In this months episode of SZEP Diaries we're chatting track life with athlete and Sprinter, Olivia May.
Despite the challenges faced by athletes during a pandemic; including changes to routine, restricted access to facilities, limited/modified training and social distancing, Olivia decided to pursue her sprinting career during the 2020 lockdowns and hasn't looked back.
Here, Olivia shares insights about her sprinting career, her top tip for getting started and why it's never too late to do more of what makes you happy.
How did you first discover your talent for sprinting?
My dad was a sprinter growing up and was hopeful that we might’ve had some fast genes in the family so he gave me the choice as a kid to try running on sand or track… I chose sand! I then joined my local surf lifesaving club and fell in love with all the beach events, yet I was still pretty reluctant to run on the track. As I got older, I found more talent in netball however it wasn’t until the 2020 lockdown that I decided to revisit sprinting 7 years later and decided to turn my focus to track this time. After a successful first season back I have fallen back in love with the sport and can’t wait for what the future holds.
Who / what inspires you & why?
Within the sport, it’s the older, more experienced athletes who inspire me. Since starting athletics again, I’ve come to realise how much hard work and training goes into such a short race. Having to perfect so many elements of training isn’t easy and I admire those who have done so for many years.
What is one of your proudest achievements in your sport thus far?
I think my proudest achievement thus far would be winning the 70m at the Bay Sheffield in Adelaide over New Years. I remember being super nervous for this race as it was my first major event I’d run in. Training alone for most of the off-season, I had no idea where I stood competitively so it was a nice surprise! Having come off a tough year affected by lockdown and not having access to facilities, I was really proud to represent the Victorian sprinting community who had faced a number of hurdles in their preparation for the 2020/21 season. This result gave me a lot of confidence and self-belief heading into the rest of the season.
What goals do you have set for yourself in sprinting in the near future?
What really sets this sport apart from the others is that I absolutely love the process of self growth and improvement, rather than the outcome at a competition. I’m genuinely so excited for every training session and am so lucky to be able to train alongside my best friends. So in saying that, every season my goal is to just be fitter, stronger, faster than the previous season, continue to develop discipline and love what I do.
Do you have any tips for people wanting to get into sprinting?
Join a squad and get started! My biggest regret was putting off committing to sprinting for so long. I always wanted to get started but I lacked the confidence and was easily intimidated. Was definitely the best thing I ever did!
What is your favourite SZEP piece for training?
I love training in the SZEP Level Shorts, paired with a matching Square Neck Crop. SZEP’s pieces are so soft and comfortable, and I love how I don’t have to worry about anything falling down or riding up while I’m running. Not only do they feel great but they look incredible too!