Loughborough Teammates #TrainatHome Campaign Highlights Creativity Of James Wilby, Marie Wattel & Abbie Wood

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JMarie Wattel, left, and Loughborough teammates James Wilby and Abbie Wood feature in the University's #TrainatHome campaign - Photos Courtesy: Becca Wyant (Wattel), Loughborough University (Wilby), British Swimming (Abbie Wood)

The Loughborough teammates #TrainatHome campaign features James Wilby, Marie Wattel and Abbie Wood this week

The lockdown period has brought many challenges to all athletes but for the swimmer, pool lockdowns have meant a temporary bar on the door to their essential training venue: the swimming pool.

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James Wilby – Photo Courtesy: University of Loughborough

Innovative and creative thinking have been the order of the coronavirus day for all fish on dry land – with some fine outcomes. Take Loughborough trio James Wilby, Abbie Wood, Britain teammates and Marie Wattel, the French international. In a series of videos out together by the team at the University of Loughborough for its #TrainatHome campaign, each swimmer shows their resilience and creativity in  adapting their training schedules during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking through the University of Loughborough, home to one of Britain’s successful performance training centres, here’s what the national teamsters have been up to and what they have to say about lockdown life as world-class athletes:

Loughborough teammates #TrainatHome 1:

James Wilby – Wattbike, weights and a DIY bench-press

James Wilby,  two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist for England and the man who shared the 100m breaststroke podium with silver at World titles alongside Britain teammate and Olympic champion Adam Peaty last year, has taken to a homemade bench-press, static cycling, and even found some time to spare for a spot of DIY. Wilby, coached by Dave Hemmings, said:

“Loughborough’s pool and gym provide some of the best training facilities in the world so now we’re in lockdown it’s certainly been difficult. I’ve been loaned a Wattbike, a rack and a bar and some high-quality weights…I’m fortunate and without these, I would be completely lost not knowing what to do,” he explained.

“Just under a year ago I moved into a new house, so I’ve been getting stuck into a lot of DIY projects, building things and taking on a bit of woodwork.

“The best thing to do now is to maintain and stay steady as going hard now may compromise us in the future. Being in a good place once we’re back in the water and having the ability to bounce straight back into it so that in twelve months from now, towards the final stretch of the Olympic Games, everything is absolutely as you’d want it to be.”

Loughborough teammates #TrainatHome 2:

Marie Wattel – from Loughborough to the French Alps

France international Marie Wattel headed home, switching Loughborough for the French Alps. Coached by Ian Hulme when at Loughborough, she said:

“I’m in the French Alps with my parents as I wanted to head home so I could be with my family. The weather is a bit better than Loughborough too!”

“I’m still trying to stay to three workouts a day – running 5-6km every morning, followed by a home gym session with a pull-up bar, and then cycling in the afternoon. When you’re swimming, you’re never alone so I’ve got my sister here with me.

“My goal this year was to make an Olympic final and now I’m thinking I may be better placed next year as it’s another twelve months in the bank. Hopefully, once I get back in the pool, I will be mentally fresh and 2021 will be the big one.”

Loughborough teammates #TrainatHome 3:

Abbie Wood – staying focussed in Derbyshire (without taking a dip in the local reservoir!)

Loughborough swimmer Abbie Wood, a criminology student coached by Dave Hemmings, still has her sights firmly set on Tokyo. She said:

“I’m currently based in my hometown of Buxton and we’ve been sent a weekly plan by our coach. The bodyweight circuits we do on a conference call all together so that’s been really fun.”

“I’m still technically doing ten sessions a week but it’s difficult not having a pool and I’m definitely not going to swim in the reservoir in Buxton!

“You’ve just got to take it in your stride as everyone is going through the same thing…Tokyo being delayed for a year is a bit annoying, but I’ve just got to think I have another year to prepare and build yet more momentum.”

 

 

 

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