Last Updated: June 14, 2012 10:35am
Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis and London 2012 Olympic hopeful, rhythmic gymnast Frankie Jones
With less than 50 days to the 2012 Olympics, aspiring gold medallists, such as Jessica Ennis, will be more focused than ever upon victory. Games legend Denise Lewis knows exactly what it takes to reach the top after famously winning the heptathlon at the 2000 Games in Sydney. And at the official opening of the Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites hotel in Stratford, she gave Sky Sports her formula for glory.
Some athletes have still got to qualify. Athletes and gymnasts have their Olympic qualifying in a week-and-a-half. They have got to get across that hurdle. I was injured on the road to Sydney and so preparation was quite limited. I had to focus on my rehabilitation. But for the healthy athletes, it is all about trying to mentally relax, because there is a lot of pressure for the British athletes. They have to use the energy and know they will be well supported.
People have to listen to their bodies. Obviously the more experienced they are in their career of major championships and competitions, they build a better understanding of what suits them best and how they need to prepare. Once they have that trust with their coach, when they are a senior athlete, the coach will be more inclined to let the athlete get on with their own build-up.
It is a part of your lifestyle. They obviously need to keep a relatively low-fat diet. I relied heavily on a lot of electrolyte drinks and the protein shakes. Carbohydrate-loading drinks are also important. When you are competing, it is not easy to eat. Sometimes your adrenalin can take over and it has an impact on your appetite. But it is still very important to get the energy, calories and glycogen stores in your muscles.
On the times they can switch off, they should try not to over think about the Olympics and instead go about their daily lives. I always listened to music. For me, it helps the mood. It can focus you in training and keep you relaxed in spare time. I used to do jigsaw puzzles before Sydney. I found it quite therapeutic. But everyone will find their own strategy. Some people read books. Some people like to play video games.
Denise Lewis was speaking at the official opening of the Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites hotel London - Stratford City hotel. Holiday Inn is the official hotel provider to London 2012. To book, visit ichotelsgroup.com
DOB: 17/5/1956 Event: Boxing Medals: 1 gold Flag: USA
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