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Paula Radcliffe: If I'm feeling stressed I still go out for a run

Running legend Paula Radcliffe chats about her wellness routine

Happy family: Paula with husband Gary and children Isla and Raphael
Happy family: Paula with husband Gary and children Isla and Raphael

By Lauren Taylor

It's been five years since Paula Radcliffe retired from competitive long distance running, but that doesn't mean she's hung up her trainers for good. The 46-year-old, who is married to Ballygally native Gary Lough, still runs for around an hour a day - for mental health, as much as physical.

Over her long career, Radcliffe was European and World Champion, and won the London Marathon three times. She held the world record for an incredible 16 years before it was broken last year.

Apart from running, how else do you keep fit?

I do some core stability work, some medicine ball work, and some weight training. I try to incorporate specific strength exercises for my foot, because I've had issues with that. And squats.

What's your favourite way to chill out?

Sitting down with a glass of wine and a nice book.

How many hours do you sleep?

When I was training and racing, I would generally sleep nine to 10 hours at night, and then another one or two hours in the afternoon. Now, I don't have anywhere near that! But I still don't function very well if I have less than eight hours' sleep.

What's your go-to way to cope with stress?

Go for a run.

Describe your ideal Saturday morning...

Get up, spend some time with the kids (Isla, 12, Raphael, nine), go out for a run, catch up with family and friends, and do something around the house.

What's your favourite healthy meal to make?

I like teriyaki salmon, I like stir-fries. If I've got time, I quite like making sushi.

Coffee or Herbal tea?

Coffee.

Any health and fitness aims for 2020?

Just to keep on doing what I'm doing. Trying to use the opportunity I've got and the platform I have to help other people, so things like encouraging people to go out and get the flu vaccine to protect their health.

Paula Radcliffe is backing a campaign by Asda Pharmacy to encourage asthma sufferers to get the flu jab (free of charge for this at-risk group) as research found that 1.2 million asthma sufferers are putting their health at risk by missing it

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