In this episode of Decathlon’s Power of Ten podcast series Graham Bell meets journalist and broadcaster Louise Minchin.

Louise has a brilliant career across radio and television. She has worked as a host of BBC Radio Five Live presenting the drivetime show, plus a range of other programs. She was one of the main news anchors on BBC News 24 before joining BBC Breakfast in 2012. She's also a key presenter of the BBC's triathlon coverage. But Louise not only reports on sport, she also competes in it. She completed her first triathlon in 2013 and then went on to qualify for the GB team, for her age group, and raced in the Chicago World Championships in 2015.

Since then, she's raced in five World and European Championships and gone on to compete in extreme triathlons, including one of the toughest in the world, the Norseman in 2019. Louise has recently been absent from our TV screens recovering from a horrific foot injury, but thankfully she’s almost back to full fitness.


Graham Bell [00:00:07] Welcome to the Power of Ten brought to you by Decathlon. The Power of Ten is a mix of one to one interviews, plus some positive health tips. It's all about providing advice on how to improve your wellbeing, both in body and in mind. We've got an impressive selection of talented guests lined up for the podcast series, all ready to impart their knowledge, advice and secrets for improving your fitness. Each episode will provide you with an easy take home message to help improve your mind and body. I'm Graham Bell, a five time Olympic skier turned reporter and presenter. I've been to a total of 10 Winter Olympic Games.

[00:00:46] My guest today is the respected journalist and broadcaster Louise Minchin. Louise has a brilliant career across radio and television. She worked as a host of BBC Radio five Live presenting the drivetime show, plus a range of other programs. She was one of the main news anchors on BBC News 24 before joining BBC Breakfast in 2012. She's also a key presenter of the BBC's triathlon coverage. But Louise not only reports on sport, she also competes in it. After a BBC breakfast Christmas cycling challenge she was inspired to attempt her first triathlon in 2013. She then went on to qualify for the GB age group team and race in Chicago World Championships in 2015. Since then, she's raced in five World and European Championships and gone on to compete in extreme triathlons, including one of the toughest in the world, the Norseman in 2019. Louise has been absent from our screens recently as you've been recovering from a horrific foot injury. She's now, thankfully, on the road to recovery. Louise, thank you for joining us.

[00:01:54] So, Louise, first off, tell me, what have you done to your foot? How is it now?

Louise Minchin [00:02:00] Oh, you're going to experience more experience than me, probably with injuries. The short story is that I ran up Snowdon, ran down Snowdon because I was training for the Norseman, which is an extreme triathlon, and stopped my watch because obviously the run is over when you stop your watch, isn't it? And went over my ankle on the curb just as I was walking to the car and I went over and it sort of crumpled.

[00:02:25] I've always had a problem with this ankle. It's a bigger problem now. And when it happened, you know, that screeching pain that you just feel sick with it and you just go, Oh, I feel so.

Graham Bell [00:02:36] I think you were like three weeks away from a major Ironman distance. Extreme weather in Norway,.

Louise Minchin [00:02:43] Three weeks away from the major race that I've been training for. Yeah, I've been training for for ages.

[00:02:51] So went over, agony I just thought I felt I thought something rip at the time and I just thought, well, you know, I'm going to do what what I what I do, which is except pack it, wrap it, lift it, stop running for three weeks. And did the Norseman.

Graham Bell [00:03:08] And you did the Norseman. Wow. So you must have like did all the swelling go down or is it still puffy when you were.

Louise Minchin [00:03:15] I think it was very swollen the time and lots of people like, oh, you've probably broken it. And I just say I'm so what am I it's it's silly. But, you know, you train for these things and I'm not a top athlete, so it doesn't matter where I finish it, what to me matters that I do finish. So I just ignored it. And suffice to say eight months later, I've been to have an x ray and MRI and yeah, I snapped a bone, no, it's not the ligaments yet broke bone. So yeah. And I just I yeah. By the time I did Norseman. Yeah. The swelling had gone down, it was still probably painful.

Graham Bell [00:03:47] Must have her in the room though. Well the runs uphill those in Norseman. The run is uphill isn't it.

