LIFESTYLE

Former England Hockey Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh On Learning Not To Compare Herself To Other Athletes

'As an athlete, you become accustomed to being analysed and monitored all the time.'

14/06/2017 15:51 BST

Kate Richardson-Walsh is the woman who lead the female hockey team to that gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

And she may have retired, but the long-serving hockey captain definitely left the sport at the top of her game. 

The 37-year-old made her debut in 1999 and, 375 appearances and 19 medals later, is still championing women’s hockey to boost the sport among young girls.

Richardson-Walsh still very much keeps fitness and sport as part of her weekly scheduling, now dabbling in her love of yoga as much as she can. 

So what else does the former captain do to stay fit? We chatted to her for our weekly Fit Fix series to find out more.  

TeamUp

Training 💪

Talk us through your week in fitness.

“Although I’ve retired from international hockey, I am playing domestic club hockey in the Netherlands. I train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening. We also have a team fitness session on Wednesday afternoon.

“On top of this I do yoga most mornings and some strength work. I try to get in the pool on a Monday after the game to help with recovery. Hockey sessions are between 90 minutes and two hours. Yoga is normally 30 minutes and strength sessions are around an hour.”

What’s your favourite type of workout and why?

“I really love yoga. It’s possibly the first thing that slips off my daily schedule when I’m busy, but I find it helps me physically and mentally for the rest of the day.”

What’s your favourite way to spend your rest day?

“Saturdays are rest days normally. I love to visit new places, have a nice lunch with my wife Helen and my sister, maybe some shopping and generally relaxing.”  

TeamUp

Food 🍳

What do you eat throughout the week to complement your training schedule?

“Food is crucial to my physical and mental health. I love cooking and preparing food. Like all athletes, my day revolves around training and food.

“I always have three main meals a day, although this can be late if we train late into the evening during the week. I often have lunch and then a snack before training or between training sessions.”

What are your pre-and post-workout snacks?

“Pre-training would normally be something with eggs and avocado. It’s taken me a while to work out exactly what I need to eat pre-and post-workout.

“I use lots of Jamie Oliver and Joe Wicks recipes for pre- and post-training. There’s lots of variety and you get all the nutrients you need in really tasty meals. Post-workout it’s important for me to get some lean protein on board as quickly as possible to help with my recovery.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about food?

“That everybody is different and it’s important to listen to your body and eat what’s right for you and your performance.

“Although I do love cookies and anything that has pastry involved.”

TeamUp

Motivation 🙌

Do you have a motivational mantra that keeps you going?

“I am a lover of motivational quotes and I find there’s always one to fit the bill no matter how you’re feeling on any given day.

“My all-time favourite is ‘Feel the fear, and do it anyway’, which translates as: ‘This running session is going to hurt like hell and you’re going to end up on the floor gasping for air and your legs will be filled with lactic acid, but you will enjoy the feeling of having completed the session later and it will help you get to where you want to go, so get it done, now!’”

Do you always have fitness goals you are aiming for? 

“When I was part of the GB hockey programme, every player had individual fitness and body composition targets. As an athlete, you become accustomed to being analysed and monitored all the time.

“The most important thing I learned is that it’s important not to compare myself to other people, because I’m a different body type and have a completely different metabolism. I know what I need to be able to perform, I know how I feel, and I know how I want to look.”

What’s your ultimate workout track and why?

“’All I Do Is Win’ by DJ Khaled. It makes you want to do exactly that!”

TeamUp

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. 

Kate Richardson-Walsh is a supporter of the TeamUp initiative, a three-year campaign from England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), England Hockey and England Netball to maximise the legacy of three home World Cups, build a fan base for women’s team sports and ensure all 7 to 13-year-old girls have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of team sport in school.

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