My fourth guest Q&A is with the amazing, Hayley Carruthers. Since entering into the world of athletics, Carruthers has taken everyone by storm and proved, you really can be a world class athlete whilst upholding a full-time job. From her inspirational 2:33 PB performance at this years Virgin London Marathon and her England appearance in Toronto last year, to her 9th place finish in the 5,000m at this year British Champs, the future is an exciting one for Carruthers. I spoke to Hayley and asked some of the questions we all want to know.
What do you do to ensure your motivation and positivity always stays high when training and racing?
I always make time to reflect on good sessions/races by keeping a paper diary. It really helps to be able to look back on key points in training when it went well. I also try to write 3 things everyday that I am grateful for and try to find a positive in even the worst circumstances.
What was it about running competitively that you initially found inviting and love?
Initially I hated it! I hated racing and just wanted to run because my race anxiety made the race never worth it. But after a couple of months I was ready to try again, and I fell head over heels in love with being able to get the most out of myself as an athlete and as a human being when ‘performing’ under pressure.
How do you balance work and training, and what advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue an athletic career, but is worried about the balance?
My advice is there is 24 hours in a day. Use them wisely. Sleep as much as you can, and be kind to yourself when you are tired after a long day at work. That can be just as mentally tiring and doing 2 sessions!
When it comes to fuelling, how do you ensure you eat enough to meet the demands of training?
I go off hunger. Being a marathon runner you are constantly hungry so it’s easy enough. I try not to over complicate it, because that’s just something else to think about. I never ‘restrict’ foods I genuinely just eat what I fancy. Sometimes that’s a chippy tea and sometimes that’s fruit with Greek yoghurt. Having a healthy ‘diet’ and about having a healthy mindset towards food. Food is fuel!
What has been your favourite race you’ve done so far, and why?
Toronto Waterfront marathon last year when I ran for England for the first time. I absolutely loved every step! My family were there and the race organisers treated us like royalty. It was one of the best weeks of my life so far.
Hayley will be competing for England in the Toronto Marathon at the end of this month, good luck!! Thank you again for taking the time to chat to me!