400m hurdles world champ Karsten Warholm on mental health and fashion

·Editor-in-Chief, Lifestyle
·3-min read
Karsten Warholm. (PHOTO: Puma)
Karsten Warholm. (PHOTO: Puma)

Ever wondered how a two-time world 400m hurdles champion trains and maintains his mental health during the COVID pandemic? We wondered, too.

Luckily for us, Norwegian track and field athlete Karsten Warholm, 24, was happy to talk to Yahoo Lifestyle SEA about the inner workings of an athlete, including why he’s disappointed by the cancellation of the Olympics, as well as how he keeps a positive mind at home.

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Training in his home gym

During the pandemic, Warholm found it difficult to keep to his training schedule; but luckily for him, he has a home gym he could use. Together with his coach, they created hurdles that could easily be dismounted and transported. “I did a lot of core training during this period; it was efficient and I was able to do it without a lot of space,” Warholm said.

And that training paid off; Warholm earned the title ‘second-fastest man’ of all time in the 400m hurdles category when he competed at the Diamond League meet in Stockholm, Sweden in August. In fact, Warholm was just 0.09 seconds off the world record, even though he smashed his own European record.

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Run like the wind

Running is another sport that Warholm enjoys doing: “I am extremely focused when I am running. I run the race mostly with as little thoughts as possible.”

If borders gradually open for travel in 2021, you might even be able to catch Warholm at the Olympic Stadium in London, as that’s one of his favourite stadiums. “It always brings back good memories of World Championship 2017, where I became World Champion for the first time,” he said. As a friend of sportswear brand Puma, Warholm has been collaborating with them since 2019. “We even developed spikes that suit my feet and have technological solutions that fit my running set.”

Warholm loves Lego

When he’s not busy tackling hurdles, Warholm trains his mind’s sharpness and creativity by building Lego sets. We love him already.

According to an interview with Olympic Channel, he said: "I built everything, I built Old Trafford, the Tower Bridge - the one in London. Now I’m building the new Lamborghini Lego. I built the Disney Castle but in the past, I’ve built a lot of other things like Bugatti, Porsche."

Karsten Warholm is photographed in Puma's UltraRide performance running shoes. (PHOTO: Puma)
Karsten Warholm is photographed in Puma's UltraRide performance running shoes. (PHOTO: Puma)

Cancellation of the Olympics 2020

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the whole world, postponing the Olympics 2020 was the only right thing to do. Of course, I was sad about the circumstances, but sport is not the most important in this serious situation,” Warholm said.

Looking after his mental health

Warholm is glad for the support his coach and teammates have showered him with during the pandemic. After all, that’s what sportsmanship is all about, right? “I am lucky to have a fantastic coach and team-mates. We have supported each other, trained hard but also have had a lot of fun during the training sessions. This is more than enough for me to keep me motivated and keep good mental health in these demanding times,” Warholm shared.

To take care of his mental health, Warholm also has pastimes such as cooking with his girlfriend and playing golf.

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Keeping it fresh

It’s no surprise that Warholm maintains a sharp sartorial style; a quick look at his Instagram page shows him in dapper suits and tailored shirts. “I like to be well dressed when I am invited to parties and official occasions. I prefer suits with special details like bright colour jacket or other specialities. On a daily basis, I prefer comfort combined with style,” he said.

And if you must know what’s his skincare routine is like, Warholm answers with panache: “I shower every day with Norwegian water.” Don’t discount the minerals in the water!

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