Lovisa, how did you start your athletic career?
I started with athletics when I was 12. In the beginning, as it is common in this sport, I did all of the disciplines. It is fun, because of all the different things you can try out and do. It usually takes a long time before you pick one discipline for good.
After a while, I got more and more into running. I did four junior championships and after graduating high school in Sweden, I went to college in the US for one year.
In 2014, I did my first European Championship, and after that it just went better and better. In 2016, I competed in the next European Championship (where I won my first international medal) and also in the Olympics. Today my main distance is 800m, but sometimes I do the 1500m distance as well.
What drives you to go on?
I love to compete. That’s what I’m training for, I think it is a lot of fun, the reward for it all. I know that some people have a hard time with competitions, the pressure to perform. But for me, it is really fun to challenge myself, to see how far I can go. And of course, when I get better, I’m motivated to go on!
Even if you know why you do it, what are challenges you encounter in your career?
In most cases, it’s injuries that challenge me. They force you to take detours, which is frustrating. It always takes some time to come back on track, and it takes even longer to get better than you were before.
From experience, what is your advice on how to motivate yourself?
If you are not used to running, you might not think it’s fun and you will not continue – so take it slow in the beginning and be easy on yourself. Then you will find it fun to continue, without being totally frustrated. Start at a level that is good for you, it’s better with a shorter run so you can actually enjoy it without getting too tired the first couple of times.
Also, I think it is really important to set goals for yourself. I had a hard time doing that myself in the beginning, because you don’t know how to set up a goal that is challenging, yet realistic. But it is really so you know where you are going. Again, you should not overdo it in the beginning, find a balance between motivation and challenge. Try to be realistic so you can actually reach your goals.
Thank you for the chat and insights, Lovisa!