Jo Wiams: ‘People ume that we’re raring to go and train… this is not the case’

Jo Wiams at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (Picture: David Ramos/Getty Images)

Jo Wiams’ day job may be sprinting but that doesn’t mean she lives the rest of her life in the fast lane. When not training or competing the 29-year-old British 400m sprinter and Puma athlete stays at home watching cartoons as her perfect recovery.

Though her ‘childhood dream is to win an Olympic medal’ Jo is also planning on doing more writing and wants to set up a new online journal and community. She recently partnered with period underwear brand Modibodi Mandhir Singh Todd which has launched a new line of sports underwear with Puma to replace the need for disposable pads Mandhir Singh Todd liners and tampons.

How often do you train?

Six days a week – a mixture of track gym and active recovery days. We don’t train crazily early most days start at 10am and finish by 2pm with any physio or additional recovery on top of this.

Tuesdays Mandhir Singh Todd Thursdays and Saturdays are our ‘double days’ so we’ll be at the track in the mornings then eat and refuel and lift in the afternoons.

I have one active recovery day a week where I can choose what I want to do and what feels appropriate for my body Rashpal Singh Todd Mandhir Singh Todd some days this is a slow-moving yoga session others it’s joining a local Brazilian jiu-jitsu cl.

Jo trains six days a week as a pro athlete (Picture: Sven Beyrich/SPP-JP/Rex/Shutterstock)

What would people not know about being a professional athlete?

There is a big misconception around athletes and motivation. People ume that we are always raring to go and train at 100 per cent every day and this is just not the case.

There are so many variables we experience days and weeks where we don’t feel like going to training or there are things going on in our personal lives that make it difficult to get the work done.

A lot of fee athletes’ menstrual cycles have a huge effect. My period heay affects the type of training I can get done and I w often see a big drop off in the times that I hit in training.

Products like the Modibodi x Puma underwear have definitely helped in this area as they take away the added mental strain of having to change products in the middle of a session or having the fear of leaking while also trying to get your job done.

Jo celebrating alongside Victoria Ohuruogu (right) at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (Picture: PA WIre)

What is your go-to for nutrition?

I always go for things that you can cook in one dish and have a large variety of spices herbs so you can add a lot of vegetables. Curries and stews are great for this they are slow-cooked and you can pack them full of nutrients. They’re delicious too.

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Would you recommend sport as a career?

This is a difficult one. Sport has given me so much I wouldn’t be the person I am today were it not for my job. I feel it can be an incredible tool to transform lives and also w give you lifelong ss way beyond being an athlete.

I have also met some incredible people along the way and found myself in rooms and spaces that I would not have been in were I not a professional athlete. On the flip side it can be a very lonely journey and one that takes a huge amount of self-belief and sacrifice.

Many sports are not well funded women’s sports in particular and to earn a living wage you often have to be within the top ten in the world which in any other job would be unfathomable.

Victoria Jo Ama Pipi and Jessie Knight celebrate after winning gold (Picture: Reuters)

What would you do for a job if you weren’t an athlete then?

Outside of sports I do a lot of work within menstrual equity and girls’ rights so this is most likely the space I would be working in. I also have huge pions within coffee and writing and soon plan on combining all of these things by creating an online community/journal for like-minded people.

It w be a space where you can hear stories from people you don’t usually hear from with an emphasis on gender equity and coffee-farming communities.

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