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Q&A with Lynsey Sharp

Posted on August 09 2018

Pretty Athletic Ambassador Lynsey Sharp is a Scottish track and field athlete who competes in the 800 metres. She is the 2012 European champion and represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

Were you involved in lots of sports as a child? How did you get in to running?

As a child I tried lots of different sports - gymnastics, hockey, tennis, badminton, judo and athletics. Both my parents were athletes and I was always so interested in their careers and wanted to follow in their footsteps. I think I also figured out athletics was the sport I was best at!

Were you aware growing up of your parents' achievements in athletics? Did this influence your interest in the sport?

Yes I was. My mum was still doing some training when I was around 6/7 and I remember playing at the track with my older sister whilst mum trained. It definitely captivated my interest from an early age although I in no way felt pressured into doing it.

How did it feel to win silver at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games?

Was it all the more special for being on home soil in Scotland? It was unbelievable! It was so crazy to see Glasgow and Scotland so excited about athletics. I will never forget the noise of the crowd and being able to celebrate with people I personally knew as I did my lap of honour. I have been so fortunate to experience a home Olympics, home Commonwealth Games and home World Championships!

Can you describe a typical week of training? As a middle-distance runner, do you focus more on speed or volume when it comes to your training style?

I train 6 days a week; twice a day. I have 3 main track sessions a week, 2 gym sessions and a couple of low intensity cardio days. I always have Sundays off to let me recover mentally and physically and be ready for the next week! I definitely do a lot more speed work than volume. My weekly mileage is only around 30 miles but a lot of high intensity training.

How do you mentally prepare yourself for a race? Are you conscious of PBs and records, or do you prefer to focus on the moment and run the race you're in?

I like to make a race plan and visualise is throughout the day and during my warm up. Sometimes the goal is to run fast and sometimes it is to win or both! I talk with my coach and make a plan as each race is different. its also important to be ready for different race scenarios; you can never control what others do in a race.

What helps motivates you on a daily basis, and how to you keep focused when you are injured or suffer setbacks?

I always think about the goals I have set myself and how much I want to achieve them. Injuries are the hardest part of being an athlete and I think its important to stay positive and adjust your gaols to work on the things you can do. For example, I can spend more time working in the gym or on the mental side of performance when I am spending less time running.

How did it feel to run a PB at Rio on such a global stage?

Running a PB and Scottish Record in the Olympic Final was a special moment. I gave it my everything and that showed in the result. The Olympics are the pinnacle of the sport and to hold it together and perform when it mattered was something I'm very proud of.

When you're not training for a race, how do you like to keep active?

I love walking the dogs back in Scotland and I also like cycling along the sea front. It makes me feel 10 years old again!

What are your training bag essentials?

Snacks, water, lip balm, and of course, Pretty Athletic Hyaluronic Vitamin Tonic to cool down!

What's your favourite meal?

I love salmon and usually have it with roasted veg and quinoa with tahini or homemade pesto

What's your favourite way to unwind after a busy day / week?

I love having a morning to myself which i call a "me session' I do a face mask, wash/blow dry my hair/ get my nails done and find a good coffee/brunch spot

Why did you decide to start training in the US and what's it like? 

I have been training in Loughborough for around 5 years and felt I needed a new environment for the next Olympic cycle. Its important to mix things up! So in December I moved out to San Diego. I still come back to the UK often especially in the Summer as most competitions are in Europe so I will be based in the UK during Summer. Its the perfect combo! San Diego is warm, sunny, by the sea and a really chilled out place.

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