Five-time Olympian Jo Pavey says she is targeting a record-equalling sixth Olympic Games next year, when she will be 46, because she “loves the fun of running”.
Pavey, who wants to participate at Tokyo 2020, has won World, European and Commonwealth medals in the 10,000m and 5,000m.
She first competed at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000 and is looking to match Tessa Sanderson’s six Olympic appearances by a British track and field athlete.
Speaking to Sportswomen, she said: “I love the banter about my age. I just absolutely love running and if you find something you love then you keep doing it.
“I love setting myself a challenge, and a goal, and a reason to get out of the door.
“I just love being part of the running community and everything I do or don’t achieve is just a product of the fun I’m having.
“But I’m not under any illusion, it is a big ask. It is a big challenge and there are lots of talented girls in the country but I feel like it is a realistic one and I am just going to give it my all and see what happens.”
Pavey, who is an asthma sufferer, insists age is just a number and says it should not necessarily be a barrier if the mindset is right.
She added: “The older you get the more experience you gain and I have definitely learnt a lot about training, what works for me and what doesn’t, recovery phases, listening to my body and prioritising the important aspects of training.
“I just love it and I love the inspiration I get from my younger team-mates. Recently I have done some track sessions when I have thought they aren’t too bad and I think it’s a realistic goal.
“As you get older don’t treat yourself as old. I think if you stop doing things you did when you were younger then, of course, you get slower.
“I try to keep all the training elements in there and just get on with it. I know what I’ve got to try and achieve and just try my best to do that.
“But I just love running and it really keeps me motivated.”
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