Back in late March 14, I got the opportunity to attend the Be:Fit London Women’s only Festival as part of the press team. Whilst I had an absolute blast on Friday 28th May 14, I was unable to attend on the Saturday for my 1st Degree Black Belt Grading was on Sunday 30th March 14. Thankfully my friend and photographer Colvin Hazzard was able to attend on my behalf and after capturing images of the day including British Commonwealth Heptathlon Champion Louise Hazel’s The Podium Effect class, he managed to mention the possibility of being interviewed by yours truly for this very site and much to my delight she agreed!
Casting my mind back to when I first scanned through the Be:Fit London programme and seeing the line up of athlete’s and industry professionals in attendance of this awesome Women’s Only festival, I instantly knew I wanted to somehow feature Louise as for me, she embodies what the profiles section of this site is about as it shines the spotlight on individuals who are role models within our society.
Louise is a focused, highly determined elite athlete within her field and as a fitness professional she strives to play a part in helping others also lead a fit and healthy lifestyle via her online training programme The Podium Effect.
Louise kindly took time out of her ever busy schedule to answer my questions as life as a professional athlete, her mindset during high profile competitions, her first taste of athletics as well sharing her beauty tips.
I began the interview with the following interview.
It appears sport has played a huge part in your life. Did you always like sports as a child or was this something you grew to love and enjoy?
Sport has always been a part of my life – I was a natural all-rounder, fast, agile and co-ordinated and I had a passion for winning. My first sporting memory was watching older girls playing netball and being told I was too young to play, I was finally given the chance in year 4 and I loved it!
Your first taste of Athletics came at aged 10 when your Father signed you up to your local club. At this age, what track and field event would you say came most natural to you?
I was a natural born sprinter, which was awesome because my basic speed and explosive power would later lend itself to the long jump, high jump and sprint hurdles. I found taking on the other events exciting.
You have been a senior member of the Great Britain Athletics Club since the age of 17, what made you choose to compete in the multi discipline event Heptathlon?
I enjoyed the variety of training that multi-events introduced me to, although sprinting was my forte I loved the challenge of trying to learn a new discipline.
Your senior debt was at the European Championships in Sweden during the year 2006. Can you remember how you mentally prepared for this event and what you learned from competing alongside senior professional athletes in your field?
I was selected for the European Championships just two weeks before the event, so I didn’t have much time to mentally prepare. Ultimately, I was excited by the opportunity so I just tried to channel that positive energy into my performance. It can be really intimidating to young athletes to line up against the best in field, but I believed in myself, I had earned the right to be there and I wanted to make it count!
Heptathlon has a total of seven different disciplines which all require different areas and techniques to work on. Can you give us in insight into your training regime including specific techniques, drills and exercises your coach would make you do.
I would always do technical sessions in the morning, such as hurdles, high jump shot put etc. This would then be followed by weights or running sessions in the evening. Training this way allowed me to be at my freshest for the skillful and mental challenges of technical sessions. You can get an insight into the type of drills that I might do in my new fitness plan The Podium Effect it’s online at www.thepodiumeffect.com
If you had to analyze your own performance, what event would you personally choose as being your strongest event?
My strongest event is the 100m hurdles, however for an athlete of 55kg to throw 47m in the javelin is really quite impressive, as you have to be able to throw technically very well to hit those kind of distances.
Jessica and Katarina are your biggest British rivals. What is that rivalry like during competitions, especially when you all are good friends?
My biggest rival, always has been and always will be myself. I cannot control how others perform I can only control how I perform and how I react to other people’s performances. As for the girls, they are a pleasure to compete with!
We are all intrigued by the mindset of an athlete whilst in the height of competing in high profile events such as the Olympic Games…
Describe what the atmosphere is like. Are you the type to have a laugh and talk to other athletes in between your attempts at Javelin for example or are you completely in the zone and focused on the task at hand?
When you step out into an arena of 80’000 people, the banter stops and things get serious. Although you might converse even joke with other competitors your focus is very narrow and your attention is always on the job in hand. There is noise…but no crowd, only you.
Being an elite athlete, one assumes nutrition is high on the agenda in order to get the most out of yoHaur performance for your events.
Describe what would a typical day’s food and drink diary look like for you and do you have a particular favorite dish to increase energy levels?
