Q&A with 400m Sprinter Christine Ohuruogu

How to run faster, what to eat pre-run, and weight sessions that’ll get you abs like an Olympian (maybe). We caught up with East London’s own 400m super-sprinter Christine Ohuruogu at the launch of Sweatshop‘s awesome new Trump Street concept store. Proud owner of both gold (Beijing 2008) and silver (London 2012) Olympic medals.

What does a typical week of training look like when you’re preparing to compete?

I don’t have a typical training week. It varies dependent on the time of year. In the winter I focus more on speed endurance and volume, with less of the sprints. In the summer there is a lot less volume, I cut down on my mileage and I focus more on quality as I am preparing to compete.

Do you also do weight training?

I do heavy weights, plyometrics and conditioning. It’s really varied. We have three separate programmes depending on the time of the week or time of the year. The weights sessions are focused on power – this involves things like cleans, snatches and squats.

And how much do you squat?


What top tips would you give to our readers who are looking to improve their speed?

Focus on strength. Working with weights for a  better conditioned body is the best way to improve your speed.

Could you adapt one of your training sessions for our readers to try themselves?

Fartlek training is great, so either one minute on (as fast and as hard as you can) and 30 seconds off or, if you’re on the track, 400m on and 30 seconds off and repeat five times.

And what indoor training would you recommend?

Circuit work – bodyweight exercises and maybe throw in a medicine ball!


Working with weights for a  better conditioned body is the best way to improve your speed.


What does a typical day’s food look like when you are training?

I need a lot of protein. Breakfast is yoghurt and nuts, lunch is salad, and dinner is a few more carbs – so protein and couscous or potatoes.

We get a bit confused about what to eat before and after a hard session. What would you recommend? 

I stick to yoghurt and nuts before a session. I don’t like to be too full. After a hard session I refuel before I get off the track to start getting the nutrients back into my system. This would either be a recovery bar or a banana. Then it’s usually lunch time.

If you weren’t a sprinter what sports/fitness activities would you like to try?

Netball – I used to play at a county and international level.

Will you be giving yourself a bit of time off over Christmas and what will this involve?

Nope – I don’t have time off. I might have one day where I just have a run in the morning. My job doesn’t stop!


Leave a Reply