Jess Ennis-Hill Interview

Yes people, it’s getting cold. Gone are the long summer nights where you had to wait until the evening to go running so as not to pass out in the heat. No longer are shorts and T-shirt sufficient items to go out and train in. Now you need something a little bit more, well, cosy.

If anyone knows about training in the British winter, it’s Jess Ennis-Hill. And to be honest, she’s done more than enough for us to trust her when she gives training advice out. Doesn’t hurt that she’s one hell of a nice lady as well.

Here she tells us a bit about what she’s up to, and dishes out some guidance on the cold times that are very quickly creeping towards us.

How did you get into the heptathlon? What was it about the sport that most drew you to it?

I first tried athletics when I was about ten and loved just doing all the different events. I attended an athletics club when I was around twelve and kept doing all the disciplines – I think it is important for youngsters to try lots of things to find out what they like doing – and it was my coach Toni Minichiello who encouraged me to keep doing the 7 events of the heptathlon when he first started to help me out in my early teens.

Looking to Rio 2016, how are you preparing for the next big games?

Having come back from having my son in 2014 I have had a very big challenge to get back to my best – so every day I am working hard to regain my speed and strength with Rio in mind. It is all going well and I feel that as the weeks go by I am getting stronger and faster.

Talk us through your average training regime on the road to Rio?
I train 6 days a week and most days do 2 sessions – my sessions have to cover all my disciplines – so a week will include sprint sessions for my speed, endurance and strength sessions for the 800m and the technical work for hurdles, long-jump, high-jump and the throws. I have to spend time in the gym for strength and now I have Reggie at home I do this in my home gym in the evenings. My programme is put together by my coach and it will follow a 6-8 week plan with a testing week at the end of the rotation to see where I am in terms of progress.

How will you balance the cold training conditions of the UK in winter with the hotter climates of Rio when you are competing?

I always train in Sheffield, so cold training conditions are pretty normal for me. In the dead of winter I wear my Climaheat kit to help me train in colder conditions for longer – but I like to think I am pretty good at acclimatizing to hot conditions! I always attend a training camp before a Championship and get used to the weather and time zone.

What motivates you to get out and train when it is cold outside?

A little cold weather does not bother us Brits! We are used to it. No, seriously none of us likes to train in the cold but I am very lucky to have my adidas Climaheat kit that really makes a difference. The kit keeps warm air in, and cool air out so as long as I stay warm, I don’t mind too much. But if it is really cold we train on the indoor track!

What is your favourite thing about training in winter?

I think it has to be having a hot shower and warm cup of tea and feeling that sense of real satisfaction that you have done the hard work, despite the cold.

What top winter training tips would you give to those that are looking to remain active this winter?

Make sure you have the right clothing and footwear – use layers so you can adjust your temperature as you warm up from training. I use adidas Climaheat because it’s lightweight and works to keep my body as warm as possible. The right gear makes a massive difference.

What do you look for in apparel to support your training in colder temperatures?

Light but warm and breathable. And of course stylish, I love Stella McCartney’s range with Climaheat technology!

What does Forget Cold mean to you?

The perfect kit to take on the elements so I can concentrate on performance.

For more information on the adidas Climaheat range, head on over to the website here.

Pictures Credits: adidas