Tully talks training and staying healthy while social distancing

26 Mar 2020

Athletes, coaches, support staff and swimming fans alike are beginning a period away from the pool and competition, with the current focus on social distancing and the health and safety of the public. 

We caught up with seven-time World Para Swimming Championships gold medallist Tully Kearney to find out how she will be looking after her physical and mental health, what training she will be doing from home and how she is staying motivated during this uncertain time. 

How are you feeling in the current situation?

I'm scared for the health of some family members, but motivated to keep working hard at home and staying healthy. 

What is it like as an athlete to have your training and schedule so heavily disrupted?

I'm used to overcoming challenges such as injury, which affect my training. I've always been able to overcome these - and I believe we can all overcome this one. 

People's physical and mental health remains the most important focus right now. What things will you be doing to keep yourself feeling well at home?

Before the implementation of social distancing and self-isolation, I needed a little break to boost my mental health after facing many injury challenges this season, so I decided to go to stay and train with some friends.

Tully Kearney
Tully Kearney

As the social distancing and self-isolation orders have come into practice, I had to make the tough decision of whether to stay where I was or go home to be with my mum. As my mum works for the NHS, I would be home alone in isolation, so we all decided it would be best for me to stay with the friends, where I have the equipment and enthusiasm to keep training at home. 

Here, I am able to sew, play games with the friends with whom I am living, play with the dogs and go in the hot tub to keep me busy over the coming weeks.

Have you been able to continue training in any way?

Yes. As well as swimming, I also do a sport called racerunning, so I've been able to go out for a run once a day to maintain some sort of fitness level and for a mental health boost.

I've also been able to carry on my daily core and strength training routines using home equipment such as the bannister, which I can attach a theraband to for exercises. 

Keep checking back to the British Swimming website and social media channels, as we bring you more features, interviews, memorable moments and activities to get involved with over the coming weeks.