We speak to Perri Shakes-Drayton about life as a professional athlete

November 16 2017

To celebrate our new partnership with Home Nations athletics, we hosted a Running Week featuring guided runs from Perri Shakes-Drayton. Born in East London, Perri is one of the country's greatest female athletes, representing Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympic Games in the 400m hurdles.

We caught up with her to find out more about her training routine, how she refuels and her plans for 2018:

How would you describe your fitness levels at the moment?

I’m back into full time training and I train four times a week. As I’ve recently returned from off season, I’m not near to my best fitness levels.

What’s your normal weekly training regime and how many hours do you spend training?

This time of the year is all about building a base and getting strong. My normal training regime is:

Monday - running session with a circuit

Tuesday - running session

Thursday - gym and running

Saturday – 5K run

Are there any other activities you like to do to keep fit?

Pool sessions and bike sessions help take away from the continuous impact of running, but you can still get a similar result from running without ground contact

What’s your typical daily training diet?

Breakfast: Porridge with peanut butter, orange juice.

Snacks: Almonds.

Lunch: Chicken wrap, tuna salad or soup with bread.

Dinner: Rice or pasta, potatoes (mashed, boiled or roast), cous cous with chicken, fish or turkey.

Favourite drink when relaxing? 

Asti as I love sweet tasting drinks. Oh, and I like a cocktail!

What’s your signature dish if you cook?

Sweet Thai chilli salmon with sweet potato fries, asparagus and corn.

What meal do you like to eat out?

Thai food such as Thai green curry and calamari with garlic mayonnaise.

What’s your approach to nutrition? Do you watch calories?

I run hard and have a fast metabolism so I try to eat a balanced diet. Not everything I eat is necessarily completely healthy, so I don’t watch my calories.

What’s the worst injury you’ve had and how did it affect you?

My knee injury that I picked up back in 2013 at the World Championships in Moscow. I needed surgery, had to be on crutches for 3 months and had to learn how to walk, then jog, then run again.

What are your top tips for budding runners?

Take your time! It’s a process. Set yourself benchmarks and work from there, whether it be distance covered or the length of time taken.

What’s your aim for 2018?

World indoors, make the team for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast (I’ve never been to that side of the world) and European Championships.

Are there any other health issues you have to consider?

Trying to not get the flu, so I have to keep on top of my Vitamin C intake. A glass of orange juice a day and oranges as a snack tend to do the trick.

What do you most love and hate about training?

As much as it's painful, I love the hard work. I feel like I've accomplished something by pushing myself.

I hate that training sometimes means you have to make sacrifices and miss out on family occasions.


More Home Nations events will be coming to Fitness First clubs across the country throughout 2018. If you're not already a member, find your local DW gym now and sign up to avoid missing out.

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