Louise Minchin [00:03:51] So yeah. You see the run it's like flat along a beautiful fjord and then it goes up this hill which is called Zombie Hill. And of all the people in the race, I think only five people probably ran up that hill. It's just, you know, it's like it's like going up to a ski resort. You know, there's curves that go up and up and up.

Graham Bell [00:04:11] I think it's well, well known as the toughest Ironman distance race on the circuit.

Louise Minchin [00:04:15] And then what happens is they have you get to the top of Zombie Hill and there's this cutoff point. And anybody who's done sort of extreme triathlon events will know that they often have to have cutoff points, don't they, because we don't make it past that. You're not going to make it to the end and they have this cutoff point. You either go left to towards the hotel where you do the circuit of shame, as I called it. But it wasn't that actually in the end. Or you go right and you go up this incredible mountain. And by the time I got there, I'd missed the cutoff point by some time. So I went left. And actually you sort of think, oh, gosh, you know, that's going to feel sad and all the rest of it.

[00:04:49] And it really didn't actually. They just had you went to the ten circuits around this sort of which must have been I don't know how far they were each round this sort of car park. And you just think, oh, God, that's going to be awful. Do you know what? It was lovely. They had people playing music. They had people giving you drinks and food. And and, you know, it was a massive sense of achievement to actually finish it, especially probably with a foot like mine.

Graham Bell [00:05:10] Yeah. I mean, it's it's a sense of achievement, I think, to finish any triathlon. I think we met I think it was a triathlon in Liverpool.

Louise Minchin [00:05:18] Oh, yes. Yeah, I remember that one.

Graham Bell [00:05:20] I think I was covering it for the BBC. And you were competing in it.

Louise Minchin [00:05:23] I had a fall that day. I finished that race.

Graham Bell [00:05:26] Yes. You crashed off. You fall off the bike.

Louise Minchin [00:05:29] Yes.

Graham Bell [00:05:29] And you grazed your elbows up and then you're on breakfast the next day, I should tell you. Right.

Louise Minchin [00:05:36] I was I got a numb leg. It probably, you know, legs be problematic.

Graham Bell [00:05:41] It was really cold. Remember how cold it was? Yeah. It was freezing. So cold. And I got really glad I wasn't racing. I was just standing there presenting it.

Louise Minchin [00:05:49] I knew that my leg was numb. So I was going to have a problem getting off the bike and I got off the bike and it's probably the same ankle. I remember my ankle collapsing underneath me under real right. I fell on the gravel and then I still finished. Gosh, I'm beginning to learn something about myself. I grew up and I remember getting over the finishing line and I did really well that day.

[00:06:08] It could be the fastest five K and then going straight into the the first aid tent and said, look, this is really sore. And there was gravel in it. I was like and I know it's going to get worse because I've got adrenaline. Could you just get the gravel out.

[00:06:22] Yeah. So there we go.

Graham Bell [00:06:23] So what would you say was your fittest you've ever been I mean did you take up triathlon late? You know, were you before you took up triathlon?

Louise Minchin [00:06:33] No, not like I am now. So I took it up really late in life. And lots of people who watched breakfast will know that I did this competition. We went to do a Christmas challenge, I think it was in 2012 in the velodrome. And we, Charlie and myself, raced Bill Turnbull and Susanna Reid. In the velodrome, and I'd never even sat on a racing bike before I did that race, and I just and I just absolutely loved it and I'd forgotten how much I loved competitive sport. So literally after that day, bought myself a race, you know, a road bike. I never even sat on a road bike. And then I bought I think I bought myself the day I sat back and then and then went from road biking, which I love. Somebody said to me, look, I know you can swim now. You can run. Why don't you try a triathlon and tried it? I think the first one was in 2013. And I've done you know, I think I've probably done that classic triathlete thing. You start with the short distances, don't you? Start with Sprint and then have steadily moved up and actually you sort of go sprint and then you go to standard. And then most people go to what's called seventy point three. I just missed that out.

[00:07:37] And I went straight from standard to extreme triathlon, who just got stops in the middle.

