Athlete of the Month

March 2019: Jake Wightman


In this first installment of a monthly series, we caught up with British international athlete Jake Wightman. Jake has personal bests of 1.44 over 800m, 3.33 over 1500m and he has also run a 14.48 parkrun. In 2018, Jake claimed the bronze medal over 1500m in the Commonwealth Games and European Championships. Jake is a former European Junior 1500m Champion, and is the 2018 British Indoor Champion also over the 1500m. Read on to find out more about his daily life, training, and competitions.


Day in the Life:

 

 

8am: Wake up, eat a snack.

 

 

9:30am: Train. This could be an easy or steady run, or a session twice a week.

 

 

10:30am: Breakfast

 

 

12pm: Treatment. I see a physio and a soft tissue therapist once a week.

 

 

1pm: Lunch

 

 

2pm: Nap (up to 1 hour)

 

 

4pm: Second run/ drills or gym on session days

 

 

7pm: Dinner

 

 

9pm: Stretch and roll

What I eat in a day:

 

 

Pre-run: Small portion of yogurt and granola

 

 

 

Breakfast: Milky porridge with peanut butter, honey, mixed nuts, blueberries and banana. I have this after I run as the milk disturbs my stomach otherwise.

 

 

 

Lunch: Often leftovers from last nights dinner, to save having to cook. Otherwise I might have a bagel with a combination of avocado, eggs, spinach and chicken.

 

 

 

Dinner: Usually a big meal with carb, meat and lots of veg. Could be salmon, sweet potato with asparagus and broccoli. Chicken stir fry or pasta and steak and cous cous are also good options.

 


How did you start running?

 

Both of my parents were international marathon runners. My Dad, Geoff, ran 2:13 and my Mum, Susan (Tooby), ran 2:31. 

Who is your biggest running inspiration?

 

Aside from my parents, I’ve always loved watching videos of Seb Coe. The way he controlled races is something that every middle distance athlete would love to be able to do.

What is your best running memory? 

 

Championships are always the best memories, especially if they go well. I spent a month with my training partners and the Scottish endurance athletes in Sunshine Coast ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, and then stayed on and travelled to Sydney once the Games were over. I loved my whole time in Australia and it was a bonus to come away a medal as well. 

What would you class as your biggest running achievement so far?

 

In 2017 I was lucky enough to win a Diamond League race in Oslo over 1500m. Outside of a championship, the Diamond League is the best level of competition, so to win a race here was a big shock for me, but a massive step forwards in my career. 

What is your running lowlight and how did you overcome it? 

 

I’ve just come back to running after 12 weeks of rehab with a sacral stress fracture. There’s still going to be some tough times ahead with it, but it’s been a real test of motivation and patience to make sure I get back properly and safely

How do you minimise injury risk while training hard? 

 

I’m fortunate enough to have one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in athletics, Andy Kay. His sessions twice a week, combined with input and treatment from my physio Andy Walling, play a huge roll in trying to stay injury free. 

What is your essential piece of running gear?

 

My TomTom Runner 3 has served me well over the last 2 years, especially the mp3 feature which has kept me company on lonely long runs. However, this has now been discontinued, so a similar model is the Garmin 645 Music, which has the same functionality. I also always carry a resistance band in my bag, and use it in every part of training. 

Where is your favourite place to run? 

 

I’m lucky enough to live in a flat which is literally across the road from a gate into Bushy Park. I must have done hundreds of laps round Bushy now, and have regularly run the Parkrun there too. 

What is your favourite training session to complete? 

 

My favourite session is 5x300m off 5 mins. Starting at 35 seconds, and dropping to 38/39’s by the last rep. Lots of lactic and a test of speed which is what I like. 

What running shoes do you wear most regularly, what do you like about them?

 

I do the majority of my mileage in the New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo. They provide me with the support my gait needs, as well as the cushioning and durability to help my body last the high winter training mileage. 

What is your best piece of running advice?

 

My best piece of advice is to not lose focus on the reason you run. For me, it’s to run a fast as I can, and that’s the motivation for me to get out of the door. If it’s for the enjoyment of running, make sure you keep trying to make it enjoyable, and never feel like you’re doing it reluctantly. 

Tell us something about yourself people may not know...

 

I have an identical twin brother, who is currently studying at drama school.


A huge thank you to Jake for taking the time to answer our questions. You can follow Jake on Instagram and Twitter, or Facebook