Why Young British Heptathlete Morgan Lake Is One To Watch This Year

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At just 20 years old, Morgan Lake has some seriously impressive sporting achievements under her belt.

The British Psychology student was the youngest track and field athlete to compete at Rio 2016 and youngest ever track and field athlete to have made the finals of both IAAF World Championships and Olympics.  

The 20-year-old has become the only female British high jump athlete to reach 1.90m+ in 30 competitions. At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, she became the first British woman to reach an Olympic high jump final since Debbie Marti in 1992.

She has three gold medals under her belt (two for high hump and one for a heptathlon as a junior) and has set her goals high for 2018. 

Now this is certainly not to make us feel bad that we don’t have the same accolades despite our age (comparison is the thief of joy and all that), but more an example of if you really want something and work hard for it, you can get it.

“I find it really inspiring being one of the youngest on many of my teams as I get to learn from many of the athletes who are my role models,” Lake told HuffPost UK.

As an athlete, Lake competes in everything from sprints to hurdles and long jumps, so we’re guessing we’re not the only ones who are wondering how she fits it all in.

The 20-year-old credits hard work and her ability to focus on her “end goal” to help her reach her full potential. 

Despite having just one day off a week (the other day off from training involves a full day at university), Lake says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

For the latest in our ‘Fit Fix’ series, Lake’s determination shone through as she schooled us on how being strong-willed has lead her to the top. 

My Motivation

How do you stay motivated? 

“For me, I try to focus on the end goal for the season, setting out with my team the events I want to compete at, and what an ‘ideal end’ to my season would be. This helps me keep going throughout.”

Do you have any specific goals you’re aiming for this year?

“For 2018, the aim is to compete credibly at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, Commonwealth Games and the European Championships.”

What’s your ultimate workout track and why? 

“DJ Khaled ‘Wild Thoughts’ ft. Rihanna, Bryson Tiller.”

My Journey

What do you credit to your success in your fitness journey? 

“Being strong-willed. This comes from a desire to never give up on my dreams. Having a focus on the end goal keeps me motivated through tough situations as I realise it will all be worth it in the end. The quote from Mahatma Ghandi – ‘Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from strong will’ – is something that I have come to realise over the years.”

What’s one of the most memorable moments in your career and why? 

“Winning a double gold at the World Junior Championships in 2014 in the Heptathlon and High Jump, as it was my first global medal.”

Was there ever a low point where you wanted to throw the towel and how did you get past it? 

“It was quite hard when I was at school, because I wasn’t sure if I just wanted to do athletics. But as I started to learn more about the different disciplines within athletics (high jump, hurdles, long jump, triple jump, javelin throw, and many more) and the dedication it took to get better in them, it kept me motivated to stay with it.”

My Training

Talk us through your week in fitness.

“I train five days a week. Mondays are my rest days. Tuesdays I do a technical session, jump session, running session, plyometrics session and then the gym.

“On Wednesdays, I do running and circuits. Thursdays is a repeat of Tuesday. On Saturday I will focus on jumps, sprints and the gym and on Sunday I do circuits and running.”

What’s your favourite type of workout and why? 

“Plyometrics (also known as ‘jump training’, where you do a series of jumps and hops, like jump squats or one-leg hops, with the goal of increasing speed and strength). It’s my favourite as it is the most fun.”

What’s your favourite way to spend your rest day? 

“Mondays and Fridays are my rest days, but Monday is a full day of University (Loughborough University) so not much of a rest. Friday is a more chilled day, to just relax and watch some TV.”

My Food

What do you eat throughout the week to complement your training schedule? 

“I try to eat quite a high protein diet to source my muscles and strength and then will carbohydrates for energy.

“For breakfast, I will typically have avocado and poached eggs on rye bread or an Alpro soya yoghurt with mixed berries, banana and oats. For lunch, usually a salad with couscous, black beans, lentils, falafel/tofu and a Nakd bar and for dinner, usually lentil bolognese or fajitas.”

What are your pre and post-workout snacks?

“Pre-workout the food will be high carbs, like a bagel. Post-workout, I’ll usually have a protein bar.” 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about food? 

“To make sure you time your food and eating right, so you have the right amount of energy when you need it to work out.”

Fit Fix’ is a weekly dose of fitspiration from leading athletes and fitness fanatics. Each week we chat to stars about their weekly workouts, the food they eat and what keeps them going.