Graham Bell [00:07:43] So for people who don't know, triathlon standard is kind of Olympic distance. It's what they normally do. One and a half K swim, 40 K bike ride and a 10k run.

[00:07:54] But then the long distance, the kind of the Ironman distance is a lot longer than that.

Louise Minchin [00:08:01] Yeah. So that's three point eight case where 180 kilometer bike and marathon.

Graham Bell [00:08:06] Just through a marathon in at the end.

Louise Minchin [00:08:08] Yeah. If I started those days thinking at the end of this day I'm going to run a marathon, I wouldn't, I wouldn't start them. I wouldn't get up.

Graham Bell [00:08:15] You know, I've only I've only ever done one Ironman. Yeah, well, first. The last.

Louise Minchin [00:08:20] So this is why it's extreme. Yeah.

[00:08:24] The reason I do the extreme ones and they're extreme because they're in sort of extreme environments is that a lot of Ironman distance. You tend to go round in circles or you're in a city. And the ones that I do, you start at one point jumping off a very often and then end up, you know, 220 kilometers away. And I love the kind of, you know, covering the ground. Actually, that's really fun.

Graham Bell [00:08:45] Yeah. I mean, there are some kind of city ones. There's one up in northern Germany that's notoriously fast because it's super fast. And it's dead flat as well. So you'll set yourself a really fast time. But, you know, scenic wise is best to be out at the scenes.

[00:09:01] So how important is fitness for your state of mind and how what important what role does that play and distressing?

Louise Minchin [00:09:09] Oh, it's hugely important. And I think during these kind of last strange months that we've been living in, I realized how important. So for me, it's very much about, you know, my job, I love my job, and I am really passionate about doing my job. But it's really stressful. And the stress is just being super, really concentrating for three and a quarter hours. I think that's what the where the stress comes from. And obviously there's a lot of things going on and lots of different different pressures. And for me, it's about giving my brain a space where I don't think and I used to go for runs when I first started this, I used to sort of go for a run and sort of like, you know, take out and take a knotty problem and sort of go for a run with it. And I've actually really moved from that to just going for a run or swim or a bike ride and not thinking. And that for me is the gift of of what I'm doing when I'm doing those training things is that I'm not thinking I'm thinking about, oh, there's that lovely tree that I go past or gosh, isn't this water lovely and freezing cold? Oh, I know. On my bike I did a lot of indoor biking, actually.

[00:10:15] That's what I think I've missed over the last couple of weeks. Not be able to do anything is that, you know, play really loud music. So for me, it's an escape. It's a point where, you know, I'm actually not worrying about stuff. Some people might find it a kind of mindfulness for me, but it took me a long time to get to that stage. Actually, I would always be thinking, oh, I don't know, worrying about stuff, but I don't anymore. And that's a really beautiful thing to be able to do.

Graham Bell [00:10:37] Yeah, that's one of the big pluses of endurance sport. You can kind of lose yourself into it.

Louise Minchin [00:10:42] Yeah, it's been lovely.

Graham Bell [00:10:44] How important is looking good in front of the camera to you? Is that a motivation?

Louise Minchin [00:10:50] I think I think what I realize I mean, you know, the the beauty of doing as much exercise as I do is I pretty much eat what I like. And that's, you know, that's really great because I like food. The other thing that I realized kind of quite early on when I started on breakfast permanently, which was, gosh, I think nearly eight years ago now, was I was eating an extra meal at least a day. And if you're not doing, you know, a little bit more exercise, that extra meal is certainly going to start showing. So, yeah, it definitely helps. And it just for me, it's more about feeling strong, I think. I mean, obviously, I don't feel very strong right now, but for me it's more about the feeling than, you know, the look is a byproduct. It's the way I feel. You know, it's you know, when I'm trying to remember how I felt. When you get out of the bed in the morning, you know, it's easier because you you're just fitter and stronger. So that's a lot of it is about feeling rather than look. But it definitely helps.

Graham Bell [00:11:49] Going back to prior to triathlons. What sports did you do prior to getting kind of hooked to a triathlon?

