Paralympic athlete Sophia Warner is ready for the test

 
Laura Williams
FITNESS & DIET EXPERT

WITH just over two months to go until the start of the Paralympics, 100m and 200m athlete Sophia Warner, who has cerebral palsy, is excited, anxious – and training very hard. I caught up with her to talk training, nerves and multi-tasking.

SO HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
Really excited but very anxious too. Even in my local leisure centre, there’s a countdown clock so there’s no getting away from it. I try to stick to my training and just do what I need to do in terms of training.

DO YOU THINK THE PARALYMPIC GAMES ARE STILL CONSIDERED TO BE THE POOR RELATION OF THEIR OLYMPIC COUNTERPARTS?

Yes, there’s still a long way to go but I do think awareness is changing. Personally I find the Paralympics so exciting – you’re not just talking about a massive physical talent – the Paralympics are all about triumph and human spirit. Some of the stories you hear are just incredible.

WHAT’S YOUR TRAINING VOLUME LIKE AT THE MOMENT?
Heavy. I’m doing six days a week, and a total of around 30 hours. I do 3-4 track sessions, 3-4 gym sessions and lots of physio and posture work. I focus a lot on my core: I have to work really hard on balance work that the average person could do relatively easily.

MANY CITY A.M. READERS STRUGGLE TO MAINTAIN THAT WORK/LIFE BALANCE LIKE YOU. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR MAKING EXERCISE A HABIT?

I struggle with balancing the volume of training and my home life [Warner has two children]. Just find 20 minutes to do something that’s pretty low maintenance. Or if you feel like exercise is taking you away from something you enjoy, combine the two. If you love gardening, ramp up the intensity of your gardening tasks and add-in a few calf raises.