Germany's world champs steeplechase bronze medallist Gesa Krause is not a machine. She is a chocolate praline.

1. I love to cook

“I started to cook after I moved out of boarding school. I mainly cook for my boyfriend or family and I like to use simple, fresh ingredients. I never use a cookbook, but I love tapas, salad and homemade bread with a good red wine. I know that doesn’t sound like much cooking, but whenever it is self-made it takes time. 

“I have to admit, I am no star cook. I just love preparing food for other people. When I am away on training camp and I don’t have to make my own dinner, I really miss being able to prepare my own food.

“As a real treat I love to bake and mix my own cocktails, but I try not to eat too much cake or cookies or drink alcohol. If I myself were a type of dish, I would be a chocolate praline.”

2. I could have been a pole vaulter

“I tried all athletics events when I was younger except the triple jump and hammer. My favourites were the long jump and hurdles. I actually think my background in hurdles gave me a great grounding in steeplechase.

“I also tried the pole vault and I jumped about 2.21m when I was aged 12. It was a local competition, but I think I did quite well! It was when I moved to boarding school aged 16 in 2008 that I totally focused on distance running.”

3. I don’t like waiting

“I can be impatient. I want things to work and if they don’t I can get pretty emotional about it.

“A few weeks ago, for example, I came back from a training camp and I wanted to feel the benefits of the altitude training. I ran intervals but couldn’t run the splits I wanted. It put me in a really bad mood and I told my coach it doesn’t make sense to be running similar times as a hobby athlete.

“Over time I have realised that things take time. My body is not a machine and I am learning to be more patient. In the past I often got sick following altitude training and the doctors advised me to take a few days off from running. It was torture for me because I thought I was losing strength because I was missing a few days training.

“In the past I used to ignore this advice and would run, even though I wasn’t 100 per cent fit. Nowadays, if I don’t feel healthy, it is my body telling me I need a break and a couple of easy days will help me recover.”