Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is triple World champion, Olympic champion, European Champion and British record holder in the heptathlon and World indoor champion in pentathlon. Perhaps more significantly Jess is an icon of British sport and global track and field athletics – as much for carrying the weight of expectations of a nation at the London Olympics in 2012.
To give you an example a 4000m2 portrait of Jess was painted beside the Heathrow airport runway emblazoned with the message, welcome to our turf, that was the message that greeted every athlete, coach, official, reporter and spectator to the London Olympics
Now I had the privilege of working with Jess from her Junior days all the way to her retirement and still work with her now, but this conversation was a chance to look back on the entirety of her career and recap, reflect and in some cases help each other remember aspects of the journey. So it was great to take a chance to take stock with Jess but it was equally a dose of what also makes jess uniquely Jess, what makes her so adored, revered and connected to people is her overwhelming sense of values, ego-less sensibility, grounded kindness, and personability.
5:29 – Life after retirement
7:00 – First GB selection at 15 and school sports day. School athletics and experimenting with events within the sport
11:00 – Changes in physiology after pregnancy
13:55 – A defining career moment and important lesson in approaching training… have no weaknesses
16:40 – The balance of endurance over power, the way in which Toni focussed the training towards Jess’s strengths
19:49 – The mental challenges within the heptathlon event.
21:19 – Mila, Jess’s dog, Jess talks about the impact of Mila and the distractions she brought
21:50 – 2007 Osaka, First World Championships, placed 4th. Excited and motivated to do her best
24:34 – A bank of confidence derived from hard training particularly in the 800m
25:40 – 2008, Götzis, a turning point in Jess’s career. Toni and Jess changed too much, and injury struck!
27:36 – Injury and the devastation of pulling out of competition and the ramifications of not being able to compete in the Olympics
31:03 – Team Jennis pulling together to get Jess back on track. Unloaded training in order to cope with injury and maintain fitness
33:32 – A change in training, sensible training and sensible recovery introducing new elements in order to allow the body to offload
35:10 – 2009 planning after injury, planning the comeback!
40:15 – The face of the Olympics- how did that happen…?
43:20 – The World Championships, Daegu, and a 2nd place. Happiness tinged with sadness, what do I need to do to win?!
45:35- Career moments which show you ‘this isn’t going to be easy’ are beneficial but hard to take
48:50 – The 800m at the Olympics 2012
51:36 – 80,000 people watching at the start of the hurdles during the Olympics!
56:28 – Keeping the mind clutter free, best performances came when I was really happy
1:01 – A change in training regime when Reggie came along, quality sessions… not long sessions
1:06 – Retirement with no regrets
1:09 – Jennis Fitness and the future, for women to stay active throughout pregnancy and after
1:13 – Steve asks “What tip would you give to your younger self?”
If you want to follow Jess you can do so on Instagram at
If you’re interested in taking Jess up on the offer of her training you through her new app then go to
and also on Instagram
Steve Ingham on Twitter
Supporting Champions on Twitter
Join our Facebook ‘ Performance People’ community
Take the next step in your career through our coaching and mentoring support, https://www.supportingchampions.co.uk/coaching-mentoring
If you want to get ahead in sports science, whether you’re a student or a professional, take a look at our online courses and community to help you thrive and develop your impact. Click below.