In her latest blog, Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray explains a typical week of training and what she gets up to in her spare time.
The winter months may be drawing in but there’s no rest for us summer sport athletes as we enter a key training block designed to build up strength and stamina for the five different modern pentathlon disciplines; swimming, fencing, equestrian, running and pistol shooting
For me, that means a lot of lengths in the pool and long distance runs, but it’s all about getting the training under your belt for the new season.
In truth, I don’t mind it, and we have a really good training environment at the University of Bath (home of the GB Modern Pentathlon National Training Centre), and it’s a really good group of people who all share the same ambitions.
It’s quite a full on schedule, so on Mondays I will usually start at 9 a.m. with a run and then go in the pool – then after lunch we will do shooting practice, fencing lessons and then gym exercises.
Tuesday will be fairly similar, and on Wednesday mornings we normally have a running and gym session, while in the afternoon we might do a recovery session like hydrotherapy.
We’ll do more fencing on Thursday morning, starting at 8-30 a.m., then swimming and shooting in the afternoon. Then on Friday it’s another swim session at 9 a.m., working on the shooting and running combined discipline after that, and finally gym in the afternoon.
That last session is where we need the most motivation so we’ll put the music on really loud in the gym and power through with a good playlist.
There’s still training on a Saturday morning, which will usually be a hard run, and then we’re free for the rest of the weekend!
Away from training, I’m normally pretty tired from the week’s work but I like to spend my weekend with family and friends.
A lot of them live back in Lancashire, which is where I’m from, so I don’t get to see them very often as I live in Bath.
But they sometimes come and visit and Bath is such a lovely city, especially at this time of the year too as we get closer to Christmas.
I really enjoy languages. I’m trying to learn some Bulgarian at the moment as my friend is getting married in her hometown Sofia next year– it’s pretty challenging but keeps my brain ticking.
Most of the time though I’m doing things I didn’t get the chance to do during the week, like go to the post office and the bank before it shuts on a Saturday!
This weekend we’re actually off to training camp about two hours outside of Budapest.
It will be general training but fencing-focused too, and there will be athletes from different countries there so it will be good to practice against some different opposition.
I’ve been going there every year for the last five years and it’s pretty remote, which is why I think the coaches like it, so we don’t get distracted.
If we get the downtime we’ll try and get in Budapest for a day trip, but there’ll also be a lot of DVD and film watching in the camp.
I’m a bit of a fan of the Vampire Diaries and Ian Somerhalder who is one of the American actors in it– I’ve started to follow him on Instagram! I love his character in the series.
A few of my teammates will watch the medical dramas like Grey’s Anatomy but I tend to get a little bit queasy when it comes to that sort of thing, so it’s not really one for me.
I will also read if I get chance and a few people have been recommending The Chimp Paradox by the psychiatrist Steve Peters.
I might give that a go, although I am a bit of a sucker for fantasy fiction, so I can see that genre eventually winning.
l Aldi are proud supporters of Team GB, hear more from Samantha Murray in the run up to Christmas.