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.
12pm: Treatment. I see a physio and a soft tissue therapist once a week.
2pm: Nap (up to 1 hour)
4pm: Second run/ drills or gym on session days
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.
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.