Thursday 25 December 2014

Secrets of fitness and beauty

Aileen Morrison
Aileen Morrison
Aileen Morrison in the pool at DCU. Photo: Brian Lawless/ Sportsfile
Triathlon Ireland athletes Aileen Morrison and Gavin Noble at a training Session in May 2012. Photo: Brian Lawless / Sportsfile.
Holly Carpenter

From swimming 6k before breakfast, swapping sweet treats for snacking on frozen grapes and Saturday morning sprints, we asked three women – whose job it is to be in peak physical condition – just what their secrets are to staying fit and looking great.

'Chips, chocolate and booze are out'

Aileen Morrison (31) is a professional triathlete, and she represented Ireland at the London 2012 Olympics. She says:

'My dad had us doing all sorts of sporty, outdoorsy stuff when I was little, so exercise has always been a way of life. It's something I see myself continuing in the future and passing on to my own kids.

"Since joining with a new coach last year, I'm doing things a little bit differently. My old coach allowed me one day off a week but my new coach has recovery days instead, so I'll have an easy swim or run, but still train everyday.

"Each day is different and in a week I'll usually have six swims, four or five bike sessions, six runs and three gym visits with physio and massage as well.

"Because I'm training for up to six hours a day, I have to make sure I get enough grub, but it's important to make sure that grub has the correct nutritional content.

"Chips, chocolate and alcohol are pretty much out, but most of the time I don't want them anyway. I like eating healthy food and, if I've had a hard session, I'll have an Optimum Nutrition bar or I have emergency chocolate peanut butter bars hidden in my car.

"Sometimes I find myself craving a big pain au raisin from M&S, but if I'm training hard, I do allow myself a treat."

Aileen’s Daily Plan

5am: Snack of a pancake or piece of toast with a glass of milk (something that goes down easy and won’t come back up during swimming!).

5.30am: Swimming (6km).

7.45am: Breakfast of porridge with banana, nuts and seeds (porridge is excellent for slow release energy, nuts and seeds add texture and provide good fats/oils).

8.30am: Nap.

1pm: Lunch of soup and a wrap with salad and turkey. I also drink water throughout the day with some electrolyte in my bottles to help absorb it all.

2pm: Gym for body weight session with some rehab exercises for shoulders and feet.

3pm: Snack of fruit, cereal bars or maybe a protein bar for energy.

Irish Independent

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