Hip & Healthy chats to the gorgeous olympic athlete, who can run, jump, throw, train five days a week and still keep a balance in life, and she’s only 20… Rising star? We think so…
Talk us through a normal training day/week for you?
Because my event is the Heptathlon there are seven disciplines to train for, which means every day is different. Monday I do a gym session, then the rest of the week I work through each event from shot put, to running, long jump then high jump, as well as a sprint sessions.
What inspired you to forge out a career in athletics?
I got into athletics when I was young and really took to it. When you are good at something as a child you just want to continue to work at it, because you enjoy it and so you can get better and better. I decided I wanted it to be my career only last year after the Olympics. It was my first major competition and competing in front of a large home crowd made me realise it had to be my career.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Definitely the London Olympics, it is inevitable for any athlete that the Olympics is the pinnacle of their career and it being a home Games made it even more special.
What do you find hardest about your training?
I find it hardest when I am injured and actually not being able to train, particularly in the summer throughout the competition season. Out of all of my training I find running sessions the hardest.
What is your diet like? Strict? Relaxed? Talk us through a day in the life of your food habits!
I have a plan but it isn’t strict, I just try and eat the right things and ensure everything I eat gives me value to help me in my sport. Moderation and balance is really important.
What keeps you focused?
Music when I am competing. When I am in the warm up area I have a set playlist I listen to, the same one every time and in the same order, I don’t ever put it on shuffle. I have a system, fast songs when you are warming up and slow when you are stretching.
My goals keep me focused and they make it easier to train hard and put your body through pain if you know what you are doing it for. I think everyone finds this, whether you’re a professional athlete or not. The Nike Training Club App for example is great because it gives you targets to work towards and rewards you when you hit them.
The right training kit also helps me to keep focused I am currently wearing the Nike Dri FIT Knit Tank. It’s made of a seamless knit fabric that allows me to move more with no distractions as it is really comfortable and moves with me as I move.
Do you ever have off days?
I train 4 – 5 days a week, the rest days are very important to me to ensure I recover post training.
What are you training for at the moment?
The European Under 23s in Finland in July and the World Championships in Moscow later this summer. Both are really important for my development this year and are in the back of my mind all the time when I’m training.
How does it feel to be so successful in your career at such a young age?
It was very hard to get through the Olympic qualifiers in the Heptathlon, as you have to be strong across seven events. Last year I pushed myself because I knew competing in a home Games was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It definitely what pushed me to be successful.
What is your moto?
When competing I think ‘you can’t be nervous, you just have to give it the best you’ve got’. I always take one event at a time and focus on the present.
How do you relax?
I spend time at home with my family and have regular DVD boxset marathons. At the moment I am watching Breaking Bad as I just finished the entire series of Lost.
Image: Katarina trains in Nike Dri-FIT Knit, a new apparel innovation which features seamless knit fabric for zero distraction. www.facebook.com/NikeTrainingClubUK