If there's anyone who knows a thing or two about health and fitness it's Desirèe Henry – she's an Olympian, bronze medalist and Team GB sprinter. She's shared her top tips for finding motivation and making progress with us
Desirèe Henry is an incredible athlete. At just 16 years old, she was lighting the Olympic cauldron at the London 2012 opening ceremony as a world youth running champion. Four years later, she was winning bronze in the Rio 2016 games, and now she’s training hard ready for Tokyo 2021.
But while we’re truly in awe of her abilities, she’s also just like any other runner, and has had her fair share of ups and downs when it comes to training – especially when faced with the disappointment of postponed races and cancelled events this year.
She wants to share some of the things she’s learned with us, to help us stay on track and enjoying our running. Read on for her top tips…
“In order to reach any kind of fitness goal, you need to be consistent,” she says. “That means if you say that you’re going to work out once a week, you need to stick to working out once a week. Ultimately, consistency allows you to get one step closer – each and every time – towards your main goal. You’ve got this!”
2. Push yourself
“As they say, great things don’t come from comfort zones,” says Desirèe with a wry smile. “Next time you’re on a run, or doing that cross-training circuit, see if you can push yourself just a little bit harder. You’ll be surprised of what your body is capable of, and feel proud of yourself for the rest of the day, ready to come back for more tomorrow.”
3. Find focus
“One of the most important aspects of improving performance is the ability to stay focused,” Desirèe explains. “Focus allows you to keep your goals and targets in clear view – especially when there are often distractions that will hinder your progress.”
4. Have fun
“I’ve run some of my fastest times when I’ve just gone out there and had fun!” says Desirèe. “If you’re looking to set a new PB or try a new distance, I would say to wait and find a day when you’re feeling positive and when your mind and body feel aligned. I’m telling you, that will probably be one of your best sessions.”
5. Remember to rest
Desirèe has found a new appreciation for rest recently. “Rest is just as important as any other activity or exercise in your day,” she explains. “Remember, you’re a human, not a robot!”
For Desirèe, good sleep is a non-negotiable component of rest – and that doesn’t mean napping on the sofa with the TV on. “You have to prepare for sleep just like you have to prepare to go for a run,” advises Desiree. “I use a magnesium supplement, Solgar’s Chelated Magnesium, to help me relax, to improve the quality of my sleep and ultimately to get the recovery I need after a hard training session.”
You can follow Desirèe’s journey to Tokyo on Instagram: @desiree_lh.