As an athlete, I get to practice what I preach

As an athlete, I get to practice what I preach

With a background in sports nutrition and exercise science, plus a passion for competitive ultra-running, Alex Cook was attracted to Dupl’s unique approach to health and fitness..
She says that treating each client as an individual, rather than reciting the latest fads, makes for a holistic and sustainable health and fitness plan that can positively change a person’s life forever.  Here, Alex talks goal setting, the importance of an active lifestyle and prioritising health.


Hi Alex! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

In my professional life, I’m a qualified dietician. I studied Sports Science at the University of Birmingham, then did a postgraduate qualification in nutrition and dietetics in Edinburgh. And I’m also a distance runner – I recently started running ultra-marathons, and earlier this year I won the Endurance Life Exmoor Marathon, beating the course record by 14 minutes!

What made you want to work at Dupl?

I can combine the things I love most – nutrition and sport. And as an athlete, I get to practice what I preach. An athlete’s mindset is different to someone who doesn’t have a background in sport – I understand the stresses and strains of training and competition.

Everybody that works here is, or has been, an athlete, and we all care deeply about health, nutrition and performance. But I especially like that we’re not about losing weight in isolation – we’re about each individual reaching their personal best.

We’re interested in helping to develop our clients’ physical and sporting ambitions, supporting them to find a sporting passion and giving them something to aim for. We can help clients to develop their physiques, train more efficiently, run their first half-marathon, or whatever their personal goals might be. We believe that a physical passion is the springboard that leads to better nutrition, better lifestyle choices and improved long-term health. We also believe it’s never too late to start – whatever your background or level of fitness.

How do you go about setting goals?

The first thing is to listen carefully and understand my client’s situation, environment and mind-set. We discuss and set goals together, with the understanding that they’ll change and evolve as training progresses. It’s good to have both long-term and short-term ones. A long-term goal might be, ‘I want to run a marathon’, or ‘I want to break my personal best.’ Short-term goals help you to build up to them.

Why is that more effective than a diet plan alone?

It’s been proven time and time again that diets don’t work long-term; they aren’t sustainable, and they’re not particularly healthy without physical activity. Rather than just worrying about losing weight, we help people to find something to work towards. Wanting to be slimmer is an objective, but with a diet based on denial, it can create negativity and unhealthy decisions – think of yoyo dieting. But signing up to your first 5k race is a tangible motivator, and combined with a personalised nutritional plan, it’s what you need to both look and feel healthier.

Can you tell us about someone you’ve helped to achieve their goal?

A really exciting example is Lloyd. He took up running seriously a year ago, but he’d only done basic fitness until then. In the year we’ve been working together on his nutrition and running performance, he has achieved two personal bests for half-marathon and 10km distances, and now he’s set himself the challenge of his first marathon next year.

He works in a demanding executive role and has to fit training in around his job and busy social life, so it’s a challenge. But with the right plan, and constant support and motivation through me with Dupl, he’s smashing every goal he sets and has achieved better energy levels for his work, social life and his running passion!

If you would like to learn more about Dupl and how we’re helping people reach their personal best and improve their health, visit


Alex Cook, Dupl expert in performance nutrition, is a qualified Dietitian, Sports Science graduate and competitive runner and loves all things running and nutrition!  She recently started running ultra-marathons, and earlier this year won the Endurance Life Exmoor Marathon, beating the course record by 14 minutes!