Coaching & Development, Human Performance, Performance | Jun 4, 2018
World, European and Commonwealth champion Richard Kilty talks us through his nutritional programme during the hectic start to the outdoor season.

Richard Kilty is an indoor 60m world champion, 4x100m relay European champion and double indoor 60m European champion. He added gold in the 4x100m relay at the Commonwealth Games in April but has not been able to rest on his laurels.

With his attention having turned to the outdoor season, the events are starting to come thick and fast. Over the course of the next few weeks, Kilty will decide whether to focus on the 100m or 200m ahead of this summer’s British Championships.

In the latest of our new series [part I available here], Kilty shares his nutrition and hydration diary with the Leaders Performance Institute. It comes as he looks to compete in three competitions over a six-day period.

By Richard Kilty

Upon returning from the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, I had seven days off before I resumed training and even then I struggled with energy until about day ten. But I resumed the full six days a week programme of speed work and endurance work, circuit training, and technique work.

The gym sessions are three days a week and can be pretty full on, usually consisting of weightlifting, medicine ball throws, biometric hurdle hops and box drops; then after that we’ll do resistance runs where I’m pulling a sled or a weighted tyre. Then it might be some short, explosive sprints. All in all, a session can be three hours long so I’ve got to have a good breakfast. During the session, I’ll drink a few litres of water and will take sachets of Totum Sport, before, during and after these sessions. The sessions can be draining so you have to make sure you keep hydrated and maintain your electrolyte levels.

At the time of writing, I’ve got a tough schedule ahead of me where I’ve got a race in Regensberg in Germany this forthcoming Sunday [yesterday], where I’ve got three races; a heat and final of the 100m plus a 200m final. The next day I’ll fly to Turku in Finland to compete in the 200m on Tuesday; it’s back to the UK on Wednesday before flying to Geneva on Thursday to compete that Saturday in the 4x100m relay, a heat and final of the 100m and then a final in the 200m. It’s not just the races that can take their toll but the warm-ups, the massages, the cooldowns. It can be quite exhausting.

If I learnt anything down in Australia it’s that rest is just as important as training. I’ll have a day of complete rest on Thursday; in fact, I’ll have three complete days off leading up to the competition because my body will be hit pretty hard.  Right now, I’m on a low carbohydrates diet because going into a competition I want to make sure that my body fat is low; I’ll be eating lots of eggs, salmon, chicken, but no rice or potatoes; it’s meats, fish and green vegetables. I’ll also be using Totum Sport to give me the necessary electrolytes.

Two weeks before a competition I’ll lower my calories, reduce my sugar and carbohydrate intake while making sure I’m taking onboard the proteins and amino acids. Then as soon as the competition starts you eat whatever you can because you need the fuel, even carbohydrates or McDonald’s.

However, you still need to be careful. A chaperone will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotels, where buffet food is provided 24 hours a day. There’s a wide selection of meat, vegetables, drinks but there’s also lots of desserts and it’s easy for an athlete to gain a couple of kilos during a competition. Some athletes can get over-excited and tuck in to all the available pizzas and pastas. I remember a few times as a junior, I hadn’t really left the country before and I got really excited by all the free food on offer.

Over these next three competitions I’ll be competing in 100m and 200m races and afterwards I’ll look at which event I’m performing better in and that will give me a clearer picture of where to focus as I head into the British Championships. I’ll also discuss the matter with my coach Benke Blomkvist, my wife Dovilė Dzindzaletaitė, who competes in the triple jump for Lithuania, my dad, Kevin, and my close friends. I’ll also chat to Stephen Maguire [Head of Sprints, Hurdles and Relays at British Athletics] but the decision is ultimately mine.

Before that, during the week after these three meetings, I’ll have complete rest with lots of calories, full hydration, and plenty of Totum Sport. I’ll also have a glass of red wine after the last night of competition to relax and there will be plenty of antioxidants. After that, it’s back to the strict diet with lots of protein and vegetables.

Further reading:

Diary of an Athlete: The Roadmap to Speed and Endurance

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