I have cereal in the morning normally porridge oats, normally scrambled eggs and avocado for lunch and dinner always consists of lean protein, fish, chicken of beef followed by some vegetable concoction. I put all of my recipes on pinterest www.pinterest.com/thepodiumeffect
Having competed in this discipline for over a decade, what would you say has been your worst injury sustained to date and how long did it take you to recover?
I’ve been really lucky, I’ve only really sprained my ankle although I did suffer from chronic patella tendonitis for which I had to change my high jump take-off leg which was like learning to write with the other hand- very messy at first.
For those that may not be able to see past current circumstances holding them back to achieve their fitness related goals e.g. injuries, what advice would you give people to overcome these set-backs?
Hurdles are inevitable in life, it’s deciding how you get over them that defines you as a person and ultimately you need to put time in to developing mental strength as much as physical strength.
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
My Dad played a huge role in my athletics career, when he passed away I just wanted to make him proud.
In September 2013, you officially announced your retirement from the world of Heptathlon. What was the reason(s) behind this?
I had no option, I was dropped from National Lottery Funding and I had no sponsorship – this is the reality of the lack of Olympic Legacy.
You have recently started your own online training programme entitled ‘The Podium Effect’ which is aimed at people that want to get fit and healthy.
For those not already familiar, please can you describe The Podium Effect and how people can get involved?
The Podium Effect is a 60 Day online training and nutritional plan for those who want to get in shape following a period of inactivity. You can sign up for a 60 Day challenge at www.thepodiumeffect.com
It’s a home workout for who want and need flexibility and change in their lifestyles.
Outside of athletics’ you are a known DJ. What are your musical influences and what tracks would we find you spinning at an event or club?
My first official appearance will come this month, I will be playing at Oslo in Hackney, my music taste varies but on the particular night it will be all about old skool RnB, Hip Hop and Dancehall music.
You appeared on celebrity ‘Come Dine With Me’ in which you won. How often do you get to cook for friends?
Not as often as I’d like since I moved to London. The last time I cooked for my ex-boyfriends parents I made breakfast. It was hilarious; I burnt the plantain, and then covered it with balsamic vinegar! They loved it, or at least they said they did!
As someone who studied in France during your years at University to obtain a French degree, what is your favorite place in this country to visit?
The Viaduct at Millau; it’s a beautiful piece of architecture and it gives me the feeling of being free. Google it!
You are very glamorous. Do you have a particular beauty regime and any particular secrets you would like to share with us?
Thank you, I am a Libra and we like all things shiny and beautiful.
When it comes to beauty, I feel that less is more.
I don’t colour my hair, apply fake nails or lashes anymore. It’s just high-maintenance.
Instead, I try to eat clean and drink plenty of water (2l per day), I fake tan with St Tropez if I can’t get away on holiday.
I always moisturize my lips – Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream is great for this and I use laser hair removal from Harley Medical Centre for which I was an Ambassador – I loved it!
You won Gold at the Commonwealth Championships in 2010.
Are you tempted in any way to come out of retirement and compete at this year’s commonwealth Games?
I am out of retirement and have been in training since December, I am looking forward to the thought of being a competitive athlete again! So watch this space!
What are your plans for the future outside of personal training and athletics?
I am about to launch my Youtube channel which will feature regular motivation, nutritional information and workouts for those who want to get fit and stay fit.
As well as this the world of media and entertainment beckons, and I have also appeared in a movie called Kill Your Friends starring Nicholas Hoult.
There is no denying that Louise is a very focused, determined and positive young lady who constantly strives to push both her own and her clients physical boundaries when it comes to health and overall fitness. I LOVE the fact that she too competes against herself, knows what she wants and goes after it and strives to be a better person.
My friend Colvin who had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to Louise on Saturday 28th March 14 confirmed she is a lovely, down to earth and outgoing individual who despite her high profile, had time for each of her fans.
Being an athletics fanatic, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Louise every success for the upcoming commonwealth championships and look forward to watching your performance.
Should you want to find out more about Louise Hazel, she can be found online by visiting the Official Louise Hazel website, Louise Hazel Facebook or by Simply following her on Twitter.
If you are intrigued about Louise’s 60 day fitness programme The Podium Effect and want to perhaps take the plunge and get involved yourself, it can be found by visiting The Podium Effect website and by simply following on Twitter.
Louise Hazel website: images 1, 3 , 4, 7, 8
The Podium Effect website: image 5
Colvin Hazzard – Haz Pics Photography: images 2 & 6