Louise Minchin [00:11:58] So before then I, so rewind, you know, just just before then, I probably I mean, I used to kind of I'd swim a bit. I do a little tiny bit of running, certainly never any cycling. And that was pretty much it go to a yoga class. But back in the day when I was at school, I loved sport, I absolutely loved sport. And I pretty much played every sport that was available at school. And I was particularly good at swimming, was a friend of mine. And I were really we were good swimmers. And so we'd go in all the you know, we'd go and all the races and I'd pretty much win them. So that was really that was fun. That was really fun. I never swum for my county or anything because I just didn't kind of every school and stuff didn't work for that. But so, yes, swimming was my thing. And I also love skiing and my husband is a really good skier. And so I would be married a very long time now. And he I always go skiing with him and it was just like, my gosh, trying to keep up with him, you know, was really hard because he's very good, very fast, very safe. And then there was one point in our relationship when things changed and I'd been doing a lot of spinning. I used to do spin classes and I came down a glacier and I said, oh, my gosh, where is he?

[00:13:06] Oh, my gosh, what's happened? And I was literally standing there for ages going, Oh, this is so bad. He says, an accident. I've left him on the mountain. And then he came out because he's like, So what happened? Did you fall?

[00:13:17] And he goes, No, you're just really fast. And that was a day that our relationship on the mountain changed.

Graham Bell [00:13:26] Well you should have a look into ski touring. I mean, if you like your endurance, but you've got to walk,.

Louise Minchin [00:13:31] But you have to give me the honest answer. So you have to give me the honest answer here, because you like going downhill very fast. How does that compare to sort of walking?

Graham Bell [00:13:40] Well, sometimes, you know, you earn your turns and so, you know, you might walk up for an hour and a half and you enjoy the walk and then you take your skins off, you get yourself ready, you have a bit of chocolate and then you enjoy your five, ten minutes It takes you to get back down depending on how quickly you go down. I mean, there are actually ski mountaineering competitions that you can do and there are uphill only ones as well. So, yeah, this could be the new thing. How was how was lockdown for you. How was the first lockdown.

Louise Minchin [00:14:11] Well for me of course, you know, I feel very lucky, for starters, that my job continues. You know, there's no there's not been a day that I've not been expected to go into work because we you know, that's what we do. So I feel lucky because I love my job. And I would have felt really it would have been really tough not to be able to go to work. And by that I mean going into work as well. You know, I love I love being in the office. And, you know, my friends in the office and my colleagues in the office. So so that's good. But obviously, there was quite a lot of changes that had to happen at work. And we're still those changes are still in place. And the first one for me was it about looking good for the ten? I do care. So we obviously have makeup artists and literally so my my recurring nightmare. I don't know if you have work nightmares, but my recurring nightmare used to be that I'd get into work a make up, weren't there. So I'd God forbid, have to do my own makeup. And then from one day to the next, that actually became my reality.

Graham Bell [00:15:09] So did you teach yourself or did you go online? Did you? Yeah. So how did you teach yourself?

Louise Minchin [00:15:14] I've sat there. It's not like I haven't sat there for hours with them doing my makeup.

Louise Minchin [00:15:18] I have not paid attention, so. No, you know, obviously I can and I just yet they were there the first day sort of going well this bit with that. Yeah. So I taught myself so life skill, hair and make up over the eight, nine months and then home wise, you know, we're all so there's my husband and two daughters and we were at home and actually that was you know, it was tough, really tough for them, I think much tougher for the teenagers than it is for us not be able to see each other. But we loved having that home as a family. It's been kind of really bonding, actually. It's been it's been difficult, hasn't it? And I, you know, miss friends, desperately miss family, desperately like everybody else. But I feel, you know, I feel very blessed that we've not been ill, that, you know, luckily we're not badly affected by it. And you just got to kind of it's a marathon, isn't it? It's not a sprint. And it's one of those marathons where the girl, you know, you know, I sometimes think I'm at the end and I'm not.

Graham Bell [00:16:14] And that's what it's like sometimes it's like it's like when you get into the top, there's a lot of them in Scotland and you think you're at the top of the hill. And there's just a number of there's more to go.

