Nice to Meat - Leon Reid (Team GB Athlete)
Posted in Miscellany by Liam Coates 10 months ago
As one of the most promising athletes currently in the Team GB squad, Leon Reid is aiming to qualify for the fast-approaching 2016 Rio Olympics. With the 200m and 4x100m relay as his specialties, Leon is currently ranked as 4th on the British all-time list for 200m.
Originally from Northern Ireland, Leon now trains in Bath at the university’s Olympic standard facilities. A National, European and Commonwealth Youth Medalist, this lean, mean, power machine took time out of his busy training schedule at a camp in Tenerife to tell us what fuels his Olympic ambition.
What is a typical day for you?
On a typical day I’m up and out sharp after breakfast, normally something easy like porridge or muesli, but that depends on what kind of training day I have ahead of me so it’s all pre-planned. I’m usually down to the track by 9.30am and warm ups take about an hour to an hour and a half and then we’ll get into some acceleration drills or plyometric jumps – all to help me launch out of the blocks quick, that part is more about strength than endurance.
Training then moves on to acceleration runs and full running sessions for an hour with a few recovery stops I’m making it sound quite leisurely but some sessions I’m doing 300m flat out running with only 6 minutes’ recovery before another 300m flat out and only 6 minutes’ rest again, so it’s tough, . After a warm down I’ll have lunch which is always pasta, every day!
After lunch it is usually a gym training session, before I head home for dinner, which always has to be something very meaty. I love meat, it feels like I’m getting good protein in my body, something I definitely need to be able to train and get my body to where I need it to be. The meat has to be good quality and lean, no processed foods, no additives, just the real deal. My absolute favourite is jerk chicken with rice and peas – you just can’t beat it! Thankfully my favourite is also high in carbs and protein so it’s good for my training.
Is what you eat essential to your training and recovery?
Essential is exactly the word. Training is only 20 per cent of the gains, the rest if what we put into our bodies. I’ve had more chicken, rice and veg meals than I could count, because I know they are high carb and high protein. Plenty of water is also really important to keep me hydrated through the day. I’m currently training in Tenerife so it’s even more intense with the heat so water is crucial, although Lucozade is a good kicker for when I’m a little tired.
How do you stay motivated?
I’m blessed that I love what I do. Training is hard day in day out but it’s a challenge and that’s what I thrive on. I’m competitive and that keeps me going too.
I like to enjoy myself, I travel the world and meet so many nice people, it’s a really humbling job – and in my opinion, much better than sitting behind a desk!
I’m in great shape and that’s something I’ve worked hard for – training for years and keeping to the best possible foods that feed my body what it needs to get stronger. I am in no mood to lose that, I feel great.
How do you like to relax?
I’m a bit of a gamer, so I like to spend time online beating people (I did say I’m competitive!). Either Xbox or PlayStation – both let me have some down time.
What is your next big goal?
That has to be to reach the Olympic Games in Rio. It’s a big challenge but I’m feeling confident because I have a great deal of support around me.
So hopefully, you’ll be seeing me in Rio!