2008 Olympic and two-time 400m world champion Christine Ohuruogu shares some of her most valued tips for on and off the track.
I would say, stay calm and try not to be overwhelmed by the experience and the occasion.
It’s a skill that I have adopted since my first major senior championship – the 2004 Athens Olympics. I remember I was a bit scared, but someone told me to imagine that the lane I was running in was just the same that I trained in every day. That helped, and it is a thought I’ve taken with me throughout my career.
It is important as an athlete to take a deep breath and relax. It is important to have positive distractions around you. I am lucky in that I have a big family [she’s one of eight siblings], so I am distracted all the time. I feel because of this that by the time I compete, I have not spent too much time worrying or stressing about the event.
Top cooking tip
Coconut oil is great to have in the cupboard for cooking. It is really healthy and also helps makes the food taste nice. Another tip I have is to make sure you have tinned fruit in the house. I personally have a real sweet tooth and if the fresh fruit is off, then the tinned fruit will give me that sugar hit without me eating something too bad for you.
I wouldn’t say I am the greatest technician in the world, but you just have to believe that what you have will work. If you start having doubts, you know it is not going to work. Have faith and believe in what you are doing.
Tip for surviving the athletics circuit
It can be tiring travelling the athletics circuit, so having a great support team around you is vital. I would say it is always important to have someone you can call up at any hour of the day to have that cry or vent. Sometimes, it can be another athlete. Someone you can talk through the race honestly.
Another thing, which is important for surviving the circuit, is to enjoy being with yourself – because you will spend periods of time on your own.
I think first dates are often not a true indication of what people are like. They are often like a first interview; people are nervous and they often try to give a good impression.
So, unless the first date is horrific, I would say always be willing to give someone a second date.
Top piece of parental advice
When I was younger my dad told me ‘if you are going to do something, do it properly’. I’ve applied this piece of advice and sometimes it can make me a bit anal, but that’s just how I am wired. It always gets me into trouble. If I’m cleaning, for example, I have to clean everything. My plate is often overloaded.
I would say separate top from bottom rather than wear a dress because then you can mix and match. This means you can get away with wearing several combinations as opposed to a dress, which if you have worn it once at a function, you might then be reluctant to wear again.
Always assume the unexpected. This means that you will be better prepared for any potential accident and your reaction times – should any incident occur – will be better.
When you book a holiday, do your research and make sure there are plenty of things you can do around the holiday in advance – rather than figure out what you want to do when you are there. I’m not someone who can just lie on a beach all day – I’m too restless. I need to have other things to do.
Social media tip
I am the worst person to ask, as I’m not a social media fiend. I’m a very private person, who enjoys my time with family and friends. However, if I was to say anything it would be to always remember to use the social media platform to help other people such as charities.