We talk to the fastest female in the UK - Miss Dina-Asher-Smith, who recently broke the UK women's record for 100m!
Hi Dina, thank you for taking some time out to talk to us today! We were delighted to hear about your huge achievement in July – beating the British women’s record by being the first British woman to run 100m in under 11s. Incredible! How did you feel when you crossed the line, did you know that you had broken the record?
It felt amazing!! During the race I remember feeling like I was actually doing quite well and felt like it was a fast run but sometimes the clock doesn’t reflect your feelings. But when I crossed the line and saw 10.99 … I was absolutely over the moon!
How did you prepare yourself both physically and mentally? I understand that you must put in an incredible amount of training, but it must be quite challenging to cope with the stress and pressure…
Well physically, it's more or less what you would imagine when you think about training – I spend time working both on the track and in the gym, I get regular physiotherapy and also have to make sure I eat well and get plenty of sleep. Preparing mentally is a bit harder to describe. For me, I think I naturally try and alleviate some of the pressure that I have on myself by trying to normalize the situation – so I always think about how a race situation is not too different to running the same distances, either 100m or 200m, in training and I always try to forget about the other competitors and just focus on the technical aspects of my race that I need to get right.
Can you give us an example of a typical day’s training?
So my training diary isn’t like a normal full-time athlete’s mainly because I’m also a full time student at King’s College London studying History. My day often starts with a 9am lecture in central London, after which I either work in the library or go to classes until about 4pm. Then I make my way home, have a small snack and a quick power nap and then go to training for 7pm at my local track, Norman Park. At training we will warm up, which has some core exercises and plyometrics put into it as well, do the main session and then I’ll warm down and finish at around 8:30 - 9pm.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Well in terms of a person, my inspiration has to be Christine Ohuruogu - such a successful athlete, Olympic Champ and double world champ, and such a lovely lady too! She’s really humble and down to earth and genuinely interested in giving something back, especially to her home borough Newham.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? When did you first start training? Did you always win at school sports day?
Well I got into athletics via Cross Country! I won my borough’s primary school Cross Country championships and from there I joined my local athletics club, Blackheath and Bromley. At that age I was there very much to have fun and make friends!
When did you realise that you were particularly talented? And how did you take it to the next level?
It might sound like I had the ‘realization’ quite late, but it was after the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, from which I came back with a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay. Before that I had been running with a plan to use the achievements to put on my UCAS form and help me get into a good uni! After medalling at the World Champs, I decided that I should probably take athletics a bit more seriously. Haha
What would be your ultimate achievement?
My ultimate achievement would be to become an Olympian. Which probably sounds quite underwhelming, but since I was really small I have always wanted to be one. It’s a childhood dream.
What advice could you give to other women who may aspire to achieve challenging goals? What has been the key to your success personally?
I would say, first and foremost that you have to believe in yourself. Don’t put barriers on what you think you can achieve, just go and give it your best and you could surprise yourself. And the key to my success… I don’t know really! I’m really fortunate to have a really supportive family and friends and a brilliant coach, who I’ve known since I first joined my running club at age 8.
We’re really happy to hear that you like Nubian Skin! What’s your tone?
Which products have you tried and what did you think?
I’ve got a few pairs of tights and also some underwear! I absolutely love them. I think it’s a great brand and a great idea. I also wear a lot more skirts and dresses now!!!
Why do you think it’s important for women of colour to have the option of their own ‘nude’?
Quite simply because it’s important for every woman to have the option of having their own ‘nude’.
What’s next for you? Will you be competing in the Olympic Games?
Hopefully, that’s what I’m working towards for the next year!
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. We wish you the best and we will be cheering your name!!