run, what strategies do you use to keep going and remain focused?
Paula: I pick something to focus on in my mind, even if it is as simple as counting up to 100. I visualise the goal I am working towards. Pick small targets within the run to get to. Change the route or promise myself rewards for when I finish!
Q: What foods do you eat to fuel your body on long runs?
Paula: Before a long run I eat porridge made with water with chopped banana and some honey in it. I take an energy drink just before and also during to keep my glycogen levels up.
Q: What do you eat after you have finished a run?
Paula: As soon as I finish I try to eat something, either a banana or an energy bar. Then as soon as possible I eat a meal with good amounts of protein and carbohydrate in it.
Q: Can you give us an idea of the typical foods you eat during the day?
Paula: I usually start the day with toast and almond butter or porridge or cereal with almond milk and fruit. Lunch might be a tuna or salmon or mackerel salad or sandwich and then dinner is usually vegetables with brown rice or potatoes and beef or chicken or salmon.
Q: Do you enjoy healthy eating and cooking?
Paula: I enjoy cooking and experimenting with different meals and try to make them healthy but also balanced.
Q: Do you take any supplements? If so, which ones?
Paula: Yes I take Revive Active and also Revive Active Joint Complex. They help me balance an active lifestyle and family life and lots of travelling with staying healthy. I also have an arthritic degenerative foot joint and the joint formula really helps support that.
Q: What plans do you have for the future?
Paula: To keep active and enjoying my running and my life. To improve and achieve the goals I set and to play a key role in the new IAAF Integrity Unit to ensure the future of youngsters entering athletics is healthy and protected.
For more information on Revive Active health supplements, visit www.reviveactive.com
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