6 time gold medalist 1500m-run champion Steve Cram recently visited us at The BodyHoliday. I caught up with him to chat about his impressions of our resort, tips on healthy lifestyle, the 2012 Olympics, and some of the challenges he faced in his career.
How have you enjoyed your stay at The Body Holiday?
I’ve been really busy lately, and it’s just what the doctor ordered. Allison (Curbishley) has taken advantage of the treatments, and I tend to just relax and lie down a bit. We’ve taken it really easy; normally our holidays tend to be more active.
The nice thing about Lesport is if you want to get into the whole Spa thing you can do, but if you don’t want to you don’t have to. For couples that’s a good thing, there’s plenty of variation.
Do you have any tips for healthy lifestyle?
I think there’s a bit too much made about healthy lifestyle. There are two things that I think are really essential. Firstly is getting the right information. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. Many people know more about how their car runs than the biomechanics and the physiology of their bodies. You accept that your car can’t run if you’re not putting the right fuel in it, yet we eat the wrong foods or too much food and so on.
Secondly, it’s not how you look on the inside, but about how things are working on the inside. You can have a nice shiny car, but if the engine’s all rusted and horrible then it isn’t going to go very far. Going into the gym and getting nice big muscles is fine, but it isn’t going to make you live longer. What will make you live longer is taking care of your engine; which is your heart and lungs and cardiovascular system. I think because that’s sometimes the hardest thing, people tend to shy away from it.
Walking, running, cycling, swimming…anything that gets your heart rate up. A small amount on a regular basis is what will keep you fit and healthy. If you do that, you can eat the things you want to eat, you don’t have to have a stupidly controlled diet, and I think that’s what most people are looking for; some kind of balance in their life.
I know you must be looking forward to the 2012 Olympics, what do you hope to see from it?
I want it to be a safe games first of all. I want there to be plenty of drama, but all in the arena. The Olympics is a massive event, and the focus of the world is going to be on London, so of course I’m hoping for plenty of British success. And it’d be nice to think that from a sporting point of view there’ll be an uplift in people’s interests, particularly with kids.
Who do you think is going to win the 1500 metres? For men and women?
Wow, that’s tough, because there’s nobody that really stands out in terms of dominating. In the last World Championships, the women’s 1500 was won by Jenny Simpson – an American girl who you normally wouldn’t put in the world’s top ten. And that’s the great thing about the 1500s, they’re quite an unpredictable event.
For the men’s, there are two guys who are favourites, particularly a Kenyan called Asbel Kiprop who is technically the reigning champion. He came second in Beijing, but the guy who came first was later disqualified for taking drugs, so he was retrospectively given the gold. He’s gotten better since then and he should win…but he’s a bit inconsistent and keeps losing races which he shouldn’t.
As for the women’s, it’s really hard…I could pick one of five or six people. Let’s put it this way, I’m hopeful that Great Britain will at least have a medalist. It’s an event that Britain traditionally does quite well at. Hannah England won silver at the last World Championships, and Lisa Dobriskey did the same in 2009. So we’ve had 2 girls who have won 2 medals in the last 2 world championships.
Finally, what’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
I think the toughest thing you face is injuries. It’s not like your competitors because you can prepare for that, but it’s injuries that stop you doing what you want you want to do. It’s the most draining thing, and sometimes there’s nothing you can do.
You can over train and get injured, but for example I nearly missed a whole year because I stood on a Coke can and twisted an ankle. Sometimes it’s just very silly little things. And it’s the thing that which eventually catches up with all of us. Your body eventually gets to the point where you can’t maintain that level of intensity. Once you get into your 30s it’s really hard to train at that level without breaking down.
Thank you very much for your time Mr Cram!