Two years ago this weekend Jess stood at the top of the podium on Super Saturday as Olympic champion. Now she’s battling with a recurring Achilles injury which forced her to miss the start of the season. However she was determined to take part in the Anniversary Games last week to celebrate the legacy of London 2012 and honour all the athletes who gave everything they had to compete.
Early nights, 9am training sessions and lengthy gym sessions are just some of the sacrifices you need to make to become a world beating athlete. However, being able to stick to a strict, nutritious diet could mean the difference between gold and silver.
“Diet is incredibly important,”
“It’s the petrol in your engine, it’s the fuel you need to live and compete.” With Jess struggling with injury, her diet has become an essential part of her recovery. “We have had to alter Jess’ diet slightly because of her injury. We added stuff like green tea which is a good anti-oxidant to improve tissue quality. We also encouraged her to eat oily fish and vitamin C, or supplement this, again for tissue repair.”
It’s true what they say, you are what you eat, so you need to make sure you are consuming the right amount of nutrients you need to perform. “Mostly you need to eat carbohydrate rich foods for energy, so you’re looking at your rice, pasta and bread,” says Toni. “Protein from meat and fish is also important for tissue repair. They’re your main essentials.”
At the Olympic Games Jess competed in seven events over two days, so it was vital she ate the right food at the right time. “Obviously you never get chance to sit down to have a big meal so it’s much more about snacking as you go. You don’t want too much in the stomach as you want to be comfortable. Eat nice and steady and focus on carb-rich foods for energy.”
Toni’s Top Tip – Long Jump
Technique, board control and timing are all essential to produce an impressive distance in the long jump. “It’s all about the speed on the runway as this is what carries you, so you need to make sure you work on your sprint technique,” explains Toni. “You also need to deal with the board as you can change direction a lot when you leap. It’s trying to get your optimum speed, which is your fastest controlled speed, and your top speed as close together as possible.”