A washing line pole and a tin of beans – the new elite athlete training method

Finding the elite in the every day - with a little bit of help from her store cupboard and garden - Loughborough athlete and Olympic hopeful Holly Bradshaw is using unique ways to carrying on pole vault training during the lockdown period.

As part of Loughborough University’s new #TrainatHome campaign, Bradshaw has spoken about how she is adapting during the crisis away from her usual schedule, whilst remaining physically and mentally fit.

“My coach and I tried to come up with some quirky ideas. I’ve taken a tin of beans to the end of a cut pole to make it a bit heavier and I’ve been doing drills and pole runs in the garden to try and keep my brain ticking over,” Bradshaw explained.

“I’ve also been doing some visualisation work with my coach and psychologist where we went through a training session where I was in the HiPAC (High Performance Athletics Centre) in Loughborough.”

Alongside Bradshaw, the series will see some of Loughborough’s top sporting talent share their own current training lockdown regimes. These include:

  • Meghan Beesley – Team GB 400m hurdles  
  • Ali Jawad – Team GB para-powerlifting
  • Sam MacGregor – Loughborough Sport Head Physio
  • Sam Ruddock – Team GB para-cycling
  • Emily Scarratt – Loughborough Lightning and England rugby
  • Marie Wattel – France international swimmer  
  • James Wilby – Team GB swimmer
  • Abbie Wood – Team GB swimmer
  • Further names to be announced

Bradshaw also explained how she’s using this time to focus on other aspects of her performance:

“One of my main aims for this year was to maintain performance and get fast… at this time I think it’s important for everyone at home, especially young athletes, to think about where your weaknesses are.”

With the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games postponed for at least 12 months, Bradshaw touched upon the fact that this would not necessarily impact on her own long-term goals:

“I was planning on keeping going until at least 2022 anyway. For me, it’s the same goals but just a year later. I’d obviously much prefer to be going to the Olympics this summer though.

“I’m still motivated, I’ve still got high expectations of myself but at the minute the consequences of people dying in UK is really serious. So, by doing my bit by staying at home is my main focus rather than wanting to win an Olympic medal.”   

For those looking to continue their fitness programmes at home, Loughborough Sport has partnered with the Technogym mywellness app to give all students, staff, campus partners and the local community free daily workouts and challenges to compete in.

For more information on how to get started, visit here.