Athlete of the Month

May 2019: Josh Kerr


This month we caught up with US-based British International athlete Josh Kerr. Josh is a former European Junior Champion over 1500m, and he also currently holds the NCAA (American Collegiate Athletics) record in the 1500, which stands at 3:35.01. In 2017, Josh represented Great Britain for the first time at senior level in the World Championships in London. Josh opted to go to the US for college in 2015, and has now started his professional career representing Brooks. Read on to find out more...


Day in the Life:

 

 

7.30am: Wake up

 

8am: Pancake breakfast

 

10am: Start of practice. If we are doing a session then with warm up and warm down it will take up to two hours

 

12pm: Weights (Tuesdays and Fridays)

 

1pm: Head to Brooks HQ for some lunch with teammates

 

2pm: Home for a nap (around an hour)

 

5pm: Head out for a double (Monday and Wednesday)

 

6.30pm onwards: Dinner then hang out with teammates or friends

 

11pm: Bed

What I Eat in a Day:

 

 

Breakfast: One Bobs Red Mill pancake with some chocolate chips and maple syrup, as advised by our nutritionist. Very easy carbohydrate to digest.

 

 

Lunch: Small salad, large chicken sandwich, crisps. Or maybe the chefs special at Brooks HQ which could be anything!

 

 

Dinner: Chipotle is a pretty big staple in my diet. Chicken bowl, white rice, pinto beans, veggies, cheese, lettuce, and some salsa.

 

 

Post Run recovery drink: One scoop of Bobs Red Mill Whey Protein, and one scoop of Gatorade powder.


How did you start running?

 

I started running when I was sent to a summer athletics camp to tire me out when I was younger. My parents used sports to zap as much energy as they could from my brother and I, apparently we had a lot! We then got signed up for a cross country race, we went 1-2 and I just never wanted to stop that feeling.

Who is your biggest running inspiration?

 

My biggest inspiration is my brother. He is a professional rugby player for the Leicester Tigers. He has gone through so many big injuries with three operations in a three-year span. His motivation levels are incredibly inspirational and they have paid off in this recent year. I watch him and know what he has been through and still out there training every day in any way he can. It motivates me to always be grateful for the position I am in and it makes sure I train hard and give that extra percent. 

What is your best running memory?

 

I always used to love the Scotland trips I took when I was younger, such as the mini marathon and SIAB (Schools International Event). However, taking the step to start running professionally for the Brooks Beasts Track Club was an amazing experience. The whole signing process was something that I really enjoyed because I got to get an in depth look at the company and look over contracts that reflected my hard work over the past several years. . 

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

 

My favourite race I had was the indoor NCAA’s in 2017 when I won the mile against one of the best NCAA athletes there has ever been - Edward Cheserek. I was very much the underdog, but it shows how much confidence and running a race that suited me tactically can change a result against all the odds. This race definitely started pointing my running career in a great direction, because after this I started running some serious PB’s and getting my first Senior GB selection for the London 2017 World Championships. 

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

 

The biggest running lowlight I had was actually pretty early in my running career. I had had some success as a younger athlete, but after my coach David Campbell was forced to retire I thought I would continue our program without a coach. This seemed like a good idea at the time because I thought I knew his training regime well, however this was not the case. For around 12 months I had some of the worst results I had ever had for several years, as well as getting some injuries that got in the way of any progress. At an age that I should have been making steps forward, I was taking some large leaps backwards. This was a crossroads for me in the sport and thoughts of giving up were there, however with the support of my parents and new coach Mark Pollard there was thankfully a change in tide. 

How do you minimise injury risk while training hard? 

 

Minimising injury risk is so important in our sport because consistency is everything to make progress. I think your inner self knows your body much better than you think and making sure you don’t really red line in every workout is just so important to making sure you can stay healthy. This and getting a tailored recovery process that works for your body is just so massive. I like to use Normatec boots, and get regular massages to make sure I am feeling tip top. 

What is your essential piece of running gear?

 

My running watch and HRM is definitely a must for me. The reasons people have for not wearing a watch are definitely valid, however Danny (my coach) and I like to use the data to make sure there is nothing out of the ordinary happening. The biggest thing with wearing a watch all of the time is ego. If you can leave your ego at home then you can still run how you feel on any certain day, but just also get data from it. If I really do need to not look at splits etc then I just put it to stopwatch mode and take the splits off. 

Where is your favourite place to run? 

 

I have ran a lot of different routes in Edinburgh, but I do love the Water of Leith trail, it is such a hidden gem in the city, I have done a lot of long runs along it and it is a reasonably flat trail with soft surface. My local Parkrun (Edinburgh Silverknows) was always a fun one for me, I have won it a couple of times but there is always healthy competition there whenever I go! 

What is your favourite training session to complete? 

 

I have a lot of fun workouts, however the one that is my all time favourites 10x400m off 90 secs. I like the balance between speed and endurance. I used to do it at The University of New Mexico off 60 seconds recovery at altitude and it was such a satisfying workout (when it was over!). My best splits I have hit, which I did at Meadowmill (just outside of Edinburgh) were: 59.4, 58.5, 58.0, 57.9, 57.3, 56.7, 57.3, 56.8, 57.0, 55.8. 

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

 

I wear the Ghosts the most regularly, I use them for any non specific mileage. This is any easy runs, long runs, warm up and downs. They are a great shoe for a balance between a cushioned comfortable shoe that is not too heavy and has an extremely smooth ride.

 

What is your best piece of running advice?

 

Consistency is key. No matter if you're a hobby jogger or a professional athlete, if you can stay consistent you will get fitter and reach your goals quicker. This means you need to find your ways to lower the risk of any injuries that allows you to get out the door on a constant basis

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

 

Something not a lot of people know about me is that I was captain of my schools' Table Tennis team, I’m pretty proud of that. I’d claim running is my second sport when it comes to the pong. 


A huge thank you to Josh for taking the time to answer our questions. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter here.