The European medallist is living by the rule of “stop stopping myself”
Steph Twell says she will now reinvent her aims and goals after winning her fifth British 5000m title in Birmingham to also book her place on the GB team for the European Championships in Berlin.
“My mantra this year is to stop stopping myself,” the Scottish athlete explained on Sunday just a short while after staying true to that rule to gain another national gold.
Blasting away over the final lap at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium, Twell’s rivals couldn’t stop her either.
“It was a pressure pot, I guess,” she said. “The weather was hot out there but I think the tactics were hotter. It was a tactical race and I did want to make it as easy as possible, it was my fifth one so I wanted to do it in style.”
While Twell – who claimed European 5000m bronze in Amsterdam two years ago – was pleased to have secured her spot in the squad for the continental event next month, she admits it was racing to retain her title which mattered the most.
“Going to Berlin is huge,” she said. “I’m a previous medallist so it was a huge drive. But my actual drive came from retaining my title. I’ve got some really great competition and there was also the pressure from myself – this is my fifth title, I really want to retain it. I wanted to be able to say I’m a champ for another year.”
On that self-imposed pressure the 28-year-old, who is now coached by former Scottish Athletics CEO and athlete turned commentator Geoff Wightman, added: “Being in the sport as long as I have, competing at a high level for over a decade, I guess I know the ropes pretty well but also every year you have to reframe your mindset to be positive and it is tough. Going out for training – what’s going to push your drive this year, what’s going to push your motivation to go that bit harder in training?
“I love these competitions. I’m a racer, I love championships, so you’ll get the best out of me here.
“I think I’ve got to reinvent my aims and goals,” she continued, looking ahead to the European Championships. “This is actually only my fourth year as a championship 5km runner and I still think it is a very tough event, when two years of that cycle you have to go to a world or Olympic level.
“To first get good at a domestic level, to get good at a European level, it’s challenging, but I feel like I’m now doing that regularly. I want to make myself a constant and I’m here doing that, so I’m delighted.”
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