So what does it take to balance training with other daily tasks. We caught up with GB athlete Ryan Raghoo to see what goes down
What does a typical day look like?
As elite athletes training is a big part of your life… obviously
But you’d be surprised to know everything is planned around training, from your work to your diet – even your rest. I train around 40hrs a week which is the equivalent of doing a full time job or your 9 -5, add in to the mix balancing a degree plus working and there’s very little time for much else.
In athletics we have different training programs for different seasons, currently I’m starting my winter block of training so a big part of this will be conditioning. Winter is the hardest time of the year as your training is more regular and intense; add in the weather conditions of the wet, cold and rain and everything seems to take so much more out of you.
For me winter training is harder as the cold affects me more; exacerbating the symptoms of my Cerebral Palsy – my muscles are tighter which means it’s easier to get injured and it takes a lot longer to warm up (sometimes my body doesn’t warm up because it’s too cold).
6am – my first training session, I use the mornings to stretch; having CP I’m already tight so by stretching in the morning it means that when I come to train in the evening I’m much more flexible which means I can get more out of my body with an increased range of movement. My stretching programme takes around 45 minutes, after this I foam roll. NOT NICE! I have a combination of torture devices to get the knots out of my muscles including cricket and gold balls for those hard to get areas, although I hate it I know it’s good for me so I persist with it. Sometimes the morning session can include a bodyweight circuit or an abs circuit too, usually my morning session takes around 2 hours.
After a quick shower, a big breakfast and my Bio-Synergy Coconut protein I’m ready for work or university.My next session is around 6pm after I’ve finished my day’s work – by this point I am tired! I’ve already been awake for 12 hours and now I have a 3/4hr training session ahead of me.
I don’t know why but it doesn’t matter how tired I am when it comes to training time I find a new energy. I genuinely love what I do and when it comes to training time I’m ready! (the coaches often have to tell me to go home as I’m there long after the session is done working on various weaknesses)
What gets me up in the morning?
A lot of people are mortified when they find out the routine I keep, often asking when do I rest or go out, the most popular question is how do I do it? How do I stay motivated?
Many of my friends have been asking how I feel about not being selected for Rio and whether or not I’ll carry on or not, in fact the coaches did ask me earlier in the year if I wanted to call it a day.
I’m hungrier now than ever! It’s said and done; there’s nothing I can do about it apart from continue to work hard. One thing that’s never been in question is my work ethic – now I’m over the disappointment my focus is back and I’m looking forward to the World Championships in London next year and then the big one in Tokyo 2020.
Every day when I wake up I wiggle my toes, silly I know but there was a time I couldn’t do this. Every day I can move I’m going to get up and do something; this is not just about me anymore. There are so many people worldwide that follow my story, so many people with disabilities who have seen what I do and believe they can too. This is about showing the world the true meaning of Enabled Not Disabled; irrespective of your level of ability you can achieve whatever you want to, as long as your willing to put the work in and you have the right support. I’m best to have the team at Bio-synergy behind me supplying me with world class supplement, now it’s my job to do the hard work.
I was told I would never walk, this year I qualified for Rio 2016, I wonder what next year holds?
Find out more about Ryan here on his ambassador page.