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A day in the life of... Shannon Hylton

I am a third year biomedical science student at the University of East London. I am also a track sprinter and recently became the 200m British Champion before competing at the Summer World Athletics Championships in London this year.

My first task of the day is… to stretch and trigger point my muscles before I start anything. I try to do everything within my control to keep my body as healthy as possible and minimise any injury possibilities. Next I have breakfast and, whilst doing so, check emails and social media.

One of the biggest challenges I face is… balancing training commitments with studying. They are the two most important aspects of my life and I want to put 110% into both of them equally, but because they are both on different sides of London, the travelling makes it that bit harder sometimes.

My favourite thing about my studies is… nothing is ever the same. Science is an ever-evolving field, so new ideas need to be brought to the table to match the new challenges we face each day. I also like the fact that I can relate what I learn in a lecture theatre with what I practise on the track (and vice-versa). They both complement each other, which is nice.

My typical lunch is… chicken, spinach and quinoa… if only it was a pizza!

The thing that makes my situation unique is… I’m the student who when the lecture is over, rather than going to the library to consolidate my notes, I’m rushing off to get to training on time.

If I get a few spare minutes I… catch up on my favourite Netflix shows and go out with friends. I believe recovery and “down-time” are just as important as training and studying.

My route into the athletics involved… beating the boys in races at primary school. It was in primary school when I first started athletics – just for fun – I was a dancer for nine years before choosing to focus primarily on athletics. I was about 16 years old when I started taking it more seriously and I haven’t stopped since.

When I’ve finished my education, I hope to… continue my career as a professional athlete and once I’ve finished my athletic career, go into research – I’m particularly interested in neuropsychopharmacology.

I feel like I’ve had a good day when… I’ve had a successful training session – knowing I’ve pushed my body to the limit to become stronger and faster; I’ve written up (and understood) my lecture notes and then still have time to watch my favourite TV shows! Having that as a day’s work is great for me. 

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