Hello Holly

Hello Holly

Posted by HomedicsUK on May 2nd 2023

We sat down with British track and field athlete, Holly Bradshaw to talk about everything from wellness to workouts.

The British record holder for pole vault, Holly cleared 4.90 metres outdoors in 2021, and 4.87 metres indoors in 2012. A self-confessed coffee person (she creates some pretty amazing latte art) and a big fan of afrobeats, Holly is determined, down to earth and knows how to keep herself grounded – when she’s not soaring through the air, of course. 

Q: Hi Holly! How are you doing?

A: I am doing well thanks. Both at and away from the track, my life is filled with positivity and I'm feeling super content and confident with where I am at right now.


Q: We’re so happy to hear that. What sort of things have you been up to recently?

A: Mostly training and preparing for my 2023 outdoor season. With 2022 being so physically and emotionally challenging, I’ve just been focusing on getting myself healthy and in a strong place mentally to attack the 2023 season as best as I can. Away from the track, I’ve finished my Sport Psychology MSc so I’m working with my supervisor to publish my dissertation (it was on coaches' experiences at the 2020 Olympic games). I’m also doing some casual work with the Youth Sport Trust on their Girls Active programme which I’m finding super interesting and fulfilling.


Q: You’ve been busy! What does a day of training look like for you?

A: Generally, every day in a 7-day cycle is completely different with different focuses (this is why I love Pole Vault so much – there’s no time to be bored!) Monday is a speed session (30-60m sprints), plyometrics and strength circuit. Tuesday is explosive throwing and weights. Wednesday is intensive tempo running (60-100m), plyometrics and gymnastics. Thursday is either a rest day or yoga. Friday is Pole Vaulting and weights. Saturday is extensive tempo (15-25 second runs), low-level plyometrics and metabolic circuit. Sunday is complete rest. I’ll do a 30 to 60-minute warm up and a 10-minute cool down for each session. Physiotherapy is a regular occurrence for me – I usually have physio just before or just after my training sessions.


Q: Wow! What do you do to wind down afterwards?

A: Anything that helps me to recover! A hot bath followed by stretching, active stretching, 15 minutes with the Homedics massage chair in the evening and the Homedics massage gun depending on which body part feels stiff. Watching TV, playing board games or listening to podcasts help me to switch off too.


Q: How do you stay motivated?

A: It all comes back to the love of my sport. Firstly, pole vault is one of the events where you will never be perfect. The complexity of it means there is always something you can work on or be better at. I see it as a puzzle I’m trying to solve and this keeps me totally focused and motivated to crack the puzzle and show up every day! Secondly, there’s no feeling like throwing a sick jump. The feeling of timing up with the pole, being thrown into the air and then you're flying upside down - that feeling is addictive, and it always keeps me coming back for more!

Q: Your training must mean you really try to look after your mind and body. Can you tell us more about how you balance your physical and mental health?

A: My physical and mental health have equal importance in my day-to-day life. For me it isn’t about balancing them, I do what I need to do to keep them both in the green. The recovery work I have already mentioned looks after my physical health, and I have certain routines daily that help my mental health too. Noticing when I am getting bogged down with social media is an important one. Sometimes I realise I’m picking my phone up more and getting irritated or upset with what I’m seeing on it – that’s a sign I need to leave my phone in another room for the evening. I listen to podcasts to slow my mind down and stop me from overanalyzing the day’s events before getting me to sleep. I sit down with a pen and paper and debrief crucial sessions - what went well, want didn’t go so well and what can I do to make my session better next time. However stupid the problem is, I always try to reach out to my network of confidants to hash out what I’m thinking about, and the worries I’m experiencing. It’s important to build a small, but strong network of people you can be open with and, people that won’t judge you and will give you honest, supportive advice (whether it’s what you want to hear or not!)


Q: What advice would you give to women starting out in track and field events?

A: Make sure you try a mixture of events. I would never have predicted that Pole Vault would have been my event! I tried it once and knew instantly it was for me, so be open to trying different things and don’t commit too early. Give them all a go if you have to!


Q: Great advice! Looking back, what advice would you give to 18-year-old Holly?

A: Always remember why you started doing pole vault. You loved it, and it put the biggest smile on your face. Never forget that and make sure, no matter what, that feeling is always at the top of your priority list.


Q: Now looking forward! What's the most important thing you have you learned on your journey so far, and how are you going to move ahead with it?

A: That you can grow from adversity! Every time I’ve suffered a set-back, I’ve become physically, mentally and emotionally better. All the adversity I have faced has made me the resilient, determined, strong woman I am today, and I want to share that message. 10% of life is what you face, and 90% is how you deal with and react to it!


Q: We couldn’t agree more. We're really excited to see where you go next.... where are you going next by the way?

A: So I have some exciting plans for this summer season! I have warm weather training in Turkey throughout April, which is going to be followed by my first competition since the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in August 2022! It’s in Doha, Qatar for the Diamond League (catch it on BBC!) Then through June, July and August, I’ll be competing all over Europe, including the London Diamond League at the Olympic Stadium in July, and finishing up with the World Championships in Budapest on the 25th of August.


Q: We’ll be watching! Okay, let’s go out with a bang. Ready?

A: Ready!!

Q: What’s your favourite Homedics product?

A: It’s VERY hard to choose as I have some cracking products that have been making a big difference to the quality of my training… BUT if I had to choose, it has to be the MYTI mini massage gun! The heated head, combined with how light and portable it is, makes it my little recovery buddy that I can take literally anywhere!


Q: Good choice! How would you like your own discount code? You can share it with your followers if you want… or you can keep it to yourself (we won’t tell anyone).

A:  I would love that… umm I mean my followers would love that 😊 


Q: Great! For 20% off everything (yes, everything*) at Homedics, use the code HOLLY20. We’ll let you get back to training now, Holly – thanks for chatting to us!

A: Thanks! Looking forward to catching up again soon!


*excludes bundles