We speak to Pretty Athletic ambassador and SUCH an incredible athlete, Charlotte Purdue. Read on...
How did you first get into athletics? How did you decide to commit to it professionally?
I first got into Athletics aged 11 when I was at secondary school. My friends signed me up for the school cross country team and when I went along to a local race my first coach approached me and asked if I'd like to join his athletics group. I decided to commit to it professionally once I left university.
You started competing at age 13 and won bronze and gold at the European Championships at 16 — what was that transition like?
I really enjoyed training with the group and as I began to commit to training more consistently I saw that my results improved. I guess you could say then I was addicted and I wanted to train more so that I could get better. I saw that training hard = results so I was sold!
What are your tips for someone looking to move from mid to long distance running?
I'd say that gradual increases in training and consistency are key. You can't expect results over night and your body needs time to adapt to the training. If it were easy everyone would do it!
How do you motivate yourself to keep pushing on long races?
I focus on little things throughout the race like certain landmarks or mile markers. I try to focus on the little things.
Do you follow a particular nutritional plan when training?
I try to eat really healthy when leading up to a big competition. The rest of the year I am pretty relaxed and follow a 80/20 kind of rule. 80% good nutritious food and 20% what ever I am craving! I think it's important to listen to your body and what it craves especially when you are training hard.
Can you describe how it felt to run your first marathon in 2016? Do you have any advice for first-timers?
I was super nervous standing on the start line thinking that I had 26.2 miles ahead of me. I knew that I had done all the training so I had to have faith that I would be able to make it round! My advice would be to follow a training plan (about 12weeks) and then you can trust you have done the work and are prepared for race day!
What's the craziest / funniest / oddest thing to have happened to you during a long run?
I always get chased by dogs - I think they must know that I'm a dog lover! The funniest thing...probably getting attacked by a bird!
The day after a marathon, what's your ritual for recovery?
After a marathon I take 2 weeks really easy. I usually have 1 week completely off and then 1 week of light jogging. I completely switch off, relax, enjoy lots of good food and sleep!!
What does a typical day of training look like?
A typical day is:
7am wake up
9am: First session of the day - up to 2 hours
11am: Back home/recovery
3pm: Gym session/physio/massage
5pm: 2nd run - 5miles
I train twice on most days but on a Sunday usually only once a day, but it will be a long run of up to 2hrs 30 when I'm doing specific marathon training.
Apart from running, what's your favourite way to work out?
I like Pilates. I'm actually a qualified instructor! I also like doing yoga once a week and walking my dog. Relaxing ways to workout which is different to the everyday stress I am putting my body under!!
Do you find that running and training causes you any particular skincare issues / concerns?
I find that my skin gets dry when I'm training as I'm outside all the time, I make sure to use moisturiser before every run. I also use SPF on my skin every day.
What are your gym bag must-haves?
I always carry: A phone charger, recovery shake, electrolytes, my GPS Watch, spare hair ties, my anti bacterial hand gel, moisturiser and some perfume!
You've recently launched your own coaching business, tell us about it. And how do you find the time?
Yes it's exciting, myself and my partner Adam have set up Purdue Performance. It's an online coaching service for anyone looking for support in running. We do it together, I love it because it takes my mind off training and gives me something else to focus on. Helping others to achieve their goals is pretty cool!
For more, follow Charlotte on Instagram here.