As we move into the middle of Summer, there isn’t a better time of year to get outside and moving, something we feel is a really important part of life at WiDEYE! On the topic of keeping active, we recently wanted some feedback on how athletes find our products help them relax and restore after a long day of training or competing. We reached out to the amazing Katie Wright (Be sure to check out her instagram for some seriously inspirational stuff!) - After getting getting to know her and receiving some fantastic feedback, we thought we’d share a little bit about her story, how she keeps up with her training, the importance of downtime and some of the things an athlete does to relax!
A bit about Katie!
‘After competing in sprint distances, at county team level, both on the track and in the pool I did what many 16 years old do - took almost 20 years off to party, study, start a career, get married, have kids, change careers and finally make my comeback.
The passion for swimming and running fully restored - I discovered there was in fact a sport that was perfect for me. Triathlons less well known little sister - Aquathlon. I started by entering a couple of GoTri events, run by one of the local Triathlon clubs. I then entered the National Aquathlon Championships. Later that year I was selected for the Great Britain Age Group Team for the European and World Champs. It may have taken me 35 years to find my event but it was worth the wait. From competing in my first GoTri event to being selected for the AG team all happened very quickly.’
That was 2019 - unfortunately due to Covid-19 the 2020 events were cancelled and just recently the 2021 Europeans have been cancelled again. I’m still hoping to go to Almere for the World Champs in September 2021 and have been pre selected for the European Champs in Spain in 2022.
Aquathlon events, unfortunately, are not as common as Triathlon events. So I still often compete in single discipline races on the road and also now in open water. I even got back on my bike and entered a sprint Triathlon recently because let’s face it, after a year with very limited opportunities to race you have to grab hold of every opportunity that comes your way.
Hastings 10km, 2019, 1st Female
Marathon Swims 1km, 2019, 3rd Female
Frosty Aquathlon, 2020 , 2nd Female
TriBourne Aquathlon, 2020, 1st Female
Great Britain AG Team Selection 2020, 2021, 2022
The Importance of Downtime...
Rest and Relaxation
This should be one of the most important parts of your training plan. As should prioritising sleep and learning to manage stress.
Taking rest days is vital so schedule them. Also don’t be afraid to also go off plan sometimes ! It is ok to take an unscheduled rest day if you feel you need it. I’ve had to do that a few times recently when I’ve noticed the tell-tale signs of a build up of fatigue - most of us aren’t professional athletes, we have jobs, family commitments, and lead busy lives on top of training. You will sometimes just feel tired. So look out for the danger signals and take control.
It is during these down times that your body is able to recover so you are able to get the best out of your sessions.
I’m a huge fan of finding a sunny spot and getting stuck into a good book. I can lose myself for a good couple of hours if the sun is shining and I have a great sports adventure book (my preferred genre) to escape too. I appreciate that the sunshine can’t always be relied on in the UK so a comfortable arm chair, blanket, and big cup of oat milk coffee also works well for me.
I’m also a huge fan of early nights and snuggling up with my hardback book with my hardback (quite often) facing away from I’m 6 year old son! Might be more relaxing without him - it’s a work in progress.
Recently I’ve discovered the simple pleasure of a really hot bath and scented bath bomb. In fact it’s not just a great way to relax on rest days but also a great way to unwind after a race which is exactly what I did after my triathlon last weekend. Steaming hot water, the kind of heat that requires you to hold your toes when you get in, and the most amazing smelling lavender bath bomb to transport me from my bath in Hove to the lavender fields of Provence. It didn’t only transport me but got the attention of my husband who hopped in after me, followed by my daughter and finally my son. A “Wright” family lavender bath bomb relay. I even manage to make my rest and recovery sports themed.
Feed your body and your mind - making healthy food choices not only gives you the energy to fuel your workouts (swims, runs, rides) but it makes you happier. What you eat is also an important part of the recovery process.
No one is happy when they feel tired, weak, bloated or lethargic due to making the wrong nutritional choices.
You could start by making a food diary, it’s important not to obsess over calories just to make educated decisions on what you're eating based on how it makes you feel. Eating too little to maintain your physical requirements is dangerous and can lead to a whole heap of medical complications. Eat smart but if in doubt eating anything is better than nothing.
I follow a plant based diet for ethical reasons but also because it makes me happy and makes me feel good. I make sure I include foods from all the food groups to meet my bodies requirements. I’m a huge fan of nut butter and bananas. Eating consistently means regularly giving your body the food it requires. I’m also a big fan of fizzy wine, I consider that an important part of my relaxation process.
Good food, good wine (or in my case cheap cava) what’s not to like
Social interactions and connections are such an important part of feeling happy and relaxed. Surround yourself with people that make you feel good. People that build you up, energise you and make you laugh. Life shouldn’t be serious all the time.
Finding time to see friends and spending time with family is so important. I regularly meet friends for coffee, a walk or both at the same time. I recently spent 3 hours watching the waves at Hove beach with a good friend chatting about everything under the sun (under the sun). I returned home, happy, relaxed and with my energy levels refilled.
So if you are just getting in to a more active lifestyle, remember the importance of taking it easy in between training. As Katie mentions, you can so easily become overwhelmed by overdoing things. Kicking back and relaxing at the end of the day is key!
Be sure to check out Katie's Instagram to keep up to date with all her latest competitions and results. The way we see it, as a brand which is all about making you feel good, staying active is such an important aspect of life. Even if this is just getting out for a walk to your local park or beach, the benefits on our wellbeing are unparalleled!