Gesa Krause is the reigning European 3000m steeplechase champion and took bronze at the 2015 World Championships. Here, the German shares her best pieces of advice for on and off the track.

Championship tip

The most important thing about competing at a championship is not to stress. You are often focused on a major event for a whole year, so you should be well prepared. You should trust in yourself that you have done the work and that by the time you get to the championship you should have self-belief.

Tactical tip

In some ways, this depends on what your expectation is leading into the race. I generally always try to run at a decent pace, but to keep relaxed in the early stages. It is also nice to catch others in the race rather than have people pass you.

In the steeplechase in particular, if you go out too hard, you will suffer towards the end.

Psychological tip

Surround yourself with people who believe in you. This helps you to stay focused and motivated, which gives you belief in your own ability. It is also important to remain on your own path. Many athletes become too interested in what other athletes are doing. It may work for them, but it should not impact your routine.

Coaching tip

When I was younger my coach, Wolfgang Heinig, said it is very important to have a big motivation to keep going in the sport.

He said, it does not matter if that motivation is money, whether that motivation is to be able to build a house or that your motivation is simply to enjoy success but whatever it is, it has to be a big motivation. It needs to be big enough to motivate you to suffer in training and reach your goal. He told me this when I was a teenager and I was very inspired.

Top tip for surviving the athletics circuit

I find WhatsApp is very important because it keeps me connected with family and friends when I’m on the circuit. I also find taking time out to experience a city when I’m at a meeting very helpful.

Gesa Krause celebrates gold at the 2016 European Championships (Getty Images)

Cooking tip

I would say find your own recipes! I like to create something myself. Sometimes I find it annoying to follow a cookbook because it might need something like 20 ingredients to make the dish.

Fashion tip

Because we often wear sports clothes it is nice to have the chance to dress up for a special event. I love expensive accessories – whether that is a bag, a watch or a necklace – I think you can look quite special with the right accessory.

Driving tip

Don’t drive long-distance. I find it is so boring. So, I would say when you are driving long-distance find someone to drive for you.

Vacation tip

I love to travel. It was a passion handed down to me from my parents and before I started travelling through track and field, I’d already been to around 50 countries. I tend to go on one holiday a year. One year I try to discover something new and the next year I’ll seek out a more relaxing vacation. What I would say is when I do go on vacation, I try not to worry about money and just enjoy the experience.  

Social media tip

Don’t let social media control your life. I have fun with social media but I like to decide how often to use it and training should always be the priority.

Dating tip

Be yourself! If you try to change your personality the date will find out at the second, third or fourth date.