What it Takes to Train as a GB Decathlete with Ben Gregory
With the road to #Rio2016 in full swing, we caught up with Bio-Synergy ambassador Ben Gregory who helped us highlight what it takes to compete at the highest level.
Most people will be familiar with athletics from the track and field centrepiece at the Olympics. Of All the athletic disciplines contested none will challenge the overall athleticism of its competitors as uncompromisingly as the decathlon. Over two gruelling days, decathletes will test their limits in 10 track and field events, each emphasising a different aspect of fitness—from endurance (the 1,500 meter) to brute strength (the shot put) to explosive power (the high jump). Athletes in other sports will rack up more medals, and the USA Basketball squad will dominate headlines, but only the decathlon champion will be awarded the title of World’s Greatest Athlete along with the gold. Just completing the event requires superhuman effort.
A typical training week consists of multiple technical sessions, a few running sessions, circuit training & weights strength & conditioning sessions. With 10 events to train for and only 7 days in the week, it’s a full-time job. Often a day of training will be split over two sessions eg:
AM – Gym, shot put drills & practice, Long Jump & circuit.
Rest & treatment with Physio or massage therapist.
PM – back to the track for some technical speed work & longer running sessions followed by more circuits.
I have been competing internationally in the decathlon for over 5 years and have had my fair share of niggles and injuries, it’s a balancing act staying healthy whilst trying to push yourself & the sessions in order to gain the necessary improvements.
Some of the toughest running sessions are the speed endurance sessions and I’m frequently sick after pushing myself to the limits. If you want to give one a go:
Try 8 x 200m 3mins recovery (just enough time to walk across the infield to the 200m start for the next rep) the first 2 reps are a freebie – no lactic, by 3, 4, 5 each rep gets progressively harder and you feel like each rep is dramatically longer! 6, 7 & 8 takes guts to make it back to the start line and real grit & determination to hold your form and not let the times slide. Good luck! (Make sure a sufficient warm up is completed you need to ready & firing rep 1).
One of the reasons it’s easy to stay motivated in the decathlon is put perfectly by the current world record holder Ashton Eaton, he is currently Nike poster boy in all the stores and magazines.
“There’s never going to be a decathlon that you’re going to have 10 events that you’re satisfied with. You’re always, always going to be dissatisfied with something, and that always draws you back to try to retry that the next time you do a decathlon. It’s like you go for the perfect 10.” Ashton Eaton world record holder.
Diet and nutrition are vitally important when your training and even more when you are competing. Athletes energy levels cannot afford to drop off and cause a dip in performance.
I would also hydrate throughout the session with pomegranate flavour Bio-Synergy Skinny Water. I love the taste and it’s packed with good stuff for weight management.