Stratton sorts out health issues

John Salvado
Brooke Stratton is using an enforced break from competition to get faster and stronger

Standing at the top of the runway at last year's world championships in Doha, Australian long jump record holder Brooke Stratton didn't feel like herself at all.

And it showed.

"I couldn't concentrate, I couldn't focus, my body wasn't functioning properly," she said.

"I was really tired and that reflected in my performance."

Stratton was unable to jump any further than 6.46m in the final - 59cm shy of her PB - as she finished a distant 10th in a competition dominated by German Malaika Mihambo.

The Victorian returned home knowing significant changes had to be made.

Stratton was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition Hashimoto's disease in early 2017.

She also has celiac disease, which requires her to adhere to a 100 per cent gluten-free diet.

"I didn't get blood tests regularly enough before the worlds to ensure the Hashimoto's was under control," the 26-year-old told AAP.

"The dosage of thyroxine I was on wasn't adequate to what my body needed.

"The biggest symptom was fatigue as well as brain fog and an inability to focus.

"It was a very tough time and when I got home and saw my endocrinologist we put a plan in place.

"It meant getting blood tests once a month which was a bit extreme but it was enough to get my levels back to where they needed to be and I had to change my dosage of thyroxine as well.

"It was just one of those phases where I lost the plot a bit and it affected my performances a lot more than I thought it would."

Feeling better than she had in years, Stratton was looking forward to a big 2020 capped by the Tokyo Games, having made made an impressive Olympic debut four years earlier in Rio where she finished seventh with 6.74m.

Like every other elite athlete in the coronavirus era, those plans have now been pushed back 12 months.

"I was obviously very disappointed to begin with as things were going really well and I was progressing towards being at my peak when the Olympics came around," she said.

"But I just had to accept it."

Stratton does some of her gym work at home with fiance Nathan, who is a triathlete.

Due to health concerns around social distancing, her coach and father Russell Stratton is not attending all of her sessions for now.

"I'm having a bit of a break from the sandpit," said the 2018 Commonwealth silver medallist.

"Trying to get really strong in the gym and working on my running.

"I'm trying to see all of this as a blessing in disguise.

"I've got all the time in the world to better myself, work on my weaknesses and give next year a really good crack."