Charlie Grice is the current British outdoor 1500m Champion. In 2012 he broke the English Schools 1500m Championship Record, and won a bronze medal at the inaugural World Youth Olympics in Singapore.
In 2014 Charlie won his first senior National title in the 1500m at the age of 20, being the youngest person ever to win this title. He retained his British Senior 1500m title last year and then went on to navigate his way through the heats and semi-finals in automatic positions at the World Championships in Beijing.
How did you first get started in competitive sport?
My first passion for sport, like many kids, was football. I got into running through my dad encouraging me into cross-country at primary school to increase stamina for football. I was quite a physical football player – I threw myself into tackles – but there came a point when I realized, to get to the next level in athletics and start challenging for medal positions at the national junior championships. I needed to focus on athletics.
I found athletics rewarding because there is nobody else to blame for not achieving goals apart from yourself. I was also encouraged by my parents to set new school athletics records at all distances and spent time doing this as a challenge; I hope many are standing today! Fast forward to 2016, I am the youngest British 1500M Champion and have won the title consecutively for the last three years.
What are your ambitions for Rio?
My ambitions for Rio are to firstly qualify through the heats, then semi-final rounds and reach the final. I want to place in the top five in the final and be pushing for a medal. Last Summer I finished 9thplace at the 2015 World Championship 1500M final so I am looking to push on from that and feature more in the race. I am a stronger athlete this year and I believe that anything is possible – I will be fulfilling a dream to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Who are your biggest support networks for achieving your ambitions?
Having a strong support network is essential for any elite athlete. As athletes we do not live a normal life by any means! My parents are always there in the background supporting me no matter what and helping to organize my life which is no easy task especially as I am away for 5-6 months of the year.
What does your pre Rio training plan look like? What type of training are you doing and how intense is it?
I am currently in Font-Romeu, France, in the Pyrenees, at an altitude holding camp with 10 other British endurance athletes. It is very fresh, healthy clean living and great to be out here with similar like-minded people. I enjoy training in this beautiful environment as there are no day-to-day distractions that you get from living back at home. I will now be here for six weeks until the Games and I will race a few times before that. I will be doing my last big block of training that will see me through to the end of the 2016 summer track season.
What does your meal plan look like at the moment?
We eat three meals a day; all of our meals have protein, carbohydrates and lots of vegetables. I am making a conscious effort to be good and cut down on the sugar! Luckily we are all on the same wave length with nutrition and food preferences.
Who is your Olympic role model and why?
My Olympic role model is Mo Farah. I was fortunate enough to get tickets for Super Saturday through the British Olympic Association and to be there to witness his 10,000m winning performance on that night, along with Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford, was so inspiring.
Since then I’ve been on a few training camps with Mo; to Japan, Ethiopia and Flagstaff, AZ. I’ve learnt a lot from him and studied his training regime. I think in order to improve I need to be training with better athletes so that I can push myself harder.
Discover some of Team GB's pre-Rio training plans, including Philip Hindes, Jazz Carlin and Max Whitlock.