As a professional athlete I do a lot of training – it takes up most of my life. During a usual week I will paddle 10 times, I will be in the gym three or four times and then I’ll do Pilates and physio on top of that. Understandably my training consumes a lot of my energy and it is vital I replenish that energy so I can perform my best the following day.
We’ve been really lucky to have people that give us good nutritional guidance, but it’s also about learning your own body and knowing what works well for you. Because training depletes your energy stores, I really notice when I don’t replenish my energy the next day – I’m really flat. So, it’s not about just the present, it’s about two days’ time, a weeks’ time. It’s about making sure that every day I’ve topped up enough so that I can perform my best in the next training session.
Relaxing and switching off from training is also vital to improving my performance. My coach always tells me recovery is the most important thing, that’s when your body is getting faster and getting fitter. It seems counterintuitive, but it’s because that’s when your body repairs itself.
I am naturally a social person – even in training, I like to train as part of a group rather than on my own. By keeping training social, it keeps me relaxed and I get more out of training as a result.
I think this is where my love of food comes from, I really enjoy entertaining and cooking a great meal helps me relax – I think I just like people appreciating my food and makes me feel good.
I also love expanding my knowledge of food and techniques of cooking. When you get excited about how or what you are cooking that night, it gives you something to look forward to. It also rubs off on the rest of my training group too, they’re always like… ‘ooo how are you cooking your lamb tonight?’ – it cracks me up! I think it’s been really cool, that through Beef and Lamb, I’ve expanded my cooking ability of red meat. I know it sounds cheesy but they have so many great recipes on their website that you can try out. I highly recommend it.