The Commonwealth discus bronze medallist spoke to AW about her throwing and indoor sessions
After clinching a bronze medal at this summer’s Commonwealth Games, Jade Lally credits her coach and training programme for not only enabling her to peak at the right time, but also for her consistency. That stability has seen her throw 60m for the last four years and stay at the top of the British rankings since 2011.
The 27-year-old works part-time as a personal trainer at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre in Horsham, which is where she does much of her training. She says: “It makes it easier to go from a client to training and vice-versa without spending too much time travelling. I can throw down at the track both indoors and outdoors, which is so vital in the winter months.”
With her training programme incorporating throwing, weights, medicine ball, drills, running and even golf as a form of active recovery, Lally reveals: “Key sessions in the winter are most gym sessions as it is always the aim to get stronger and more powerful. It is also important to work on my technical faults in the throw. This is when it is particularly important to throw indoors into the net to get the right volume of throws in, while saving considerable time walking out to collect discs.”
The 60.67m thrower continues: “When it’s wet or snowy or when my hands get too cold from being outside too long, the indoor circle comes to the rescue!”
Her favourite sessions are always in the gym, whereas running is not surprisingly, her least favourite. Lally explains: “Gym sessions used to be my worst, but over the years as I have become stronger, I have now figured out what works best for me and I see results much quicker than I used to. My favourite exercise in particular is the bench press and I really enjoy the throwing too.”
In her running session she wears a heart rate monitor and she adds ruefully: “There’s no getting out of it. My coach knows how hard I’ve worked!”
“I am annoyingly focussed on getting myself to the Olympic Games and getting a medal”
She is coached by Andy Neal and Lally feels the partnership works well, with Neal knowing exactly what his athlete needs and when. She says: “My season had been very frustrating up until the qualifying round of the Commonwealths. I am very thankful that I managed to pull it out the bag when it mattered. That came down to trusting my coach, trusting that we were doing the right thing and trusting in my ability. All of my preparations throughout the season were geared towards a successful Commonwealth Games and it worked out well in the end.”
Lally trains at several different venues in addition to Broadbridge Heath but is grateful for the support that the Leisure Centre has given her in letting her reduce her hours to part-time and allowing her to have time off for training camps and competitions. She also uses a farmer’s field to throw in, courtesy of GB Walker and Son.
She adds: “Here I can throw different implements that I am not allowed to throw at the Leisure Centre such as Denfi tools, plates and throwing balls. It also has the best wet surface there – my dad built it in 2012. The only drawback of throwing there is it is a working farmer’s field and you are never really sure what will be there in the field with you in terms of animals!”
The K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley is sometimes used for throwing too as the circle there is to her liking.
Lally credits a determined approach to training for her success. She says: “I am annoyingly focussed on getting myself to the Olympic Games and getting a medal.”
However, she adds: “My biggest weakness is probably my food. I struggle to put on weight as I physically struggle to eat enough! I don’t like eating lots of junk food to increase my weight – I would like to do it the healthier way. But it is often the more expensive way and takes a lot more preparation. For this winter, food is something that I am addressing. I need to get stronger, faster and make some technical improvements.”
Summing up her attitude to training, Lally says: “My attitude to training is always to remember why you’re doing it. It keeps me focused during the tough times. I think it is also important to remember to enjoy yourself. You start the sport because you enjoy it, some sessions and even seasons will be difficult, but you should always enjoy what you’re doing.”
BASIC TRAINING WEEK
Monday: (am) Throwing (360 turns, entry drills, right foot activation from power position). Running drills as part of warm-up (high knees, heel kicks, side-to-side, sprints, fast feet, hurdle walk-overs). Approximately 90min in gym. Lifts typically include bench, squat, lunges, flies, shoulder press, rowing exercise. Shoulder stability exercises, adductor and groin exercises, back and core. (pm) Running and throwing drills as warm-up. Technical (throwing) approx. 60-90min working with 1-1.25kg discs. Second session specific discus work: ‘throwing balls’ (1.5-2kg) standing throws, half-turns, full-turns. Aerobic work, cycling or running at around 140bpm for 20min. Stretch.
Tuesday: Various Pilates exercises for two hours.
Wednesday: Same as Monday morning and Monday evening.
Thursday: Same as Monday evening.
Friday: Same as Monday morning and Monday evening.
Saturday: Running and throwing drills as warm-up. Technical (throwing) approx. 60-90min working with 1-1.25kg discs. Olympic lifting: typically clean or snatch from a hang position. Core and stretch.
Sunday: Active recovery – usually a round of golf! Plus core and stretch.
» The above sessions are specific to the individual athlete and may not be suitable for other athletes