We’re really lucky to be a full-time sport and to be National Lottery-funded, which means we’re based at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in Buckinghamshire.
I live very close to Bisham, which is great, but I’m still an early riser. I’m on a platform called Whereabouts, so I have to register where I will be for a certain period of every day in case anti-doping come to test me, and I usually put 6am or 7am, meaning I have to be up and ready in case I have a knock on the door.
Then it’s breakfast to get me ready for the first session of the day. I tend to have porridge or scrambled eggs on toast – a reasonably big breakfast to prepare for what’s to come.
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We have a fitness session first thing in the morning, which normally lasts two hours. It depends on the day of the week, but on a Monday it will be at quite a high intensity. We’ll do typical practise with a fitness emphasis before playing small-sided games or 11 v 11 at the end.
Our training is very specific because we have to make lots of decisions on the pitch, so we try to replicate match play as much as possible.
After that we’ll often have meetings. It might be a players meeting to see how everyone is, to check if everyone’s clear with what’s going on, or picking up any project work we’re doing.
We also do video analysis, which is a massive part of our game, in terms of looking at the opposition and what we’re doing together.
We can also use the time before lunch to meet with the coaches, physios, doctors or sports scientists, who are all on site.
I’m a vegetarian and for lunch I need to eat the right kind of high-carb, high-protein food. I might have a roasted vegetable wrap with a smoothie or, if I haven’t had it for breakfast, scrambled eggs on toast with avocado, because I need fuel for the afternoon session.
In the afternoon we have a gym session, which is also about two hours. For example, on a Monday it tends to be reasonably heavy lifts and speed work.
One of the challenges of our game is the physical demands. You can run up to 10km per game and have eight games packed into 13 days, which takes its toll.
It’s been a bit different lately with the World Cup on, but you have to be in great shape physically, as well as strong to avoid injuries, so the gym is very important.
For the rest of the day we might do more meetings and head off about 6.30pm. Once home it’s all about recovering and rest for the following day.
Dinner is usually pretty similar to the previous meals: lots of protein and carbs. Things like a jacket potato, or quinoa are ideal, because they’re quick and high in protein.
I like a box set, but I don’t feel like I ever sit down at home. I love the outdoors and with the weather we’ve been having at the moment I tend to go out for a walk in the evening after eating. That’s how I switch off. I also listen to podcasts or go and visit a friend, because I don’t want to overload myself with TV.
Alex Danson was speaking in connection with the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup 2018. Vitality offers health insurance & life insurance www.vitality.co.uk
Source : CityA.M.