KELVIN BATEY IS one of Ireland’s best hopes of a medal at the Olympic Games in Rio this year but he’s hardly known outside of his sport of BMX.
The 34 year-old missed out on qualifying for the last Games in London 2012 by a single point after he crashed in the final race in which to secure entry while four years prior to that in Beijing, he missed out because of injury.
He has promised to make 2016 his year and he’s leaving absolutely nothing to chance in his quest for a medal.
He’s won World titles in the past but knows they count for nothing as he heads into the most crucial few months of his sporting career.
Batey might have only declared for Ireland in 2010 but you’ll do well to find a more passionate and dedicated sportsman in this country.
“My life will be dedicated to my sporting goals over the next 4 months before Olympic qualification takes place at the World Championships in Colombia at the end of May,” he said.
And here’s what he’s doing to be in the best possible shape…
7am: Wake up and head downstairs to do a few house chores.
It’s nice to begin the day having the house in order as it gives me a clear mind to focus on what I need to do throughout the day.
7.15am: Drink a pint of water to rehydrate myself from my sleep then walk our dog.
This gives him a good start to the day but also wakes me up both physically and mentally. Being out in the fresh air whether it be a nice summer’s day or cold winter morning is so refreshing.
7.45am: Get home and get some breakfast. Right now I’m eating a high carb/high protein diet to ensure I get the calories I need to help me tolerate the high volume of training and recovery.
For breakfast I’ll have porridge oats with semi-skimmed milk with a banana and acacia honey. This is a good mix to start the day with and I’ll follow it with 4 egg whites and a slice of wholemeal toast.
8.30am: I do some connectivity exercises to get my upper and lower body working better together. This benefits me both in the gym and on the bike.
My coach is looking at all areas to help me make the marginal gains needed that make the difference in elite sport and I’m really feeling the benefit from this.
I also incorporate knee rehab exercises to aid a knee injury I sustained at the back end of last season. Despite it being fully healed I need to make sure it’s strong enough to take the rigorous strains of my sport for the year ahead.
9.30am: I do some emails (BMX-related), take my partner Maria her daily cup of tea in bed, shower, then get my kit ready to head to Buxton University for my gym session.
10am: I leave for the one hour drive to Buxton. On the way, I’ll think about techniques I’ll need to focus on in the session.
I’m lucky to be working with some great strength and conditioning coaches at the University and the drive there twice a week is well worth it. I’m learning a great deal from being there and making huge progress in what I’m aiming to achieve both on and off the bike.
11am: Arrive at Buxton and head over to the gym to meet my coaches. We talk through what the aims are for the session and how we’re going to execute them in the best way possible.
11.15am: Begin the session with a light to moderate warm-up using bands and quick movements to prepare me for lifting.
A combination of squats, Olympic lifts and complete body exercises make up the gym session where I’m focusing on engaging the exact muscles I need to perform the various sets.
Throughout the session I’ll drink water and snack on cereal bars to give me a few carbs and sugar to keep my energy levels high. As soon as the session is complete I drink a protein shake and head to the shower to freshen up.
1.15pm: Sit down with my BMX coach to discuss the past week of training and how things are and how I’m feeling.
It’s important to meet like this so we can iron out any issues either of us have and ensure we’re on the same page.
We have some lunch I pre-packed and brought with me from home.
Today it was two big wraps filled with a chicken breast, salad and some light mayonnaise. I have a homemade fruit smoothie and a couple of rice cakes. I rehydrate fully with a litre of water.
2pm: Travel home (which takes an hour) but I stopped at the supermarket to top up the fridge. Into my basket go plenty meat, fruit and vegetables.
I always enjoy looking round the supermarket and thinking of new ideas for dinner recipes or ideas for snacks through the day.
3.30pm: Get home and have a snack of tuna and tomatoes in pita bread.
I sit down and relax with Maria. Sometimes we’ll watch our favourite programme, Prison Break. This series is so addictive and we’ve already seen two seasons in the last month.
I like to have a bit of time throughout the day to sit and relax as it’s refreshing to prepare me for my second training session of the day, if I have one.
4pm: Drink a pint of water
4.30pm: Go out on the BMX bike on a quiet stretch of road to do some acceleration work.
It’s a short, sharp session but it really focuses me in getting everything out of myself and putting everything I have into my pedalling as there are no other factors to think about such as the start gate or jumps that you find at the track.
I do two sets of five 40-metre sprints from a standing start and feel really good. This session only takes me 40 minutes with a good cool down and stretch afterwards.
6pm: Help Maria to prepare dinner. Tonight it’s one of my favourites (that she makes); Lebanese chicken skewers with rice, tender stem broccoli and carrots. I also throw in a slice of bread and have an orange juice as my drink.
7pm: Eat dinner, wash up before settling down to relax for the evening. I like to sit down and relax by 7.30 each day to give myself time to wind down before bed.
7.30pm: Sit down and relax to watch some TV and also have a phone call from my parents to see how my day was. I’m really close to my family who have supported me all the way through my BMX career.
They’d love to see me wearing the Irish jersey in Rio as they know how much of a journey I’ve taken over the last 12 years. They’ve lived all the highs and lows with me in that time.
9.30pm: Eat some Muller rice yogurt as a bit of a muscle fuller through the night. It’s low in fat and nothing heavy to put in your stomach before bed.
10pm: Check my training schedule for tomorrow and make sure I have everything I need for the morning. I always like to be well prepared as there’s nothing worse than searching for equipment just before you go training.
10.30pm: Bed time.
Representing Ireland is a really proud thing for me.
I’m one of the proudest Irishman that you could meet; I might not have the accent but at the same time, every time I pull the jersey on or hold the flag I’m really proud and I’m privileged to be able to represent the country.
After a few successful seasons winning World Titles and having great support from my partner Maria, my family, friends, BMX Ireland and Cycling Ireland, I’m in a great position to make the Irish Olympic Team and represent our great country at the biggest sporting event on the planet.
You can follow Kelvin on Twitter.