Until a few years ago, running was something 27-year-old Sam Harrison did just for fun and to keep fit.
She entered the sport by joining her local Notts Athletic Club in 2018 and going along to their track sessions. After that, tumbling times and the guidance of her coach Vince Wilson, encouraged her to take the sport more seriously.
That resulted in a first Great Britain vest in 2020, before she made England Athletics' Commonwealth Games squad for the 10,000m last summer.
The fact that Sam finished sixth in Birmingham was an incredible achievement. Along the way, she admits there's been an impact on her social life, while she also balances training alongside her job in a dental practice.
Sam Harrison on what life was like before she started training as an athlete:
"I used to just go out and run and thoroughly enjoyed being outside and running. Before, if I didn't want to run, I could just turn the TV on and sit down and watch a movie!"
In the podcast, Sam explains how coach Vince Wilson gradually adjusted her routine - including advising on sleep and nutrition - to give her more structure:
"I didn't understand the concept of pace. What pace I was running, I'd run every single day. I wouldn't have recovery runs. It needed a lot more structure and a little bit more discipline. He put that into a good plan."
Video: Sam Harrison. Watch on YouTube.
Sam says anyone can achieve what she has with the right support team, belief and confidence:
"None of my family have a sporting background. If you just dedicate yourself to something and you genuinely love the sport, I think you can go as high as you want in that sport."
Sam on the Commonwealth Games:
"It was just amazing. The home crowd were just screaming in the stadium. That's how I knew it was the end of the race, purely by the crowd! Everybody was so proud. It was a great experience and I'm hoping to do that again."
Sam recently ran a time of 30:51 for 10K to go fourth on the UK all-time list while out in Valencia.
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- Featured image: Samantha Harrison for Team England in the women’s 10,000m final at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium. Photo Credit: Sam Mellish / Team England.