Q: Long time no see! How are you doing?
A: I’m doing well! July has been pretty full on with competitions and trying to qualify for the World Championships in August. I’ve achieved that goal now, so I’m on to my next one which is to get myself in the best possible shape for those championships at the end of August.
Q: Well done! That’s great news. What have you been up to outside of training and qualifying?
A: I was lucky some of my competitions were abroad, so I was able to sample the Swiss, German and Swedish coffee scenes. I’ve also been hanging out a lot with my family – living away from them for training purposes is hard, but it makes spending time with them all the sweeter.
Q: We love both of those things. You also spent some time in Turkey since we last caught up – how was that?
A: Like everything in life, it has its ups and downs. The training facilities were incredible, and lifestyle wise it was a great to escape to a warmer climate. The highlight was spending some time with my fellow elite athletes, as generally we’re all just doing our own thing in different training locations - so it was nice to all come together for a few weeks. Unfortunately (nature of the sport) I had an Achilles flare-up at the worst possible time of the season which set me back 6-8 weeks and placed a lot of stress on my shoulders. I just kept telling myself that everything happens for a reason!
Q: Ouch, we hope you’re feeling better now! How does your training change in a warmer climate?
A: We tend to be careful during the first few days when training abroad - the heat allows the body to be more relaxed and supple so you can reach greater intensities in your workouts. You can push your body to new limits and run faster, so listening to my body is key to make sure I am not overtraining.
Q: Do you have any tips for people training or working out in the heat?
A: I would say make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and be prepared to be flexible to tweak your training content. You need to listen to how your body is feeling day to day, and if you are feeling tired, chances are you need extra rest or to decrease some of the sets and reps in your workouts – you’re likely to be pushing your body further in the heat.
Q: Makes sense! Back to Turkey, and a very important question… How was the food?
A: The food was epic!! We were very lucky we stayed in a golf resort with a large buffet. The highlights for me included the omelette station at breakfast, the extensive salad bars at lunch and dinner and the Turkish kebabs. I tried to ignore the chocolate fountain in the corner of the buffet - but when they did a white chocolate fountain one evening I did treat myself to it 😊 (everything in balance!!) – white chocolate is my vice.
Q: Love this! Did you have any Homedics products in your suitcase?
A: I did indeed! The MYTI massage gun was the first thing in my bag – I actually used it on the plane on the way there for my quads and hip flexors. I felt quite cramped in a window seat, so it was very much needed.
Q: We’re pleased to hear that! The MYTI part – not that you were uncomfortable on the plane. Congratulations on the British Championships! How did you feel?
A: Thank you! This was only actually my 4th time pole vaulting in 10 weeks due to my Achilles so I was very much going into this competition underprepared and unsure of how it was going to go. Luckily, I had 14 years of pole vaulting experience to draw upon so I remembered what I was doing and it went really well. Jumping the British Standard for the world championships was something that surpassed my expectations for this competition. The biggest highlight of the day was it only raining for the very last bar of the competition when it was forecast to rain the whole day – gotta look at the positives.
Q: And again, you’re appreciating the positive things! How have you been balancing training and self-care on the move?
A: I have been reading a book called ‘Do Hard Things’ which is all about mental toughness and how to achieve mental strength which has highlighted some interesting insights that I have been working on. I also downloaded an app called ‘I am’ and it gives you positive affirmations throughout the day which has been game changing for me. It will say things like “good things are coming my way” or “I am already doing an amazing job at being Holly, change makes me even better.”
Q: Sounds beautiful. Any plans for a break soon?
A: I am currently having a 4-week break from competitions to train and mentally prepare for the World Championships. Then I have another intense 3-week block of competitions and THEN I have a planned three weeks of chilling where we will go away to a beach somewhere.
Q: The last time we spoke, the MYTI mini massage gun was up there as your favourite Homedics product. Has that changed? Or is MYTI undefeated?
A: The MYTI is still winning just because it has been a lifesaver whilst I've been on the road so much, so it would feel like a betrayal to choose anything else when it’s been so good at keeping me healthy throughout this hectic time!
Q: For people who aren’t familiar with pole vault, can you draw us a picture of you doing what you do best?
A: Crikey – you might regret asking me when you see how bad my drawing is. Creativity has never been my strength!
Q: It’s a 10 out of 10 from us. Thanks for taking some time out to chat, reckon we should mention those quickfire videos we made?
A: They were very enlightening. I’m looking forward to our next filming day so we can capture some more of my randomness.
Q: We are too! Good luck with everything coming your way, we’ll catch up again soon!
A: See ya soon!!