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Eleana's Story

"Running and cheerleading both play different roles in my life."

I briefly attended the park run before lockdown, which motivated me to maintain my running during lockdown. However, I went from running 5km once a week to running 40-50km per week. I enjoy training hard week-on-week and then feeling the benefits when I get a PB at local park runs or races.I also find it motivating when I realise, I am running much faster than I used to, and it feels much easier!

As I have recently become a member of The Alpine Run Project, I get lots of motivation from my team mates as before now I had not had the opportunity to run with like-minded people of a similar age to me.

Elena smiling and trail running outside with another runner behind her.

I am also a competitive cheerleader. Although I enjoy competing and find it motivating, I get the most enjoyment from training as I enjoy pushing myself to get new skills.

I find that cheerleading is much more of a mental game than running as it can be scary to get new skills. Nevertheless, when you achieve a new skill or win a competition it is greatly rewarding.

As a sixth form student, I have to balance training with my schoolwork. I hope to study veterinary medicine at university; therefore, it is vital that I get top grades in my A-levels as it is very hard to get into vet school.

As cheerleading is at regular times each week, I plan my schedule around that and try to get in my runs on the days I am not at cheer. I also particular enjoy strength training in the gym before sixth form as not only does it make me stronger for both sports and reduce my injury risk, but it also makes me feel productive and sets me up for a good day at sixth form. However, I must also make time for socialising and give my legs time to recover- which is something I sometimes struggle with.

Elena, smiling on the beach with her cheer flag wrapped around her.

Running and cheerleading both play different roles in my life. Running is a way for me to get out and explore on my own. I love the fact that running is something that you must push yourself to do if you want to improve, therefore it feels like you have accomplished a new challenge every single day and you do not need anyone else to do so.

Whereas cheerleading gives a much more social aspect to sport. It is motivating when you see your teammates overcome a hurdle or get a new skill as it makes you want to improve even more.

In cheerleading everyone has their own individual job within a routine, and it feels amazing when everything comes together, and the routine goes perfectly without any falls- as this is something that can take a very long time.

Before lockdown I did not run that much (only the parkrun) however, due to having much more free time, I began to run multiple times a week. I did not have a coach, but I used Instagram and YouTube to improve my training.

However, my cheerleading gym had to close so I was unable to practise the routines and skills with my teammates.

Nevertheless, we all met up on zoom calls to do conditioning and HIIT classes to stay fit. We even use glasses of water inside a show to mimic a stunt! Aswell, in lockdown I was able to go to the park with my friend to practise out tumbling skills and even though this was nothing like the cheer gym, I enjoyed improving my tumbling skills in the sunshine!