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I came to join Team England in Australia as I look to get my body ready and to be completely sharp for the 100m this summer. I needed to run the 200m at the Commonwealth Games so that I can ultimately bridge that gap between the 60m and the 200m.
When I’m competing over the 60m distance, I don’t really need to use too many carbohydrate stores; I just need to be as lean as possible. Every meal will be protein-based and include a portion of vegetables. But here in Gold Coast, competing in the 200m, I’ve been doing lots of 300m reps in training and so I’ve added more calories because I’m going through my carbohydrate stores quicker and need to recover from longer workouts.
My training sessions in Australia have been slightly longer than normal and the recovery periods shorter. On the bends of the 200m I’ve got the speed to match the other guys but the home straight is something I need to continue working on. That said, I only missed out qualifying for the final, having just returned from injury, by 0.05 seconds.
In addition to that, the climate is completely different out here. I spent three weeks prior to travelling to Australia training in a climate chamber at Teeside University. For each session I’d run for 25 seconds, getting up to full speed on the treadmill, before taking a three-minute break. I’d repeat this six times and by the third or fourth run I was really feeling it – it would be difficult to breathe and when I came out I’d have lost 1.9 kilos after a 30-minute workout.
This all had an impact on my hydration and I’d be drinking four litres of water a day and take six sachets of Totum Sport, a natural sports supplement made with minerals and trace elements. I brought 13 boxes of Totum out here with me and I take several per day: one in the morning, one ten minutes before training, one during the session, one directly after, and one with my evening meal.
I was losing so much sweat in the chamber that the heat wasn’t such a big shock when I got out here. Even so, you’re sweating in the warm-up, even during evening sessions, and losing electrolytes in the process. So I’ve been replacing those electrolytes by using Totum Sport, which gives you complete hydration at a cellular level and allows the body to hold onto water longer. This helps sustain stamina and focus, prevents cramps and DOMS [delayed onset muscle soreness], and promotes faster recovery.
This preparation helped when I travelled to a Team England training camp in Brisbane before moving into the athlete village ahead of the Games. Aside from adapting to sharing rooms, sleeping in single beds, and all the other distractions of the village, athletes have to comprehend to the sheer volume of food on offer. It’s very easy to go to a competition and over-eat but I’ve learnt through trial and error what works and what doesn’t for me, so I don’t really need a nutritionist. I’ll walk into the dining hall, see what’s healthy, and make a decision based on that.
I think that going into the summer I’m going to be going faster and faster in the 200m. I think I’ll run a few more in the summer as well as the 100m. It might be that my first few races in May and June will be in the 200m and then I’ll drop off the workrate and go into the 100m.
And I’ll be adjusting my diet along the way.
For more information on Totum Sport please enquire here.