How They Train: Nathan Douglas

We talk to the eight-time British triple jump champion who is still in love with his sport and is aiming for a Commonwealth Games on home soil this summer

Two-time Olympian Nathan Douglas has a wealth of track and field experience gained over two decades in the sport.

The 39-year-old, two-time European silver medalist, runs his own training program and consults with a group of specialists including former coach Ted King (2001-2009) and Aston Moore, who have guided him since 2009.

A certified peak performance coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner, Douglas was trained in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and balances his training with delivering corporate resilience and wellness programs.

“It’s really good for me to have that on top of my sport,” he says of his work with wellness consultancy 7 Futures. “It’s always good to have something else in life than athletics. I say that to a lot of young people who are going up; when you just play sports and it’s not going well, you feel like your whole life is falling apart.

“It’s very easy for it to become global and to think that doing something else will have a negative effect on athletics, but I think it’s the opposite. I think it gives you another outlet and makes you realize that you are more than your sport.

Eight-time British national triple jump champion Douglas – who is aiming to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer – continues to defy the odds by remaining competitive and ambitious in a discipline that can be beautifully executed and brutal in execution. impact. He remains motivated by a combination of factors, including his enduring love of the sport and the positive influence of his family and friends.

“I think it’s very easy to fall in love with athletics,” he says. “Sometimes it can be quite temperamental and a lot of athletes, especially at the top level, are disappointed with that.

“For me, I’ve always loved sports and I remember that’s why I do it. I think being committed to those kinds of goals, internal rather than external, really helps.

Favorite session

“Anything to do with plyometrics,” he says. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always loved it. Basically anything that involves me squirting.

Least favorite session

“I don’t really have a least favorite part. Years ago it would have been something long, but as I’m writing my own program I don’t think I need long term, so it’s not really involved. If I had to pick one thing – although I still love it – I’d say heavy squat work. It’s pretty hard.

Typical training week

Birmingham-based Douglas turns 40 later this year but his training remains broadly similar to what he did at the height of his competitive career.

“I probably listen to my body more,” he says. “I started my career with Ted King, an amazing coach and someone I still talk to now and think about a lot, and even very early on he taught me that I needed to know what my body was telling me, to have that kind of awareness.”

Monday: speed and technique, for example, acceleration-based work, then light triple jump or jump work, so really working on the technical aspects of my event. There are always points to improve technically. You’re never quite there, so there are always things you’re working on.

Tuesday: weight and plyometrics

Wednesday: rest day – although it can often be a working day, so I have to be careful with my balance. I could physically recover to some extent, but the mental energy I expend at work can be quite difficult. I also try to do meditation or flexibility work (active recovery).

Thusday: similar to Monday, but with the components upside down, so triple jump as a first session so I can get the quality, then some sort of racing afterwards, eg drag work, tracks or sled work.

Friday: weight and plyometrics

Saturday: tempo running, so working on the technical aspects of running, plyometrics and maybe some conditioning exercises.

Sunday: day off

Douglas has designed his program to maximize his technique sessions which always follow rest days. “My philosophy is that you have to be technically efficient,” he says. “Yes, you have to be strong, powerful, fast, etc., but if you’re not technically efficient, what’s the point?”

He completes his training with mindfulness sessions which he uses as a form of meditation to focus his mind on the present.

» This article first appeared in the February issue of AW magazine, which you can buy here

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