When we returned on the 18th we were all given a couple of days off to take time to reflect on our own personal performance and that of Team GB. Even now, two weeks on, it’s still hard to believe that we failed to qualify in the top eight teams for the Olympics at the World Championships but at least we still have a second chance to qualify in January at the O2 Arena. It really was all down to too many errors on the high bar and, if we had spread those errors out across all six apparatus, I am certain we would be celebrating right now and really looking forward to Christmas. We are now all focused on the January qualifiers where I am sure you will see a different Team GB. We have now also added the Stuttgart Grand Prix to our diary on the 12th/13th November which will be a great opportunity for the team to come together before January. It is so important that we now maintain our fitness levels and body condition ahead of Stuttgart and the qualifiers.
People forget that gymnastics is a full-time occupation and my normal rigorous training schedule, alongside training camps, will ensure that I remain fit over the Festive Season – which would usually involve a lot of overindulgence.
A typical week is pretty gruelling and involves 37 hours of training over six days at my club in Huntington. Saturday is the only day I have off and I’d usually spend it resting and relaxing with my girlfriend and friends. In December, however, things will change as I’ll be heading to the Team GB training camp at Lilleshall where there won’t be any days off – it is pretty intense.
The next few months won’t just be about training, my diet is also massively important too to ensure that I can get through the training and allow my muscles to recover. My daily diet looks like this – as you’ll see it’s all about protein:
-For breakfast I either have scrambled eggs on toast or porridge with a protein shake.
-A typical lunch for me would be a big pasta and chicken salad and a maxi muscle protein bar, to help me recover from the first session and give me the energy for the second session.
-A typical dinner would be salmon with vegetables and a protein shake, which I normally have as soon as I get home from the gym. I am also trying to lean down over the next few months so I have a rule of no carbohydrates at night.
At the moment we are all back training with our personal coaches at our local clubs so the competition in Stuttgart will be the first time that we will regroup as a team since Tokyo. After that we will have a very hectic schedule through December with a lot of training back at Lilleshall ahead of the Olympic qualifier on the 10th January at the O2 Arena.