Dame Kelly Holmes held a training workshop for runners taking part in the 2012 Reading Half Marathon last week, and as we’re the official fundraising website for the event we were invited along. We sent Eleanor Matthews from our team along (who’s also in training for the Reading Half Marathon) for a little interview and to take part in the workshop.
Here’s Eleanor’s guest blog about the workshop…
We met Kelly for a chat at The Madjeski Stadium, Reading Football Club’s home ground, and had the chance to get some photos and study her 2 gold medals – a once in a lifetime experience.
Kelly told us all about the work her charity, the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust does and the people she has helped. It’s clear that the passion and drive that won her the gold medals is now focused towards giving something back to the community. After the interview Kelly signed my book with the words ‘Anything is possible if you believe it”, her own personal motto.
Once we’d finished the interview we strolled over to the venue for the training workshop and I got the opportunity to ask Kelly more about her athletic career and what really made her tick as an athlete. Her pre-race ritual was of particular interest to me and whether she missed competing professionally. All of her answers were surprising and interesting at the same time.
Her pre-race routine was to not think about the ‘task’ ahead but do things to take your mind off it instead. She also said that she didn’t miss competing – and although she still trains regularly in the gym now, she wouldn’t like to compete again. Kelly explained that, at the time that was her sole focus; ‘going for gold’ but “once you lose that competitive desire and edge, it’s time to stop”, as she put it.
They were around 30 runners taking part in the training workshop, all with differing backgrounds and abilities but with the same passion for running and admiration for Kelly Holmes. Following a short introduction we were divided into three groups and spent time with Kelly discussing breathing and running techniques, a Sports Masseuse and a Sports Psychologist.
Each of the stations taught me something I didn’t know about running and it was great to have so many experts on hand to answer questions. The section that I found most interesting was all about how to motivate you mentally to keep going during a race and in training, when the going gets tough. This alone will put me in good stead for the Reading Half Marathon coming up.
Spending the afternoon with Kelly and her team was inspiring. It was great to learn about the charity and how they help individuals as well as get some great tips for my running, oh and a chance to pick the brains of a double Olympic Champion. Bring on the Reading Half Marathon!