The Physical Performance Show: Sonia Sullivan – 3x World Champion (500m, Cross Country), Olympic Silver Medallist 5000m

 In Podcast (The Physical Performance Show)

Sonia O'Sullivan

In episode 140 of The Physical Performance Show Brad Beer shares a conversation with featured performer Sonia Sullivan – 3x World Champion (500m, Cross Country), Olympic Silver Medallist 5000m

Sonia Sullivan has an impressive Bio.  Sonia won gold in the 5000m at the 1995 World Athletics Championships and the Silver Medal in the 5000m at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. In fact, Sonia’s World Record of 5:25 still stands from 1994. Sonia first came to running prominence when she finished fourth in the 3000m Final of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. From there, Sonia went on to win the Silver Medal in the 1500m at the 1993 World Athletics Championships before becoming the favourite for the 5000m title at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

During this episode Sonia talks through the pain of her Olympic loss along with her life now with her husband Melbourne Track Club Coach Nic Bideau, raising their children and walking a dog and at times listening in to The Physical Performance Show. There’s a whole lot in this episode with Sonia O’Sullivan sharing around her career highs, lows and learnings that I know you really enjoy.

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Listen in as we delve into the following:

  • Introduction to Sonia O’ Sullivan
  • Early years of Sonia starting in running
  • Runners that Sonia admired
  • Career Turnaround
  • Great Race highlights
  • Darkest day in Sonia’s career
  • Road Race Career
  • Typical Week of training for Sonia during 1994-98
  • How to Properly Cross Train when injured
  • Performance Round

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“Come on, you can do it.” – Mantra
“Iced water.”– Best Recovery Tip
“You don’t doubt yourself.” – Being in the Zone
“Listen to your Body. Don’t try to push through just because the training session says so.” – Best Advice
“Go for an easy run.” – Physical Challenge

“I trained really really well.”
“To be the World Cross Country Champion you will have to win them both.”
“Decide to pick something out and really focus on it rather than doing everything.”
“If you’re there, you’ve got to at least try.”
“You have to believe in yourself and to not question yourself and push yourself over the edge.”
“I would rather do the race than have a training session. Racing is fun, training is hard.”
“When you’re injured you need to cross train 3x harder.”
“The hardest thing to do is to commit to it and to set your mind to it.”
“Look at the things that you can do and not at the ones you cannot do.”
“You need really tough competitors to bring the best in you.”
“Enjoy what you do.”
“Good pressure comes from within.”
“A great coach can listen and communicate with Athletes.”

Sonia O'Sullivan Sonia O'Sullivan

To follow Sonia O’Sullivan:

Instagram:  @soniagrith
Twitter:  @soniaagrith
Facebook:  @sonia.osullivan
Strava: Sonia O’Sullivan


0:00 Start
1:50 Introduction to Sonia O’ Sullivan
5:22 Early years of Sonia starting in running
6:20 Runners Sonia admired in her early years
8:55 Career Turnaround
13:45 Great Race highlights during career
20:30 Darkest day in Sonia’s career
27:08 Road Race Career
29:05 Typical Week of training for Sonia during 1994-98
35:54 How to Properly Cross Train when injured
41:42 Performance Round
5:04 Advise from Sonia – Listen in to your body.
52:08 Personality Question
54:06 Physical Challenge – Go for an easy run.
1:03:12 Finish

Sonia O'Sullivan Sonia O'Sullivan

People Mentioned

Nic Bideau – Husband and Coach
Tim Don – Ironman Triathlon World Record Holder, 3x Olympian, 4x World Champion (Featured Performer) Episode 130 of The Physical Perfomance Show
Shannon Eckstein – Ironman Surf Lifesaving Champion Episode 22 The Physical Performance Show
Liz McColgan – Olympic Medalist and World Champion
Yvonne Murray – Scottish Distance Runner
Allan Story – Coach
Marcus O’Sullivan – Irish Distance Runner, Men’s Cross Country Coach
Frank O’Mara – Irish Runner
Paul Donovan – Irish Long Distance Runner
Simon Doyle – Irish Runner
Gerard Hackman – Physiotherapist in Ireland
Gabriella Szabo – Romanian Runner
Roy Keane – International Irish Football/Soccer Manager
Joe Schmidt – Rugby Union Coach
Gary Schumaker – Coach
Christy Moore  – Irish Singer

For questions and comments about this Episode

Send to the show host @Brad_Beer (Twitter)

The Physical Performance Show Brad Beer

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