On 6 May the Olympic-medal winning GB Women’s Hockey squad joined the ELLE Fit Team for a run with a difference.
Full-time athletes Shona McCallin, Maddie Hinch, Emily Maguire, Lily Owsley, Steph Elliot, Amy Gibson and Giselle Ansley put Team ELLE and a select group of ELLE Insiders through their paces with a 5k run and a series of training drills in London’s Regent’s Park.
There was an unpleasant weather situation but we refused to let the slashing rain stop play - and for Team GB it was ‘the fourth time [they’d] been soaked’ that day. The women train on the pitch as a squad five times a week and are currently preparing for the Olympic qualifiers in June. Get ready Rio, the GB Women’s Hockey team is unstoppable.
What gets the team pumped pre-match? Eminem playlists. And don’t ask them to switch spots on the squad bus or in the changing rooms, routine helps get them game ready – ‘we’re quite superstitious as a team.’
In the past five years hockey has become a significantly more physically demanding game, explained Emily Maguire – who was part of the hockey team back when they won the Olympic bronze at the 2012 games in London – ‘Being able to run as intensely at the end of the game, and at the start is massively important.’
It follows that running drills are an essential part of the team's training programme. And, whatever your current fitness level, interval training is the method the team vouches for as most effective and accessible: ‘Short and sharp bursts– belt it hard for quite a short time and then have the same amount of rest – one minute on, one minute off. Any combination that’s high intensity, then low intensity. You can apply that technique to running, press ups, sit ups, burpees, star jumps, anything.’