As part of a series of blogs from the Tri Training Harder Race Team athletes, we’re giving a sneak preview into how we go about organising training around our lives (or visa versa).

I’ve tried to give an ‘average’ week here, but each week is a bit different depending on what placement/hospital I’m at, accessibility to gyms, races in the area and fatigue levels etc…

Anyway, it usually looks something like this:


MONDAY

Rest day. We’ve started the week well!

If i’ve not had a big weekend, then I’ll go to the gym in the morning, so:

0600: up, coffee, smoothie, jog to the gym (20mins)

0645-0745: gym – strength phase for now. Low reps, high weight: back squats, front squats, chest press, bent over row, bavarian split squat. I need to earn some strong legs. 

Ollie in the gym with 7R Performance

Eccentric front squats in the gym – I’m putting as much weight through my knees as possible to prepare them for long, fast decents

0815: placement

18/1900: jog home

I’ve just started doing a yoga session on Monday evenings. I’m known for awful flexibility, so can be quite amusing in a yoga class. However its great and is set up for cyclists, not expecting gymnast level abilities, and works on proprioception/stability too. Its also really good for having a wind-down and relax. Feel a million dollars after.

A key here is not increasing flexibility too quickly, and making sure you have the strength for whatever flexibility you do have. Its all well and good being able to touch the floor with you hands and tie yourself in knots, but if you don’t have the strength and stability in those joints, you’ll run into a lot of trouble. Mobilise, stabilise, strengthen. Don’t neglect any of those.


TUESDAY

0700: up, coffee, smoothie, 15-20mins core/mobility/basic strength work; jog to the hospital (20-30mins)

0815: placement

1700ish: jog home

Fartlek session – approx 2hrs

Ollie Stoten Cliff Run

Fartlek session along a trail in Vilamoura, Portugal


WEDNESDAY

0700: up, coffee, smoothie, 15-20mins core/mobility/basic strength work; jog to the hospital

0815: placement

1500: jog home

Drive to work (approx 1hr30)

1800: gym – concentrate on deadlifts here as there’s no squat rack

1900: work

2200ish: drive home


THURSDAY

0700: up, coffee, smoothie, 15-20mins core/mobility/basic strength work; jog to the hospital

0815: placement

1700ish: jog home

Hill reps session – approx 2hrs

Ollie Stoten ultra downhill

Hill reps aren’t usually on hills like this one…but its a cool picture?


FRIDAY

0600: up, coffee, smoothie, jog to the gym

Gym – strength

0815: placement

1800ish (hopefully earlier…): jog home


SATURDAY

I often work weekends but have reduced the amount I’m doing as medicine heats up. This is a non-working weekend:

0730: up, moan, coffee, smoothie

0800ish: head out running

0900: ParkRun —> this is one of my favourite runs of the week. I adore ParkRun – it has got SO many people running that previously weren’t active, and I love that people of any ability can come for a walk/jog/run/race on a saturday morning, all for free.

The rest of the day is usually spent doing some work interspersed with popping out for a coffee/lunch/socialising in the evening.


SUNDAY

This completely depends on whats going on in the area, but I try to enter a local run, around the 40-50k mark.

A few sundays ago I did the Portland Coastal Trail Marathon (1st), then the LDWA New Forest Marathon last weekend (1st).

Its hard to get a weekly routine at the moment as I’ve had a lot of exams on and changing hospitals and placements, so a lot has to be played by ear.

I’ve just started at a new hospital and I’m now largely living at the hospital, negating the need for the run commute, so I’ve been heading out for easy runs at other times. I’ve also been staying much later some evenings meaning I can’t do some of the speed workouts, and haven’t got a gym sorted in the area yet.

You MUST be flexible with training and adapt to circumstances, otherwise you’ll force workouts when your body isn’t ready to deal with the load, earning yourself and injury or illness.

I’ve come to learn to read my body better over the past few years, so know when I’m really feeling drained, versus when I’m just being wet and need a pint of tea to get me out the front door. I’m still no master at this, but we’re getting there.


Notes on daily routine:

Most free time is filled with studying at the moment heading towards my final medical exams, but I do take some time off to relax and unwind. As much as I like to think that training is my downtime it is obviously another stressful stimulus, as much as I enjoy it, so building in some proper time to relax is key. Even if its only a small amount squeezed in…

Pre-bed: I try to read something non-medical before bed. Reading, as opposed to watching netflix / staring at your phone, is much more conducive to falling asleep more easily and is a healthy habit of good sleep hygiene.

Pre-run: I’ve got into the habit of always doing some activation work before heading out running, to make sure my muscles are firing properly and nothing is too tight. It also wakes me up well first thing in the morning. All single leg work – calf raises, squats, glute bridges etc…


This weekly routine will differ to fit with different training cycles and other pressures (exams etc), however hopefully it gives you a bit of an idea how you can fit in running ultra-marathons and having a part-time job around studying medicine.

One thought on “A week in the life of…

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