At 21 years old, Dina Asher-Smith has become something of a powerhouse on the athletics track.
In July 2015, she became the first ever British woman to run the 100m in under 11 seconds (10.99 to be exact) at the London Anniversary Games.
And then in the 2015 World Championships, she broke the women’s British record for running 200m, doing it in 22.07 seconds (Usain Bolt did it in 19.19, if that puts it in perspective).
Between being a kit carrier in the London 2012 Olympics, to winning bronze at Rio (as well as balancing being a student at King’s College), she’s a pretty busy woman.
So what does the training schedule of the fastest woman in Britain look like? We chatted to her about her workout regime to get the insider info.
Talk us through your week in fitness.
“I train six days a week. On an average week, I do three gym sessions and four-five track sessions. On top of this I have physio, a massage and do abs most days.
“I am usually in the gym on a Monday, train on the track on a Tuesday, then on a Wednesday I have a double session with gym in the morning and track in the evening. I alternate between track and gym for the rest of the week. Sunday is my rest day.”
What’s your favourite type of workout and why?
“Anything short and fast. Those types of sessions come more naturally to me and are usually fun. I like doing these with a group as the other athletes push me to run faster.
“My favourite type of gym session is ankle stability and balance exercises such as standing on one leg, balancing on unstable surface while catching a medicine ball. It’s easy to see big improvements with these types of exercises so it’s rewarding and makes it worth it.”
What do you do on rest days?
“I normally just chill out! All athletes will tell you that you have to cherish those days, they feel like everyone else’s weekend.
“So I just relax, maybe watch some TV, go out with my friends. Around this time of year though my rest days are typically used up revising for my exams because as well as training six days a week I’m coming to the end of my degree so life is very busy.”
What do you eat throughout the week to complement your training schedule?
“Breakfast is typically scrambled eggs, some fruit and a yogurt. Lunch varies, but typically built around some form of protein, so fish, chicken, beef with vegetables. Dinner is fairly similar during training months as my diet has to be quite strict. I eat a lot of high-protein meals throughout the week for muscle recovery.”
What are your pre and post-workout snacks?
“My pre-workout snacks include eggs, spinach and chorizo and post-workout snack includes Muller light yoghurt and beef jerky. Again this follows the rule of high protein to fuel my body and help it recover.”
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about food?
“I’ve learned that there are lots of tasty healthy food options in the world today. The thinking in the past was if its healthy, it won’t taste nice. Not today, it’s easy to find something healthy and that you like.
“I have to be very controlled with my diet which is hard because I do love food that aren’t too healthy like pizza and cakes. As an athlete, it is important to fuel my body right to help me perform well.”
Do you have a motivational mantra that keeps you going?
“Not really – I’m a naturally motivated and positive person, I know what I want and how to get it. I’ve always been like that but when I’ve had setbacks like injuries, I’ve learnt that positive mental attitude is absolutely essential.
“I would advise people to plan goals or find something that inspires you or motivates you. Many people are demotivated because the reason they’re telling themselves to do something doesn’t actually resonate with them. Be true to yourself and find something that really matters to you as your inspiration.”
Do you always have fitness goals you are aiming for?
“Yes, always. They are often small, like try to not feel tired during this next rep, try to hold strong in my core. I work with my support team to set short term and longer term goals but it’s much easier to achieve goals if you break them down into lots of micro-goals.
“At the moment my short term goal off track is to do well in my exams. On track I am returning from injury and slowly building back my fitness.”
What’s your ultimate workout track and why?
“At the moment I am listening to Kendrick Lamar’s new album Damn. I find his music very motivational. I like a lot of other artists and tend to mix it up when I am training. If I need some motivation I will listen to something high paced or if I am a bit too hyped I will listen to something slower to calm me down.”
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‘Fit Fix’ is a weekly dose of fitspiration from leading athletes and fitness fanatics. Each week we chat to stars about their weekly workouts, the food they eat and what keeps them going.