European 100m hurdles champion and world indoor and outdoor bronze medallist Tiffany Porter has been one of Team GB’s most consistent performers in recent years. For the next instalment of our words of wisdom series, she tells SPIKES the lessons she has learned out on the track.

1. Trust The Coach

“My first transition year from being a college athlete to a professional athlete in 2010 was a very tough transition. At that time I didn’t 100 per cent trust my coach [now former coach]. He’s a university coach, who was very experienced, but had never coached a pro athlete and sometimes he would give me workouts I would question.

“I’ve since learned that if you are going to have to have a coach, you really have to build that trust and faith in the programme. I feel since that experience I have learned to be more coachable.”

Tiffany Porter ()

Porter won European gold in Zurich in August, just two weeks after winning silver in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games

2. Look after your body

“I was injured in the countdown to the 2012 Olympics and although it is very hard to pinpoint what contributed to the injury – because there are many factors – one thing I learned was that rehab and taking care of my body is just as important as the training.

“Pushing my body 100 per cent to the limit is always something I would commit to. However, after working with a new coach, Rana Reider, in 2012 I found his programme was very different to what I was used to. I’ve adjusted to his programme, and now if I feel a niggle or pain I will force myself to slow down.”

Tiffany Porter ()

World medals have come in each of the last three years: world indoor silver in 2012, world bronze in 2013 and world indoor bronze in 2014

3. Eat the right food

“In my first year as a pro I didn’t understand what it took to be a professional athlete and my nutrition wasn’t the best. I used to eat a lot of McDonalds, cookies and biscuits. A lot of people called me fat, and I was certainly overweight for an athlete.

“I realised that to be an athlete I had to be a lot more in tune with my body. Fat doesn’t fly! I have learned moderation and portion control and I’m probably 3-4kg lighter than I was then.”