Louise Minchin [00:16:26] And I feel you know, I feel, you know, if sometimes when I'm feeling kind of frustrated by it, just go to the back to that going. Right. Okay. You know, this is what it's like. You know, you just you get to the next tree the next day, the next week, whatever it is, that's what it's got to be.

Graham Bell [00:16:40] And then the sport you work on now on triathlon, what have you been doing with with triathlon, with the presenting of that?

Louise Minchin [00:16:48] Nothing. Nothing we didn't do on this year, we we didn't do one this year.

Graham Bell [00:16:53] You've got a podcast with. Annie,.

Louise Minchin [00:16:58] So Annie Emerson, she's well, she's now a really good friend of mine. So she's a former world champion athlete. And she and I met because I'm very lucky when there is World Triathlon Series Triathlon on, I present it with ten. And so we and we were great. We bonded over that. And we have kind of very similar sort of outlook on life in lots of ways. I mean, she's super, super competitive, brilliant athlete. I'm obviously a little bit late to anything relate to this in life. And so we've got a podcast and we started it. It's called Her Spirit, and it's all about trying to encourage people to kind of embrace sport and, you know, for your physical and mental health. It's called her spirit. And we started literally that week of the sort of 18th of March. We recorded a podcast in a studio in London. And then we went into lockdown and we were just like, how can we ever do this?

[00:17:50] But like you and I, you're sitting in my living room and I'm at home you're at home. So Annie sits in her house. I sit in my house. We've had a whole series of wonderful guests and we were going to do one a month.

[00:18:03] But then, of course, we were all at home and we just thought, well, why don't we just try one a week? And we've done one a week since March. And it's it's been really, really enjoyable, not least because I get to talk to Annie for an hour every week and have a catch up. And also, I think people I've you know, people are available to talk right now, aren't they? And it's been lovely. I've loved it, really enjoyed it. And lots of people have listened on their runs and doing the ironing. And we've had lots of people get in touch. So it's great.

Graham Bell [00:18:28] And when and when we'll try and come back, I mean, it's, um,.

Louise Minchin [00:18:31] I don't know.

Graham Bell [00:18:32] It's a difficult sport because it's right across the globe, isn't it? And there's a lot of traveling for a lot of people involved.

Louise Minchin [00:18:39] Well, they've just had Daytona, haven't they? So I don't know if you watched that. That was really fun. I did do I did manage to get to do a triathlon in Elsmere in Shropshire, isn't it, in September. And actually, I'm not sure I should say this out loud, but the benefit of of, you know, new restrictions is, of course, you can't have that must start at the start of the swim, which is what terrifies everybody, isn't it?

[00:19:05] So it's what you call a rolling start. So you start, you know, five seconds after each other. And actually, that's my favorite kind of start, to be honest.

Graham Bell [00:19:13] Yeah. You don't get kicked in the head doubles on getting knocked off.

Louise Minchin [00:19:16] And yeah, I've had my I've had so many things happen to me and I'm not and I'm normally because I don't have to be, but I try and be out the front because that's where I can swim. So I always have to be in the front in that what I call a washing machine. And actually for me, you know, not to have to start like that is a beautiful thing. And then there's just a stream of swimmers.

[00:19:33] I go, right, okay, let's get that one and then the next one.

[00:19:35] So it's it's it's my favorite kind of swim.

Graham Bell [00:19:40] How are you how are you maintaining fitness with the ankle in the boot? Have you done anything?

Louise Minchin [00:19:45] I have actually. But I mean, I'm not even sure if I'm doing the right thing. I've got my weights. I've got a kettlebell just behind you. So I do sit ups with weights. I've been doing some arm staff have been doing. Obviously, I'd do any leg stuff. I've done my own. I created yesterday my own yoga on my knees.

[00:20:01] I can do downward dog with one leg. My first week I was like, right, I'm going to get to the gates. The front gates, now I can do about. I can go quite far now on my on my crutches. I probably get about 150 meters.

Graham Bell [00:20:15] Right.

