Skeleton racing requires you to be technically good at driving the sled,
but you also have to be in the best physical condition.
Being a top athlete requires years of hard work and dedication. But before I found skeleton racing I liked to take part in lots of different sports, I think being a good ‘all-rounder’ has helped me in my skeleton training.
Our skeleton season has 2 parts – the winter months when we race – and the summer months when we train in the UK.
My summer training in the UK consists of a regular routine to build up my strength and speed for the racing season, including lots of weight training and sprinting.
When the winter kicks in, the gym training regime is less intense to allow my body to race, but we stay in shape out on the circuit, getting to the gym a few times during the week for Olympic lifting and other core conditioning work. I slide most days which includes about one hour of preparation and warming up as well as the runs down the track, which are exhausting!
DIET & HEALTH
Early in my skeleton career I tried lots of different diet regimes to give my body the fuel it needed to train and race. I realised very quickly that for me, cutting out lots of foods and focusing on my diet too much was not good for my body or my mind.
Now, I follow a regime of healthy eating which involves eating lots of different foods, and eating my favorite naughty foods like crisps and chocolate in moderation.
When you are building muscle for strength and performance you need to replenish your body after a tough training session with lots of protein, especially straight after exercise. I like to eat lunch or a good-sized snack within half an hour of training otherwise I’ll start to feel very hungry and grumpy! Eating lots of fruit and vegetables is essential to get the nutrients I need to keep me healthy and helps fight any colds that I might pick up over the competition circuit.
One of the most important tools I use as an athlete is ‘goal setting’. You can use it in anything you are doing – be it at school or work, training for a race or event or even building up to doing something you ahave been avoiding – like tidying your room!
I have to identify what my big goal is and make sure I am clear about what it is I want to achieve. Examples of goal setting:
“I want to be an Olympian.”
“I want to learn how to cook a roast dinner”
“I want to know how to fix a flat tyre on my car”
“I want to finish my homework on Friday night so I can relax for the weekend.”
Once you know what you want to achieve – go about setting yourself smaller goals or intentions that will help you get to that place. Write them down, remind yourself of them and stick to those smaller goals. Tick them off once they have been achieved and you are one step closer to your big goal.
I do this exercise every day, every week and ahead of every new skeleton season – it helps me to know what I am aiming for and gives me confidence as I get through the days and weeks that I am closer to the end goal.