Jo Pavey

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The British distance runner tells us how athletics gave her confidence.

Raise Your Game: What motivates you?

Jo Pavey: Just enjoying the sport. At this stage of my career people ask me why I'm still excited about doing it? I think there are always new challenges. I'm doing different events this year and it's so exciting. I really enjoy the lifestyle that athletics gives me. I'd recommend it to anyone.

RYG: How do you plan your life around training and competing?


Jo Pavey

20 September 1973

Honiton, Devon


2007 World Championships - fourth place
2006 European Championships - fourth place
2006 Commonwealth Games - silver medal

JP: You get into a routine. You need a lot of discipline but you can enjoy the discipline. You have to be motivated but the rewards are worth it. Whatever level you're competing at it's about getting out, enjoying yourself, making friends and cheering each other on.

There are so many goals you can work towards and there's always something to go for. I've travelled to lots of different places in the world and made lots of friends. That's why I think athletics is such a great sport - you make friends for life.

RYG: When you're running these distances, how do you keep yourself going?

JP: On the longer distances I try to focus on being relaxed. You have to make sure you've got something left at the end and if you're tense all the way around you'll have nothing left at the end. I concentrate on my form and try to use as little energy as I can get away with. If you're sprinting it's all about bang from the go. You've got to go for it. With distance races you've got to focus on what you're doing tactically and hopefully have something left for a good finish.

RYG: What skills have you learnt that can be applied to your life outside sport?

JP: You learn social skills and it gives you a lot of confidence. When I was younger I was quite shy and it's definitely helped me meeting all the people I have.

RYG: How important is support from the crowd in helping you to raise your game?

JP: It's huge. I'm always so grateful to the crowd. They really help you out by cheering you on.

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