Louise Minchin [00:20:17] It's just so sad isn't it. So I have tried to maintain it and because I was so finding it gets so difficult getting about in the house I just couldn't snack so much.

[00:20:27] So I don't think I put on a huge amount of weight, but and I've not, found respite in chocolate cake or anything. But yes, I've been doing trying to do a bit.

Graham Bell [00:20:36] So, yeah. Moving on to the soul. Is there anything specific that you do to keep your mind healthy?

Louise Minchin [00:20:41] The most useful thing I found from doing the triathlons? Well, there's two things. There's the resilience we've already talked about that the kind of like not giving up, you know, learning how to break things down. So that helps me as well. Ever got, you know, other issue kind of, you know, mental things going on or problems. I break things down and then it's given me an incredible tool. So, for example, and this is a bit of a bit squeamish, everybody sorry, when I was having my stitches out, it was really painful. But what triathlon has given me is a couple of things where there was a moment, for example, where I jumped off the ferry in Norseman and you jump into this really cold fjord and you go into this. It's dark and, you know, obviously you're jumping up to three meters or something. So you go down deep. And that moment for me is an incredibly powerful moment in my life because it was so beautiful. The water is so clear and it just had this kind of taste about it. And literally when the stitches are coming out, I'm just thinking, thinking of that moment of hitting the water and going underneath the water.

[00:21:44] So, you know, when things are really bad like that, I've. A couple of moments, and there's another one from that, funny enough from that from Liverpool triathlon, where that day, even though was a horrible day, there was a moment when I was swimming again and I suddenly looked down. I was like, oh, they're lovely fishes come out to see me and I'm swimming alone. It's due to the water was just like this incredible temperature. And I realized they were jellyfish.

[00:22:07] And I was like, oh, they're jellyfish, but they're really beautiful. And that sounds really crazy.

[00:22:12] But so those kind of extreme moments have given me a place in my head, which is a safe place, you know, really safe place where I know it's extreme, but I'm going to be OK.

Graham Bell [00:22:24] Yeah. You know, if you can survive that and jump into a fjord, not get cold shock in the dark, you know, not swallow any water,.

Louise Minchin [00:22:35] Not die for any ridiculous. Yeah. Not not like take the wrong thing and then get, you know, because all these things go through my head beforehand. I'm thinking exactly all that and I'm going to get lost and they're never going to find me. And of course that doesn't happen. But yeah. So I think those are really, really powerful for me and really help me and kind of scary situations.

Graham Bell [00:22:54] And then finally, they say you are what you eat. How important is your diet? Obviously not eating a second breakfast every day.

Louise Minchin [00:23:01] So for breakfast, when I'm doing breakfast, I stop trying to I stop trying to eat so much sugar a long time ago now. And I find that's really helpful, actually. So I make my own breakfast, which should be porridge oats soaked with milk and then throw some blueberries in them, leave that overnight. And then I'll take that in the morning and then eat that sort of during the show. Really. I have a second breakfast. You see, this is where the problems come about, but then it's eleven o'clock. So that's really lunchtime, isn't it? So I have sort of probably a couple of fried eggs then or something.

[00:23:31] And then the really difficult bit for me is so I've had breakfast and then lunch and then I wake up and go and do the school run and that, that from then till when we have dinner in our house and that's my husband likes to eat really late is when I'm really, really vulnerable to snacks. So I try to eat something, you know, a bit more healthy then like it for, you know, at four which will get me through to later. But yeah, that's a really vulnerable time for me. And that will include I don't know, I mean, crisps are my absolute downfall. I can have chocolate. I could have a pile of chocolate sit there and be fine. If it was a packet of any basically any kind of any crisps, I can't. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think it's a Salt.

[00:24:14] I should just eat salt.

Graham Bell [00:24:17] So how do you fit your training so hard. When, when does the training fit into that schedule. Daily schedule.

