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Jonny May holding a weight in the gym

Jonny May's Six Nations Diary

In the build-up to the 2021 Six Nations Championship, England Rugby International Jonny May gives us an insight into his daily routine and training and match day diets.

Jonny May's Six Nations Q and A

What does your daily routine look like when you're preparing for the Six Nations?

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.

Do you have any free time in the day, or is it all accounted for?

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.

How does training differ in the build-up to a major tournament such as the Six Nations, versus Premiership Rugby?

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.

Jonny May on gym equipment

On a training day it's one weights session and one rugby session, with a long warm up in between.

Does your supplement usage differ when you're training for a tournament?

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.

How does your diet differ during the Six Nations versus Premiership Rugby? Are you allowed any treats you're particularly fond of?

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.

Jonny May's Six Nations food diary

What do you tend to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and anything in between) during the Six Nations?

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

Is your match day diet different from your training diet?

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.

Jonny May is a professional rugby union player who plays for the England national team.

Find out more about Jonny May, or read more about Healthspan's Ambassadors.

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