Hanna Hermansson

Distance Runner Sweden

My name is Hanna Hermansson and I am a Swedish middle distance runner, specializing in the 800m. My current PB, 2:00.43, is the fourth fastest time ever run by a Swede in the event. I have both gold, silver and bronze medals from the Swedish Championship, and last year I made the semi-finals in the World Championship and finished as number 14th in the world. Unlike my competitors, however, I have not been a runner for very long. In fact, for the majority of my life I played soccer and did not try running until early 2015. In less than 3 years I have been able to improve my 800m time with over 20 seconds from the very first race I ran, qualified for a global championship, and placed higher than I could have ever hoped for. Running has now become a big passion and the pursuit of my sport is the main focus of my life where I have set high goals for next-coming years.

What does Forever Better mean to you?

For me it means continuous improvement and to always strive to better oneself. No matter what you do, and no matter at what level, you can always become better. Forever Better is a mindset and a way of life that encourages you to always be the best version of yourself.

How does your training routine look like?

It depends on what time during the season it is. During base training (fall, winter and in between indoor and outdoor season) my routine is pretty much the same from week to week. I have about 10-12 training sessions per week consisting of 3 interval workouts (both on and off the track), 1 long-run, 2 gym/weight-lifting sessions and a 4-5 regular runs and/or cross training sessions. I also add in 2-3 short core and prehab sessions per week as well as a flexibility, stretching and muscle recovery sessions. Year-round I always have one day per week (usually Fridays) that is a full rest day, to give both the mind and body some time to recharge. This routine changes pretty drastically during the racing season. Then the sessions become fewer while the rest days become more frequent; all to enable higher intensity in training, racing, and more traveling.

What are your goals for the future?

Ultimately, my goal is to get as much as I can out of myself in my sport while staying healthy and injury free. More specifically, I want to make the finals in international championships and be at my peak for the next Olympics, 2020 in Tokyo.

What’s one piece of kit you could not live without?

The only thing I truly need to pursue my sport and passion is a pair of running shoes. But, of course, there are a lot of equipment and tools that make things a lot easier. I frequently use various foam rollers and massage tools to keep my muscles flexible. The one I use the most, (and bring with my wherever I go), is a small baseball (or pressure point ball). It is so simple, but effective!

Why is Rest and Recovery important to your performance?

Rest and recovery is many times the most neglected part of an elite athlete’s training routine, but it is just as important as the rest of the training to improve performance. It is during rest and recovery that I give my body the chance to absorb the training I have done and to build up and become stronger. The training I do put a lot of stress on my body (and mind), and without sufficient rest and recovery I would end up digging myself into a whole and break down more than I build up.