Louise Minchin [00:24:22] Training in the summer. I've also realized because you do don't you, that I really like exercising in the evening in like, you know, sort of like between four and seven I would have thought was my kind of I've never done it, but I wonder if I timed myself on a run or something. That's that's kind of my ideal time for training. So in the summer months, I'd go maybe then I'd go. I've got somewhere I can swim in open water on in the evenings. I go out for a run. I love I love running, love running outside. I'm not I'm not a treadmill runner. But yeah, obviously when the winter comes, it's a bit more, it's harder. So I try and probably run. If I was running the moment, probably get home from work and run about eleven or twelve probably. And I do loads on my bike indoors.

[00:25:04] I've kind of obsessed by it I love it.

Graham Bell [00:25:07] So How do you get enough sleep if you if you're getting up at three, two.

Louise Minchin [00:25:10] Oh yeah. I missed out that bit. And the sleep is I mean again because you know, so like in breakfast I speak to lots of different people and we've spoken to sleep experts over the years. And somebody told me and I kind of taken his his advice, I have a sleep. I have a sleep in the afternoon, which is an hour and a half. And it's timed specifically at an hour and a half because that's to do with circadian rhythms, isn't it? Not longer, because I feel terrible and I do feel terrible if I have longer. But it's really that's the one bit that gets me because it's kind of like I know I have to do that because otherwise I just wouldn't function because I go to bed about nine thirty at night. I go because I've got family. I don't want to go, you know, don't go to bed really early before all of them. And that's boring. But I just think what am I wasting my time doing this? But actually probably, you know, probably keeps me going.

Graham Bell [00:26:03] So it's time to shift gears now and move on to the decathlon section of the podcast, it's one of the toughest athletic contests out there made famous by Daley Thompson, but hopefully these questions won't be quite as tough. So this is the decathlon brought to you by decathlon. So let's go for it.

[00:26:21] Question one, what's your exercise of choice?

Louise Minchin [00:26:24] Swimming, open water, swimming.

Graham Bell [00:26:26] Do you work out alone or with friends?

Louise Minchin [00:26:29] Alone

Graham Bell [00:26:30] What time of day do you prefer to exercise?

Louise Minchin [00:26:33] Five 45 in the evening.

Graham Bell [00:26:36] Exactly. Very precise. What's the best thing about exercise?

Louise Minchin [00:26:41] It makes me feel buzzy.

Graham Bell [00:26:42] How do you refuel after a workout.

Louise Minchin [00:26:45] Peanut butter.

Graham Bell [00:26:46] Oh, got the protein there.

Louise Minchin [00:26:49] No sugar.

Graham Bell [00:26:50] How do you relax?

Louise Minchin [00:26:52] Watch telly.

Graham Bell [00:26:52] What's the hardest thing about keeping fit?

Louise Minchin [00:26:55] Not being able to do it.

Graham Bell [00:26:57] And how do you maintain motivation?

Louise Minchin [00:26:59] Set myself races and challenges.

Graham Bell [00:27:01] And top fitness secret.

Louise Minchin [00:27:03] Make it a habit.

Graham Bell [00:27:04] And final question. It's Saturday night. How do you kick back and relax.

Louise Minchin [00:27:09] Strictly come dancing with a large glass of wine. Red or white or difficult. I don't. I don't care as long as this is why I don't really.

Graham Bell [00:27:21] Well, a huge, huge thank you to my guest this week, Louise mentioned. Before we go, though, Louise, of all the things we've talked about, what's there one key health and fitness message that you would like to impart in part to the listeners?

Louise Minchin [00:27:35] I think I'm going to go back to what I just said, which is make it part of your lifestyle. It's a habit. It's just what you do. That's what you do every day. There's no so there's no question. And there's no debate. It's just part it is just part of you can make it a lifestyle change.

[00:27:49] Yeah. It's a lot, you know, exercise for me is is, you know, people. That's what I do. You know, it would be really strange to the day that I don't go and do something apart from right now. But, yeah, that's that's what I would do. And then, you know, for me, it's the mental health. It's the physical every single day. It makes a difference to the way I feel mentally and physically.

Graham Bell [00:28:08] Brilliant. Well, thank you very much for joining me. And thank you all for listening. The power of ten was brought to you by decathlon. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss out on any future episodes.