Some of Britain’s athletics stars share their plans

While the festive period may look different for many people this year, answers remain mixed when it comes to which athletes will or won’t be training this Christmas Day.

Whether you intend to run or rest this year, you’ll be in good company. Read about the plans of some of Britain’s athletics stars below and then share yours with us on social media – via TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

European 5000m silver medallist Eilish McColgan

“This year, I won’t be training on Christmas Day. I usually just do whatever training typically falls on that particular day but because I haven’t seen my family all year and with covid restrictions making accessing facilities a little more difficult, I’ll be taking the day off and enjoying it with my loved ones.

“I have a rest day every week, so will swap my week around to allow me to travel home.”

Eilish McColgan. Photo by Mark Shearman

Double world para athletics sprint champion Maria Lyle

“I wouldn’t mind training on Christmas Day, to be honest! I quite like training so I’d probably feel quite good for doing that and then I can stuff my face! I haven’t actually spoken with my coach about it (training) so that is up for debate!”

British under-20 800m record-holder Max Burgin

“Christmas Day I’ll definitely be going out for a steady run. It’s quite nice to do one then as the roads in the morning are usually the quietist they are all year, especially this year I would imagine.”

European and Commonwealth long jump medallist Jazmin Sawyers

“I might train on Christmas Day this year! I would usually be with my family but because of the three households rule I won’t be so I might train to give me something to do.”

British pole vault record-holder Harry Coppell

“I will not be training on Christmas Day. We are lucky enough to have the facility access that allows us to train up until the 23rd and have three days off.

“I think it’s important to have some days to just let your body recover and be with family and not have training on your mind. And of course with indoors fast approaching a couple of days to recover for final winter prep is never a bad thing!”

Harry Coppell at the British Champs in 2019. Photo by Mark Shearman

European and Commonwealth 1500m and 5000m medallist Laura Weightman

“I always love going for a run on Christmas Day! I run along the beach in Alnmouth, Northumberland, where I grew up. This is where my running journey began and it’s always a place I enjoy running.”

British 800m champion Keely Hodgkinson

“For the first time in years Christmas Day falls on a Friday which is a rest day for me so I’ll actually be doing nothing on this day and I look forward to doing so!”

British under-20 shot put record-holder Lewis Byng

“If my gym stays open on Christmas Day I’ll definitely be going there!”

Multiple British indoor record-holder Jemma Reekie

“I won’t be training on Christmas Day as it falls on a Friday this year so that’s my rest day. I’ll probably go for a nice walk with my family and dogs though.”

Jemma Reekie. Photo by FIDAL COLOMBO / FIDAL

British indoor 400m and outdoor 400m hurdles champion Jessie Knight

“No, never! Luckily Marina (Armstrong, her coach) never makes us train on Christmas Day. We have been graced with an 800m time trial on Christmas Eve which will be interesting and we always do something on Boxing Day but she always moves training around so we get Christmas Day off, which is really nice.”

Commonwealth discus medallist and English record-holder Jade Lally

“Christmas Day is a Friday, which is normally a throwing, running drills and jumping day. I am usually up at 4am to train so I might be! I have to wait and see what coach says. I’ve done it before. I just get up early to get it done.”

British 5000m champion Jess Judd

“Christmas Day falls on a Friday this year which is actually my easier training day of the week! I normally annoy everyone by waking up at 5am as I get so excited, so I will probably go for an easy run in the morning then celebrate Christmas for the rest of the day!

“Normally me and my sister always try and run together on Christmas Day but she is in America this year so we will have to save that for next Christmas!”

Olympic 3000m silver medallist Wendy Sly

“I have only ever missed two Christmas Day runs since the age of 12, one when I had really bad flu and was bedridden and the other when I was eight months pregnant with my son Max. When I was growing up, my parents would always give myself and my sister running kit for Christmas. It was something they couldn’t necessarily afford normally so it was therefore even more special. After present opening my sister, who is four years younger than me, and I would go for a run showcasing our new kit.

“I was, however, a horrible big sister and sent her on a shorter route, saying that I’d do a longer one and catch her up! It was a good incentive for me, but not so nice for her. She subsequently took up high jump!

“Running Christmas Day went from trying out new kit, to part of a normal training week, to a tradition, and a running day never to be missed. There were some Christmas Days in the mid ‘80s where I did two sessions because it felt good to be out there knowing not everyone else was.

“These days, I get out for a run and then enjoy the day. It’s one of the most enjoyable running days of the year and a great way to start Christmas Day.”

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