Chelsea Creak

Trail Runner

In five years’ time, I will be:

Placing (hopefully podiums!) in 80km+ mountain trail races.


Career highlights:

  • 3rd Senior female GRP Hiver 2018 (20km, 1400m ascent)

  • 11th Senior female Gavarnie 360 trail 2018 (45km, 2500m ascent)

What does your standard training week involve?

My standard week involves 3 to 4 runs, which involve hill work, speed work and long trail runs. On top of this I work on strength training or cross-train (cycling) approximately 3 times a week.


Where is your favourite place to train?

Mountains are my ‘happy place’. Nothing can beat the feeling that I get when I climb the highest peak and feel as though I am on top of the world, taking in the breathtaking views, before speeding down the descent. I love the Pyrenees mountains and spend a lot of time around Saint-Lary-Soulan, France.

What is your favourite race?

My favourite race to date would probably be the Grand Raid Pyrenees Hiver mountain race. This is a winter trail race which starts and finishes at a ski station and goes up and over some very steep snowy mountains, with approximately 1400m of climbing. My favourite parts are the descents, where you sit and slide down the snow.

What are your top 3 Kymira Sport garments?
When do you use them and why?

Training Leggings

My favourite KYMIRA garment is my Training Leggings. I mainly use these during a weights session to keep my leg muscles warm and regulate my body temperature. Their comfortable and flexible fit allows maximal range of movement for lifting and the infrared technology optimises my energy expenditure during a strenuous session. I also tend to put my leggings on immediately after a race or training piece, utilising their compression component to assist with recovery and removing exercise by-products from my legs post-race. 

Infrared Ankle Socks

I always race in my KYMIRA infrared ankle socks. Partly because they have become my latest “lucky socks”, but also because I love the fit of the higher ankle and supportive arch material, meaning they don’t slide down or cause friction when I’m rowing. 

PrO2 Cycle Jersey

Another garment I really like is the PrO2 Cycle Jersey. I love to go cycling as extra cross-training and this jersey has a comfortable fit and allows you to be easily seen. The breathable fabric, alongside the infrared technology, means it’s great for warm summer rides as well as over the top of the infrared long sleeve in the winter.  

What is your favourite training accessory?

I love my Garmin Fenix watch. Keeping track of training runs is really important for making improvements, which is easy to do with a smart watch. I find that being able to set waypoints to follow and the ability to keep track of my altitude are really useful, especially for trail and mountain runs.

What has been the toughest experience in your career and what did you learn from it?

In August 2018 I was diagnosed with multiple stress fractures in my second metatarsal of my left foot, and was told that I would need to be non weight-bearing for a minimum of 8 weeks. This was crushing after a successful year of mountain races and hard training. The recovery period was long and boring, but it taught me to be patient, to appreciate the benefits of cross-training, as well as the importance of not over training.

What is the most common training mistake you see? Any suggestions on how to avoid it?

Often as athletes we become obsessed with training and fixated on our numbers (such as split times) to improve our PBs and win races. Whilst pushing yourself in training is important, over training can be detrimental to a long-term athletic career resulting in injury, resentment towards training and the breakdown of relationships. My suggestion would be to not overlook the benefits of cross-training. Taking time out to cycle or swim can not only help you enjoy the sport more, but will allow you to continue training with less impact on your joints and muscles. In addition, turning off your watch and taking time to enjoy the beautiful scenery whilst running is really important. Run to enjoy it, not to beat everyone on Strava!

What motivates you to train and race harder?

I am a very competitive person, and always strive to beat my running, strength training and cross-training PBs. In competitions, I like entering myself into hard races which I would be happy to finish, with competitive placing a bonus!

Describe your diet/meal plan leading up to a big race:

I eat a very balanced and nutritious diet, so my only change before a race would be to up my carbohydrates over the few days before a competition. I always enjoy a good pasta party before a big race.

How do you balance your training and racing life with life outside the sport?

My friends and my husband are all very active, sporty people so I find that I am able to balance my training and time with them without too much difficulty, as they appreciate the amount of time that I need to spend training. I always bring a pair of trail shoes with me wherever I go so that I am able to train when visiting friends / family or travelling with work.

What type of nutritional supplement do you find most helpful?

Eating a balanced, nutritious diet, I don’t feel the need to add supplements to my meals. I always take small bags of Haribo with me to keep me going on longer training runs. 

What is the best thing about being an athlete?

Being able to spend time outside in the wild, meeting like minded people and hearing their stories and being able to eat all of the foods.

What is the worst thing about being an athlete?

I cannot think of any negatives about being an athlete.