Holly is a runner who also works in a sports therapy clinic. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, sport has always been a big part of my life. Throughout school I did a lot of different sports: cross country running, field hockey, indoor athletics, horse riding, track and field. My history with sports gave me good concentration, focus, strength, and motivation to stay healthy.
I was encouraged by my parents and school teacher/coach to continue playing field hockey, trialing and representing my county – Hampshire – for numerous years. I continued to progress and proudly represented the South of England and attended many England camps to be assessed for further development. I was part of a very successful club called Trojans where I met some of my closest friends.
Alongside this, I loved to run middle-long distances and often competed in track and field. I then began to train for 5k and 10k distances and fell in love with running miles. I am very lucky where I live with fantastic views and trails. I built up the distance to race half marathons and marathons which has led me to where I am today.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
New Forest Marathon. I felt it was a perfect route, amazingly organised, and the weather was on our side with beautiful sunshine and no wind. I really enjoyed the views through the forests and open spaces of the National Park. My legs felt great the entire way round, I was confident that my training had paid off and I smiled the entire way round. I was super happy with my time and placing; 11th woman and 5th in my age group.
And your proudest achievement?
My proudest sporting achievement is attending England camps/assessments when I was younger. Running-wise it would be representing the Isle of Wight at the World Island Games in 2011. My proudest achievement in work is completing my sports therapy degree, landing me a job in a sports clinic which I love and have the best support team around me.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
Most definitely! One that really stays in my mind is a half marathon where I set off too quickly for my body to handle, hit mile 10 and my legs ran out of gas! The last few miles were very long mentally. It was a huge learning curve to improve on speed endurance for the future.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Initially, I’m really bad with setbacks like injuries or illness but once I'm over it, I focus on repair/recovery with a key goal of building my fitness back up to where it was before progressing forwards again.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
To always enjoy and love what you are doing. Don’t take anything too seriously and don't worry about what other athletes are doing around you. Trust your own progression. I enjoy being ambitious and strive to improve as much as I can but I keep in mind that I train and do what I do for myself and no one else.
What are your goals for 2020?
I would like to improve my half marathon and full marathon time as well as stay injury-free and enjoy the summer months of warm weather running. I would also like to compete in a marathon abroad which is on my bucket list.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I really enjoy watching all professional athletes train and compete well. Seeing this fills me with joy that their career is so successful. However, I take the most inspiration from my running group and coach who I train with once a week and follow often. They all have full time jobs and busy lives like myself and have such high aspirations and motivation levels just like a full time elite athlete. This helps me when I am feeling like life is taking over and struggling for time. They’re amazing, supportive, like-minded people.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
The first thing I liked about Sundried when I heard about the brand was the important ethical values that it holds using recycled fabrics which, in today's society, is something all clothing brands should be aspiring to. They have all the information made clear on their website to customers which shows they know exactly what they are doing and are proud of it.
The Sundried clothing looks and fits well with a wide range of quality products, paying close attention to detail in every aspect of their presentation. My favourite bit of kit so far are the sports bras which I have always had trouble with in the past using other brands. The carefully placed stitching ensures there is no rubbing or discomfort which is really important being an intimate wear. I can’t wait to try more of the products!