HOW TO BUILD YOUR BODY

SKILLS

‘For the modern pentathlon, I train across five disciplines: fencing, freestyle swimming, equestrian show jumping, shooting and cross country running, but I also started competing in triathlon in 2019, which involves shooting, open water swimming and running. I work full-time Monday to Friday, so I squeeze all my training around my job, doing multiple sessions seven days a week.

I haven’t been able to do any fencing in the last year due to Covid but, luckily, we now use laser guns instead of pellet guns for the shooting, so I practice several times a week at home or at the athletics track. I come from a horse riding background, so I only ride now and again to focus on my other events, but as you only get a 20-minute warm-up in competition to get to know an unfamiliar horse, it takes bravery to handle the horse around the course. It’s one of the reasons why modern pentathlon is considered a display of fitness, courage and skill.’

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CARDIO

‘I do three swims a week in my lunch breaks and fit in four to five runs a week. Some runs are long to build endurance, others are interval-based to train my heart rate to drop quickly at rest, so I can shoot with focus after running as fast as possible. I’ll do more intensive training sessions at the weekend and spend more time with my coaches analysing my performance and working on technique.’

STRENGTH

‘Strength training is absolutely crucial for boosting my endurance and preventing injury because I put my body under multiple strains, and it needs to be resilient to change. I do three strength and conditioning sessions a week at the gym: one is core based, the second involves bodyweight training and lots of single-leg work and isometric holds (static moves like the plank or side plank where you hold a pose) to boost my stability, and the third includes exercises like deadlifts and squats with weights.’

FUEL

‘Up until a year ago, nutrition was really an afterthought and I grabbed food on the go. Then a company called Conscious Performance Nutrition started providing me with nutrition plans and it’s completely changed my mindset. They help me make sure I fuel myself properly in and around my training according to the intensity of my sessions, so my energy levels are much steadier through the week, and I don’t get intense sugar cravings anymore.

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