It’s official: I’m heading out to Rio to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games! It’s been a tough journey so far but one that’s not over yet. With less than 100 days to go until the Games, there is a lot still to be done before I’ll be fully prepared to compete. Here’s an insight into what a normal day is for me…
First off, there is the 4:45am alarm each morning and a bowl of Weetabix or porridge to fuel my body for my first training session of the day. This gruelling session normally lasts two and a half hours and varies depending on what my coach scripts. It can be skill work, recovery or a tough Vo2 max or lactate tolerance session.
After this it’s time to eat again. I need to top up my energy levels quickly and second breakfast, which is my favourite meal of the day, involves fresh fruit, yoghurt, eggs (either scrambled, poached or boiled), bacon and bagels all grace my plate. I always look forward to it during the early training session!
Once I’ve refuelled it’s time for a power nap. With being up at 4:45am, I like to have a wee snooze so I can manage the rest of my training for the day. It really is a power nap, lasting no longer than 40 minutes, and I tend to just flop onto a bed and sleep, like Molly and Flo here.
The snooze recharges my batteries and I have a bit of lunch followed by another session in the pool. Again, the training can vary between long recovery or high intensity. The main thing is to work on my skill and technique, no matter how tired I feel in the water. Practicing these when fatigued gets me into a good habit, and when I tire in races I know I can maintain a high level and keep swimming fast! It also helps minimise the risk of injury.
I normally go to the gym after my afternoon swim. Once again, the sessions vary, and can involve lifting weights using bars and dumbbells or circuit training with medicine balls and tyre-flipping. It’s nice to train on land for a change! I find it more challenging, but I guess I’m not built for land – however, working on my weaknesses in a gym gives me confidence and can only make me stronger and faster in the water.
It’s time to head home and enjoy a family meal after the gym. This is important to me, as it’s the one time we can be together as a family. We are a bit bonkers (as you can see below), but the sacrifices made and support given by my family for the benefit of my swimming have been huge. It’s nice to spend time with them and show how much I appreciate all their love and support. Just sitting and chatting (no phones allowed at the table!) over dinner is nice.
Every day is different so this is just a brief snapshot of an average one for me. This is my world, and my world is being in water. Swimming has given me the chance to live an exciting adventure through the friends I make, countries I visit and opportunities I get. The best part is I’m not alone, I have my family with me every step of the way.