We caught up with the reigning Olympic champion to talk all things rowing and the road to Rio
Counting Olympic gold medals and multiple European and World Cup championships among her list of accolades, Helen Glover is one of the finest rowers that this country’s ever produced.
As one half of the reigning Olympic champions in the women’s coxless pairs, she and partner Heather Stanning have made headlines and history by winning gold in the women's pair at Rio 2016 . We caught up with Helen before the Games to gain an insight into her weekly training regime and her beauty stash, to find out how she stays confident while she competes and how she prepped herself mentally as well as physically in the lead up to the great sporting event.
GTG: We'd love to have an insight into your training regime. If we were to look inside your weekly workout diary, what would we find?
HG: Every morning will start with a long row on the water - to get a really good base fitness. Then the second session could either be on the rowing machine or on the water doing harder timed sessions. Finally if we have 3 sessions, then we lift weights in the gym.
GTG: How do you stay motivated?
HG: Thinking about Rio keeps me motivated. I know all of my competitors are training hard.
GTG: What do you do to stay mentally (as well as physically) strong? What do you do pre-race to get into the zone?
HG: It's about emotional control - not getting too nervous and not getting too relaxed as that can lead to complacency. In my head I often run through some of the good training sessions we've had.
GTG: What’s been the most difficult part of training for Rio for you and why?
HG: It's such a long journey. Four years of keeping up this intensity is a long time.
GTG: What’s in your beauty stash? Do you wear makeup when you compete?
HG: Moisturiser, deep conditioner, mascara, St.Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion and Sanctuary Foaming Micellar Cleansing Water. I don’t wear makeup when competing; I try to keep my life as simple as possible when competing and adding makeup to the routine would be a distraction. However, I do often look back at pictures and wish I had! In the days leading up to a race I like to make sure my skin is well looked after.
GTG: In terms of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, what does your week in food look like to complement your training regime?
HG: My fiancé Steve always makes a fruit smoothie for me in the morning. I a big fan of the NutriBullet and this plus some toast sets me up for my first session. Then I have a high protein second breakfast, followed by lunch, a protein shake and dinner. After dinner, I usually indulge in chocolate to make sure I get in enough calories for the day, (plus I just really love chocolate!).
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GTG: Do you take any supplements?
HG: We work with Science in Sport and they do some great protein drinks to supplement our diets.
GTG: What does the off-season look like for you in terms of fitness and food?
HG: I have three weeks off every year and I let myself eat what I like. I'm very active in my time off - usually kayaking or climbing with Steve.
GTG: What’s on your workout playlist? Is there any music that you’ve found works particularly well for rowing, beat-wise?
HG: My music taste is so eclectic. When I'm training I can listen to anything from Mumford and Sons to David Guetta. I think rather than a particular beat it's great to have music to boost your mood.
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GTG: What do you do in between training sessions to switch off and unwind?
HG: I love being outdoors, although I don't have much energy for adventure when I'm training, so box-sets get me through training camps!
GTG: How do you deal with the pressure?
HG: I think about my breathing and remind myself of the race plan.
GTG: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given and from whom?
HG: As a young athlete my coach told me 'Carpe diem' - seize the day. I think it's a brilliant thought that there is opportunity all around us.
GTG: What's the best thing you've learned?
HG: It's never too late to try something new. I picked up rowing after University and it changed my life.
Helen is the face of St. Tropez In Shower Golden Glow Medium, £14.50. Buy it online here .
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