Photo: Olly Harrison
What does a typical day look like for Team GB long jumper, Jazmin Sawyers? The Commonwealth Games silver medallist and former Youth Olympics bobsleigh silver medallist (yes, she also competed in the youth bobsleigh team) shares an insight into her busy schedule on the blog today.
Think double training sessions, freezing cold showers and, when she gets the chance, songwriting (the 24-year-old appeared on The Voice in 2017 under will.i.am’s mentorship.)
Speed and power are the most important attributes for long jumping. You’ll see lots of different body types in long jump, but everyone is fast and strong.
This year I want to go to the European Championships in Berlin and hopefully challenge for a medal. My Commonwealth Games experience [in Australia] was disappointing and challenging – after winning a medal four years ago it was really hard not to be disappointed with 7th place, but it was much more of a learning experience than last time, and for that I’m grateful!
Do I get nervous ahead of a competition? Yes, but only for a short period of time in the call room – I tend to see it as a good thing, and usually by the time I get out to the stadium the nerves have changed to excitement so I don’t worry about it too much. It’s easy to overthink things, but my mantra at the moment is: ‘It’s just jumping in sand.’
Morning: Freezing shower and breakfast
I wake-up some time between 6:00am and 7:30 most days. I try and keep it consistent but life doesn’t always allow for it!
I’d love to say the very first thing I do is stretch or meditate, but truthfully, the first thing I do is check my phone. I scroll and mess around on it for about 10 minutes then I head for one of my favourite parts of the day – a freezing cold shower. Every morning starts with a cold shower, no matter where I am. I feel like it sets my discipline up for the day – if I can force myself under cold water when my eyes are barely open, I can handle whatever the rest of the day has in store for me!
Breakfast is always eggs in some form, though I’m not averse to leftovers for breakfast if something needs eating, and usually I’ll have either a coffee or a green tea. I also have a large glass of water with some apple cider vinegar, and a kombucha – I hydrate a lot in the morning! If I have a harder session I’ll add a little more to breakfast – meals around training tend to be the most considered, and always have extra carbs to keep my energy up and help me to recover.
Training: Track and weights
My hard training days are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Active recovery (yoga, light running, cycling, and swimming) is Wednesday and Saturday, and Sunday is full rest.
When I’m training in the UK, the track is around an hour’s drive away, so I’ll set off in the car and listen to one of my favourite podcasts on the way. The School of Greatness and Side Hustle School are two of the ones I look forward to most.
Once I arrive at Loughborough University for my training session, I head straight to the track for the first of my two sessions of the day. Track sessions could be any mix of a number of things; sprints, running technique, plyometrics, long jump and circuits all feature in a week – I’ll tend to focus on two on any given day.
Including a warm-up this will take around 2.5-3 hours, then I’ll break to refuel quickly (protein bar or shake, or a mini meal – supplements tend to make this easier but I prefer to have real food if I can) before heading straight to the gym for a weights session.
My weights sessions tend to focus on the lower body and explosive movement. We do a lot of Olympic lifting (clean and jerk, snatch) and plyometric movements like box jumps and jump squats, as these are most relevant to long jump.
Lunch – Time to refuel with a packed lunch
My weights session will take around another hour and a half to two hours and then I’ll have the lunch I’ve generally packed in advance. Some mornings I find the time to make lunch, but often this needs to be done the night before to make sure I actually do it. I’m a creature of habit and I’ll generally have tuna as the centrepiece for lunch, making sure I get enough carbs in after the double session, usually in the form of rice, sweet potato or wraps.
I take the same lunchbox most days, which has little separate compartments which I fill with berries, nuts, and chopped up fruit and veg. I don’t track macros unless I’m trying to change my body composition, but I do tend to think about getting plenty of protein and carbs throughout the day as I know this is the only way my muscles will recover properly for another hard day’s training tomorrow. After eating I’ll jump back in the car and head home, unless I need to see a physio for treatments.
Afternoons: Admin, social media and guitar practise
I rarely drink any coffee in the afternoons as I’m very sensitive to caffeine and wouldn’t be able to sleep, but I do like to go to coffee shops to get my admin for the day sorted. After I’ve been home, showered and changed (and often napped if training was hard), I often head back out to a local coffee shop, and get a cup of peppermint tea and sit with my laptop or iPad to reply to emails, write anything I need to (I have a column in my local newspaper) and edit photos and videos for my social media channels like Instagram and YouTube.
It sounds like a frivolous thing to spend my time on, but lots of my income depends on things like this – I’ll reply to brands that have been in touch via my Instagram, and sometimes pitch ideas to others. This is also the time for any important phone calls. I’ll phone my ‘race agent’ about any competitions I have coming up. He’s the one who finds me meets and we work together to decide which ones will work best. My coach is based in Florida, so considering the time difference (when I’m in the UK and not with him) this is also the best time to call him to debrief about today’s session and discuss how things are going.
If there’s time, I’ll try and fit a little songwriting or general guitar practice in, but I haven’t had much time for that recently! I’m always writing but I don’t have any performances planned at the moment. That doesn’t mean I’d rule out any invitations though!
Evening: Chill with friends, yoga and bed
Evenings are my time to relax, but that could mean a number of things. Often I like to see my friends in the evenings, or go and play (or watch) a gig. I’m limited, because I can’t stay out too late as I need plenty of sleep (around 8-9hrs is my ideal), but I try and socialise where I can. Going round to friends’ houses to cook together is one thing I love doing, and it helps with maintaining healthy meals rather than eating out where you can’t control the ingredients.
If I’m not out, I’ll usually be found stretching, reading and watching my favourite YouTubers (I’m a sucker for a health and fitness vlog). I love yoga, so sometimes I go to evening classes but more often than not I’ll just follow a YouTube tutorial and do a session on my own.
Dinner tends to be protein heavy, with a big focus on vegetables, so maybe a large salad with prawns or tofu.
The day winds down with me making lunch for the following day (if I can be bothered, which isn’t always, let’s be honest!) and making tomorrow’s to-do list. I’m a big fan of a list, and like to have all my tasks planned out in advance so I’m not left wondering what I should be doing the following day. I think this might be the biggest thing that helps to keep me organised – I’d easily waste so much time if I hadn’t already allocated it to a task!
I try and get to bed by 10:30pm so that I get my 8+ hours in ready for the next day!