‘Forget perfection and be kind to yourself’: Olympic runner Eloise Wellings on life during this period

‘Forget perfection and be kind to yourself’: Olympic runner Eloise Wellings on life adjustments

Eloise Wellings is a two-time Olympics runner and three-time Commonwealth Games athlete. She’s also the co-founder of the Love Mercy Foundation in Uganda, and mother of two.

Like all of us, her future plans changed dramatically in the past few weeks as we adjusted to a new world of physical distancing and staying at home. For Wellings, her 2020 Olympic dreams have also put on hold, with the announcement of the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to COVID-19 concerns.

We checked in with Eloise to see how she’s adjusting to her new reality and find out any tips she might have for the rest of us on getting through this period.

She shares her advice on how to start running, the importance of keeping up a routine and why we need to be kind to ourselves.

How are you adjusting to the news that the Olympics have been postponed? What does this mean for your personal routines, how does life change?

The news that the Olympics have been postponed was disappointing but not surprising given the current situation that the world is facing. Like so many others, the unknown and the uncertainty has been a challenge but I’m just trying to take it one day at a time, stay present, stay connected with friends and family through FaceTime and adjust to the changes that are happening around us.

Training now will look slightly different to what it would have if the Olympics were this year. We will go back into a base phase of training and continue building a strong foundation on which to benefit from when the opportunity to race presents itself again. This means still running 100+ kilometres per week.

Will you still be training during this period of self-isolation, how do you or will you manage it?

I am still training through this period, it’s important to stay in routine as much as possible to maintain mental health as well. I have the new “Marathon” Lifespan treadmill in my garage that I have been running a lot of my km’s on to avoid leaving the house too much with the current self-isolation guidelines.

What tips do you have for pushing through adversity, especially as we adjust to this uncertainty being our ‘new normal’?

Keep coming back to the present moment and ask yourself “what’s the best next step”.


For many of us trying to juggle work and kids at home during this period, it can feel like a marathon. Are there any tips from your Olympian mindset you’

recommend for pushing through?

A long race is just a whole lot of moments strung together. Life is the same really. If we can direct our attention to what matters in each moment and allow yourself to be fully there in in, that’s how we can bring our best to what matters most.

But it’s not about being perfect at this, it’s about being kind to ourselves when it gets tough and allowing yourself to come back to what we can control and what’s important right now.

And any tips for women looking to take up distance running, especially after
having kids?

Celebrate showing up! It’s so easy to be critical about ourselves and not feel like we’ve done enough but the simple act of getting out the door and doing something is often the biggest achievement. Every time you do this you reinforce to yourself that you are the type of person who prioritises health. The more this becomes your identity the easier it is to repeat.

Remember my “why”; seeing the deeper purpose behind the small actions helps me feel motivated and find joy and satisfaction in the seemingly small things.

Make it a habit; I personally find that if I organise my environment to make it easy to do the right things it’s much more likely to become a habit. For example; I lay my training clothes out every night before I go to bed so that it’s motivation and one less decision to make in the morning.

Do it with others; Where possible I like to make it social, for example meet a training partner for a run. This helps keep you accountable and makes the effort all the more enjoyable.

Take baby steps and consider supplementation. It’s important to give yourself time to heal and adjust to your new life with your little bub(s). For new mothers looking to get back on (the running) track, they can speak to their doctor for the all clear on exercise as well as supplementation.

What inspired your work in Uganda?

The Love Mercy Foundation began in 2010 after I met Ugandan Olympian and former child soldier, Julius Achon. Julius had told me of his dream of restoring hope to his village in Northern Uganda after decades of civil war.

Love Mercy exists to empower communities in Northern Uganda to overcome poverty caused by the horrors of war. Love Mercy sees a future where Northern Uganda is transformed through simple solutions to poverty. Our projects increase access to education, health care, and income generation and are funded entirely by generous donations from the public.

If you’re interested in finding out more or supporting Love Mercy you can visit lovemercyfoundation.org

Eloise Wellings is a Ubiquinol ambassador, which is the active form of CoEnzymeQ10 responsible for energy production in the cells of our body. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner.

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