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Ask the Athletes

Ask the Athletes

Marathon Recovery Advise from Steve Cram

Sally Gunnell's Secret to Sleep!


Q&A with Colin Jackson, Sally Gunnell & Jamie Baulch

Tell us something we might not know about your sporting journey

Colin - I used to be a decathlete but I was always was getting injured, so I stuck with hurdles.

Sally - My first love was gymnastics. I can still do a cartwheel!

Jamie - I came second in the Welsh Championships for Trampolining

How important is rest and recovery in the longevity of your career as a top athlete? Can you tell us about your recovery process after an event?

Colin - Allowing your body the chance to rest and recover will give you longevity in your career as an athlete. When the muscles have chance to recover and respond, the longer they work for you.

Sally - As an athlete rest was very important. Your body needs to recover and that happens when you rest and during sleep. It was crucial element to my training schedule to make sure I got enough quality sleep. Also, after major competitions I would take time off to be just 'Sally', not paying so much attention to what I was eating or to training.

Jamie - Rest and recovery was vital and still is, because it allows my body time to repair and strengthen in between training sessions. You also need to recover mentally. My recovery process was a deep tissue massage followed by a bath.

How has a past setback set you up for later success?

Colin - I had a dream of becoming the Olympic champion, but then I failed at the Olympic Games. This unexpected setback caused me to sharpen my focus and become innovative in my training, I then delivered a performance that I was proud of. I ended up breaking the world record to become the world champion, and that has set me up for the rest of my life.

Sally - There was a Europeans championships I should have won but didn't. I was worrying more about what was going on around me than my own race. This was a tough lesson but it taught me to learn from my setbacks. So much so, I went on to win my Olympic gold medal. It was about running my own race and something I still apply today!

Jamie - My past failures have actually been a blessing in disguise as they taught me lessons I needed to learn.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

Colin - When I feel overwhelmed, or if I’m struggling to focus or concentrate, the one thing I do is deep breathe. Breathe in. Breathe out. Works for me every time.

Sally - Without a doubt the first thing I do is take myself off for a walk. If I can't do that, then I carve out some me time.

Jamie - I just switch off mentally and watch tv. Then I get back up and start again the next day.

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