A runner’s life, by Dame Kelly Holmes
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A runner’s life, by Dame Kelly Holmes

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I started running when I was 12 years old, a skinny girl with an afro. I knew I loved running, I felt free and seemed to glide over rather than pound the pavements.

At 14 years old, I was inspired by the Olympic movement and just three years later I was a junior international athlete winning the mini youth Olympics.

I then went into the British Army where the majority of my time was spent doing physical training and running in combat boots daily, along with cross country, tabbing, basic fitness tests and bleep tests.

During that time, I got back into my international athletics career, winning 13 international medals for Great Britain which resulted in the unthinkable two Olympic Gold Medals! Although you may be surprised to hear that that wasn’t the hardest part of my journey.

Instead, it was navigating the training while recovering from recurring injuries, and that is where my real introduction to treadmills started.

I have to say that at first, treadmills weren’t my favourite machine in a gym – I always found them boring and the deck that the belt ran on always reminded me of my first ever indoor race at RAF Cosford, when it was just like running on boards with no give.

On the other hand, sometimes the outdoor elements were not conducive to running, so treadmills enabled me to stick to my training schedules.

Having been running now for 38 years I know how different surfaces can be either beneficial or a hindrance to my running, and it’s certainly true to say that I’ve run on every surface you can imagine – bricks, concrete, tarmac, grass, sand, mud, pine, tartan, Mondo and treadmills.

I recently had an operation on my heel bone and Achilles tendon and as part of my rehab my physiotherapist told me I could only walk then gradually increase to walk/running for a period of time, but I couldn’t risk running on the road.

So, I looked into what was out there on the market and found the Star Trac® FreeRunner, supplied by Core health & Fitness.

After looking into the reviews, I was impressed with the positive feedback on the new HexDeck technology.

They mentioned it significantly reduces impact compared to traditional deck designs and the HexDeck feels “softer,” “easier on the joints” and “like running on a track” – so I was intrigued!

I’m lucky enough to have a gym in a converted barn, so have plenty of space to put the FreeRunner. Installation took about three hours, but this is because I have the embedded screen that I love. No more boredom with the completely interactive screen!

As running is my life, to say I was excited about my new toy is an understatement! Firstly, it looks really sleek with the new aluminium deck, belt system and the red HexDeck. It certainly stands out as modern and innovative.

Having completed a few slow runs on it now, I find it so much softer than any other treadmills I’ve used, I find it extremely smooth and very easy to run on. There’s less impact on landing, and you don’t need much effort to run.

It also feels really good on my ankle joints because of the shock absorption and cushioning – something that’s been really helpful with my rehab.

Now back to my running, I’m competitive, so am looking forward to progressing my running, using every element of the Star Trac FreeRunners’ programmes, visuals, speeds and inclines.

My running has always been about a variety of training and not just steady runs. Hills, fartleks, tempo runs, sprints, speed endurance and I can’t think of a more perfect machine to help me get back!

The Star Trac FreeRunner gives you great options to progress your performance and in a safe environment. In my opinion this is a fantastic machine made for the beginner and serious athlete alike.

Dame Kelly Holmes Biography

Dame Holmes who still holds the British records in the 800m and 1000m, is a double Olympic and Commonwealth champion, as well as a multiple medallist at European and World championships. This includes her double win in the 800m and 1500m at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, becoming the first women in the UK to ever win two gold medals at the same Games and first Briton in over 80 years to do so.

After her Olympic success, she won BBC Sports Personality of the Year, European and World Athlete of the Year and was honoured with a Damehood, as well as winning 25 awards in areas of philanthropy, mentoring, sport and author of five books.

Dame Holmes is a global inspirational speaker, an Honorary Colonel with the Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment and dedicated her career after professional sport to guiding disadvantaged young people, by getting their lives back on track by using world-class athletes to engage, enable and empower.

“Running is my life, because my life was saved by running,” – Hon Col Dame Kelly Holmes MBE.

About Core Health & Fitness

Earlier this year Core Health & Fitness announced an exciting collaboration with Dame Holmes, after supplying her with the Star Trac FreeRunner treadmill to get her back to peak after her latest surgery earlier this year.

Core Health & Fitness is more than a gym equipment supplier and prides itself on offering innovative solutions for all your facility’s needs.

Whether working with us directly or through our partners and distributors worldwide, we provide the highest quality equipment backed by a service and support team that will always go the extra mile to get you what you need, when you need it.

Partner with us and see how our Core Values motivate our every decision.

Visit Core Health & Fitness here.

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Company Details
Core Health & Fitness
Core Health & Fitness is more than gym equipment, we offer innovative solutions for all your facility needs. Whether working with us directly or through our partners and distributors world-wide, we provide the highest quality equipment backed by a service and support team that will always go the extra mile to get you what you need, when you need it. Partner with us and see how our Core Values motivate our every decision.

We offer the commercial fitness and health club marketplace an unmatched portfolio of brands including Star Trac® fitness equipment solutions, StairMaster® HIIT products, Nautilus® commercial strength products, Schwinn® indoor cycling bikes and more recently Throwdown® for functional fitness.
Unit 4, The Gateway Centre,
Coronation Road,
Cressex Business Park,
High Wycombe,
Buckinghamshire HP12 3SU UK
+44 (0)1494 688260
I started running when I was 12 years old, a skinny girl with an afro. I knew I loved running, I felt free and seemed to glide easily rather than pound the pavements.

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