Day in the life – Dina Asher-Smith

Dina Asher-Smith was named British Young Sports Woman of the Year in 2015, and for good reason.

At the age of 20, the Team GB sprinter is the fastest British woman in history. The 2014 Junior World 100m champion and 2013 Junior European 200m gold medallist now holds the UK records at both distances.

Originally from Orpington in Kent, she is currently combining top-level athletics with studying for a degree at Kings College London. She runs for Blackheath and Bromley Harriers.

Her main ambition for 2016 is to compete successfully at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Here she talks about her daily routine.

What time do you wake up and why?

It changes day to day! Normally it ranges between 7 and 8am depending on how early my lectures are on that day, but I don’t normally stay in bed for too long anyway. So many things to do!

What do you have for breakfast and why?

I normally have either yoghurt and granola and a banana, or scrambled eggs and maybe some chorizo or spinach – either one with a glass of water. I have it because I obviously like the taste of them – ha,ha! –  and because they’re relatively healthy and provide me with the energy I need for the rest of the morning.

What’s your morning training regime and how does it affect everything else you have to do before lunch?

Since I have lectures most days in the morning, I only do morning sessions on Wednesday and Saturday. I kind of prefer morning sessions, because it’s another thing ticked off your list and then you can get on with the rest of the day.

What is your motivation when the training becomes difficult?

I take most of my motivation from my training partners. I’m fortunate to be in a both friendly and amazingly talented group, so we have loads of fun at training and bounce off each other. We are all quite resilient; we understand that training becomes difficult but also know that you have to push through the hard bits if you really want to improve.

What do you do for the rest of the day?

Well if its a uni morning, then I will spend a few hours in the library, then go home, have a snack, nap and then train! If I’ve trained in the morning then I usually spend most of the afternoon in the library.

What do you have for lunch and why?

My lunch varies, as at lunchtime I am 9 times out of 10 in central London, so I’m buying food there. I’m so grateful for so many healthy food chains that have popped up recently that I’m spoilt for choice! I just eat whatever I fancy – as long as its healthy and high protein of course.

How busy is the normal day for you, and how much does athletics impact your daily schedule?

My days are really really busy, athletics impacts my day to day life a lot! It makes it fun and enjoyable, but also sometimes hectic! My uni friends are always laughing at me because unless I have something fixed in my diary, I’m usually impossible to pin down.

How tired are you at the end of the day?

Funnily enough I’m normally not that tired at night, so I tend to do some more work then or chat to my friends. I think it’s because I nap during the day and I’ve been busy like this for many years, so I’m used to running around.

What do you have for dinner and why?

I have whatever my parents make, if I have training that night, or I nose around in the fridge! Dinners are, again, always healthy and often focussed around high protein and vegetable content. My mum and dad are really good at making dinners healthy.

When you can’t fall asleep at night, what do you do?

I listen to some soft music or I start thinking about all the stuff I have to do the next day! That’s more than enough to put me to sleep -ha, ha!

Photo credit: Mark Robinson