Chris Thompson is one of Britain’s best known long distance runners. From having won silver at the 2010 European Athletics Championships to multiple victories across 5km and 10km event - and even running in the 2012 London Olympics. He also boasts the third fastest 10km time of any British runner in history (27:27.36).
How did you start running? At school I ran in lessons after which I was encouraged to join a local club and try competitions. I never looked back as I found myself making great friends while training and traveling to events on weekends and trying to push my body as hard as I could.
Why do you run now? To continue to be the best I can be and while I still feel like I can achieve more than I have ever before I’ll continue to fight against the hardest sporting challenge there is: ‘our own limits’.
What is your pre race ritual? I have a checklist of warm up habits to prepare for a race. I feel it’s important to get your body and mind ready through a calming list to tick off so when I’m on the start line I feel ready and prepared for the challenge ahead.
What do you think about when running? Largely I’ll be making sure I’m pacing and positioning myself well and keeping myself calm before the storm. Racing can’t be won until the final stages and so it’s important to be ready for that. I compare racing to driving a car - you can end up running large parts of the race without much memory of it.
What is your go to training meal? I love a simple chicken stir fry – the key being making my own home made sauce to keep it healthy and full of flavor.
What song is your go to while running? Don’t listen to music while I run. I love the purity of my mind and the challenge ahead of me. While I race I won’t have music to fall back on so I don’t like to use it while training.
What does no one tell you about being a professional athlete? The sacrifices you have to make in every way. Leaving family/friends for large periods of the year and the daily pain and discipline to maintain your body and fitness. The uncertainty of competition success leaves you forever fighting for your financial stability and survival in the sport.
What is the best piece of running advice you’ve ever been given?
In a sport which relies on no-one but yourself when the going gets tough and empathy hard to find, I was once told – ‘if it was easy everyone would be doing it’. It struck a chord that if I wanted to succeed I’ll have to find it within myself the same as everyone else.
What advise do you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? I would say don’t skip your physical progression. Lay strong foundations and this will help you in your future to have bigger highs and make it harder to fall.
Why On? I find them revolutionary and their attention to detail matches my passion and desire in my own career. I love the way they feel and could help me find the extra strength to run a massive marathon performance in the future.