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My daily routine stays very similar whether I'm preparing for a Six Nations game, a Gloucester game, or any game. I'm always trying to fine-tune my prep and make necessary adaptations to improve, but fundamentally it's all very similar.
A rough insight into my day on a normal training day would be one weights session and one rugby session. Before rugby I like to make sure I have a big long warm up with lots of stretches, as it's likely I'm going to need to run fast in training. After each session I do some skill pick-ups, often high ball work.
Once training is finished I need to get my recovery right, which may involve some treatment, my hyperbaric chamber when I get home, maybe icing any knot or niggles. Throughout the day I need to be aware of what I'm eating and when I'm eating it, alongside getting my daily supplementation in – always Healthspan Elite!
When the day is done, an early night and a good TV series is a nice way to chill and unwind.
I call my performance cycle my 'loop', and it does seem to take up most of my time. However, it is important to try to get some downtime in – just to clear the mind and avoid burnout. Something simple like a cup of coffee or watching a series is perfect for me.
Essentially, I want my prep to be as good as it can possibly be every week, irrespective of who I'm playing for, or what game it is, so there shouldn't be too many differences.
The requirements of high-speed running do increase under the England training regime and game plan, so in preparation, a few weeks before I go into camp I will do some running top-ups so I'm prepared for the increased workload.
On a training day it's one weights session and one rugby session, with a long warm up in between.
Again, the same old cliché! I try to keep my supplements consistent. A favourite of mine is vit D, especially during the winter when we don't see much of the sun.
As previously mentioned, training and playing intensity (particularly high-speed running for me) increases during a Six Nations campaign, so to accommodate this I up my carbohydrate intake and tend to generally eat more when I'm in camp.
Treat-wise, we always have a chocolate biscuit or two the day before a game. We all look forward to this, and it's a good way to load up on carbs before the game the following day.
Here's my normal training day food:
Breakfast: omelette and porridge
Snack: protein shake
Lunch: Bowl of soup and a bagel, followed by pasta or rice with chicken and some salad
Snack: Maybe a wrap
Dinner: Fish, sweet potato, green veg
Snack: Yoghurt, berries, nuts or seeds
Yes. I try to eat/load up on carbs the day before I play, so on game day I only really need a couple of small meals.
Maybe a small bowl of porridge for breakfast, and a quick-release-energy pre-match meal like pancakes and banana. Hydration is critical every day, but particularly on game day.