It’s true to say that I have run on every surface you can imagine! Bricks, concrete, tarmac, grass, sand, mud, pine, tartan, Mondo and treadmills.

I started running when I was 12 years old, a skinny girl with an afro. Being good at running in school had its advantages. You never got picked last in sport!

I loved running, I felt free and seemed to glide over rather than pound the pavements.

For those that don’t know I was inspired by the Olympic movement when I was 14 and I was a junior international athlete winning the mini youth Olympics at the age of 17. I then went into the British Army where the majority of my time was spent doing physical training and running in combat boots, was a daily occurrence.

Cross Country, Tabbing, Basic Fitness Tests, Bleep Tests.

During that time, I got back into my international athletics career, winning 13 international medals for Great Britain which cumulated in the unthinkable 2 Olympic Gold Medals! Although you may be surprised, that wasn’t the hardest part of the journey. It was navigating the training whilst recovering from recurring injuries and that is where my real introduction to treadmills started.

I am not going to lie but treadmills were never my favourite machine in a gym I always found them boring and the deck that the belt ran on always reminded me of my first ever indoor race at RAF Cosford, when it was just like running on boards with no give!

On the other hand, sometimes the outdoor elements were not conducive to running, so treadmills enabled me to stick to my training schedules!

Having been running now for 38 years I know how different surfaces are either beneficial or a hinderance to my running. I recently had an operation on my heel bone and Achilles tendon and for my rehab I was told by my physiotherapist I could only walk, then gradually increase to walk/running for a period of time, but I couldn’t risk running on the road, so I looked into what was out there on the market and found the Star Trac® FreeRunner.

Looking into the reviews I was impressed with the positive feedback on the new HexDeck technology. They mentioned it significantly reduces impact compared to traditional deck designs and the HexDeck feels “softer,” “easier on the joints” and “like running on a track” So I was intrigued!

I am lucky enough to have a gym in a converted barn so plenty of space to put the FreeRunner. Installation took about 3 hours, but this is because I have the embedded screen that I love. No more boredom with the completely interactive screen!

As Running is my life, to say I was excited about my new toy is an understatement! Firstly, it looks fab with the new aluminium deck, belt system and the red HexDeck. It stands out as modern and innovative.

Having completed a few slow runs on it now, I find It is so much softer than the other treadmills I have used, I find it extremely smooth and very easy to run on. There is less impact on landing, and you don’t need much effort to run. It also feels really good on my ankle joints because of the shock absorption and cushioning. This has been really helpful with my rehab.

Now back to my running, I am competitive, so I am looking forward to progressing my running, using every element of the Star Trac FreeRunners’ programmes, visuals, speeds and inclines.

My running has always been about variety of training and not just steady runs. Hills, fartlek’s, tempo runs, sprints, speed endurance and I can’t think of a more perfect machine to help me get back!

The Star Trac FreeRunner gives you great options to progress your performance and in a safe environment. In my opinion this is a fantastic machine made for the beginner and serious athletes alike.

#MadetoPerform #FreeRunner #StarTrac #Cardio

Dame Kelly Holmes Biography

Hon Col Dame Kelly Holmes MBE (mil)

Dame Kelly who still holds the British records in the 800m and 1000m, is a Double Olympic and Commonwealth Champion, as well as a multiple medalist at European and World championships. This includes her double win in the 800m and 1500m at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, becoming the first woman in the UK to ever win two gold medals at the same Games and first Briton in over 80 years to do so.

After her Olympic success, she won BBC Sports Personality of the Year, European and World Athlete of the Year, was honoured with a Damehood from the Queen, as well as winning 25 awards in areas of philanthropy, mentoring, sport and author of five books.

Dame Kelly is a Global inspirational speaker, an Honorary Colonel with the Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment and dedicated her career after professional sport to guiding disadvantaged young people, by getting their lives back on track by using world class athletes to engage, enable and empower. Encouraging the same philosophy that she lives by, nothing is impossible.

She states; “Running is my life because my life was saved by running”

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