Women's Health are here to bring you an exclusive look at the morning routine of your favourite celebrities: this month, it’s GB sprinter Dina Asher-Smith. Catch her cover shoot and interview in the March issue of Women’s Health, out now.
We may all be emerging from a sleepy lockdown January, but Dina Asher-Smith hasn’t stopped. Having scored two 60m gold medals in the space of three days this past weekend, the 25-year-old is only getting started as she speeds towards Tokyo 2021.
But how does the fastest woman in British history make the most of her mornings? We sat down with the newest Women’s Health cover star on the set of her March shoot to talk 9am alarms and her *literal* breakfast of champions.
Between navigating hotel breakfasts around the world to scoring very justifiable lie-ins, scroll on to find out just how Dina Asher-Smith spends a typical healthy morning.
You’d be forgiven for thinking Dina would be racing out of bed at the first slither of sunlight. But in contrast to her explosive performances on the track, the cover star prefers a slower start to the day.
‘I wake up between 9 and 9:30 most days,’ she tells Women’s Health. ‘I am definitely not a morning person – I love to sleep. I sleep a lot.’
And as for her chosen method, it’s alarm clock all the way: ‘If there were no alarm and I was left to my own devices, I would wake up at like 10 or 11am. I am a proper heavy sleeper.’ So far, so #relatable.
Facing the day:
When it comes to her energy levels, Dina takes it on a day-to-day basis. ‘Whether I wake up tired or raring to go really just depends on what day of the week it is if I’m being honest,’ she laughs.
‘Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday normally I’m ready to go – I have gym in the mornings so I’m ready to attack that. But when it gets toward the end of the training week, I definitely have to drag myself out of bed because yeah, it’s hard!’
With a competition schedule sending her around the world for races, a lot of Dina’s morning rituals are focused on ensuring peak performance later on. ‘If I’m in a competition, [my energy levels are] completely dictated by whatever time I have to run the fastest at,’ says the cover star.
‘Typically, we have to perform in the evening, at night. Major finals are normally at about 10pm. So I just try to make sure that my energy is focused towards the night, which means I get to sleep in again. As long as I don’t miss breakfast in the hotel, we’re good.’ Priorities, on point.
Speaking of breakfast, Dina’s depends on just how much she’s putting her body through on that particular morning.
‘Some days I have double sessions, which is both gym and track in the same day,’ she says. ‘So then I would have something a bit more substantial like porridge, or yoghurt with granola and fruit. But some mornings, I’ll just have quite a lot of fruit for breakfast and then have more of a full lunch and dinner.’
And as for when she’s on the road, a lot comes down to location. ‘Before a competition, I try to stay consistent with maybe an omelette or some eggs with fruit in the morning. But honestly, some competitions you get there and you just don’t know what they’re going to have for breakfast.’
Case in point? ‘You go to a Scandinavian country and they typically serve lots of cold meats and fishes, then you go to America and they try to give you waffles. I’m like, “I can’t eat this before a competition!”’
It all comes down to staying flexible within a healthy diet, says Dina. ‘Because sometimes you rock up to the Olympics and you never know what you’re going to get served, but you have to be able to eat enough to fuel yourself.’ Here’s hoping Tokyo’s Olympic Village provides the goods.
Getting out the door
Finally, there’s no faffing around once the alarm’s gone off for Dina. ‘I’m really boring,’ she says. ‘I’m just one of the people that’s like, “Alarm’s gone, right, time to get ready for training, get in the shower, brush my teeth, eat, get out the door, make sure I’m alert. Make sure that if I’m lifting weights, I’m awake enough to not drop them.”’
So no pre-breakfast power flow, then? ‘I don’t do anything special – I’m not one of those people that can get up and do 10 minutes of yoga or meditation,’ she says. ‘Sorry! I have to be dragged out of bed by my alarm.’ Olympic athletes; they’re mere mortals after all.
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