5 minutes with… Jazz Carlin
Healthy talks to swimming champion Jazz Carlin
So Jazz, we can’t wait to watch you in the Games this summer! What’s it like being a professional swimmer?
I feel really lucky that this is my job. It is a hard, hard life – sometimes and you’ve got to put all these hours into training and working really hard. But it’s worth it!
Ahead of the games, how do you stay in the right headspace?
Mostly I try and relax through speaking to my parents and my boyfriend Lewis [Coleman, a fellow swimmer]. With Lewis, it’s nice to have someone who has been through it and understands it, because it’s not always the easiest lifestyle to work around. I also love relaxing with a long soak in the bath. I add Epsom salts to help my muscles recover from training.
What’s the greatest obstacle you’ve faced in your career?
My biggest disappointment in my career was missing out on the London 2012 Olympics. Unfortunately, in 2011, I found out that I had glandular fever, so it made training very difficult and I couldn’t put a solid block of training together. I took some time out of the pool after not qualifying and having that time out made me realise how much I love swimming and how I still wanted to train to make the Olympics.
Where’s home for you?
Bradford on Avon. It’s such a cute village and not far from Bath University, where I train. Recently I’ve bought a three bedroom house, which I’ve spent most of my spare time shopping for and and renovating. I’ve gone for a ‘shabby chic’ decor and we’ve had a whole new kitchen fitted soon so it feels lovely and modern.
Describe an average evening to me…
I love cooking with Lewis. He’s a much better chef than me! We’re into making recipes from Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15 at the moment. Then, we’ll cuddle up on the sofa and watch television: we’re really into watching The Blackness recently. We also love Marcella and Undercover.
What about date night?
Our first date was going to see Manchester United at Old Trafford – it’s great that we’ve got a football team in common. We also love going to the cinema and out for dinner – spicy food is my favourite, especially Thai food and anything from Wagamama’s.
Yum. Do you have a favourite cheat food?
Yes, fudge! They have an amazing fudge store in Bath; I have to try and stay away when I’m in training.
You’ve mentioned that swimming isn’t the most glamorous of careers. Do you like getting dressed up, too?
Of course! Most of my days are spent in sports clothing with wet hair, so I love it when I have the chance to get dressed up for events. I’ve also discovered Gelish – it’s the first nail treatment I’ve found that stays on in the pool. It’s always nice to add a bit of glamour, even when I’m training.
As a swimmer, you’re always in a swimming costume. Do you ever get self-conscious?
Like every other woman, I have body hang ups and parts of my body that I’m not happy with, but I always feel most confident when I have worked hard in the pool and in the gym. Being a swimmer, my arms and shoulders are naturally quite big because of the amount of training I do, but I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today without them.
Travel is a big part of your job. Is that something you really enjoy?
I do love travelling to new places. My favourite place to visit is Australia, I love the weather over there and training outdoors is amazing with the sun on your back; plus, the beaches are stunning. I also love going to Cornwall with my family – I still go every year. I love surfing and body boarding there. It just feels very natural to me to be in the water.
Thanks for speaking to healthy, Jazz! Can’t wait to watch you in Rio.
Athlete Jazz Carlin struck the official Team GB gold edition 50p coin at The Royal Mint ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Show your support for Team GB with this official UK 50p coin from www.royalmint.com