Power NI, part of Energia group, are proud to have Ireland International Stacey Flood as a brand ambassador. The Dubliner is one of several players juggling rugby 7s and 15s commitments alongside a career in sales development.
I’m going to offer a sneaky peek into our day-to-day training schedule in the High Performance Centre which I hope will provide an insight into what goes on behind closed doors at Abbottstown when it comes to the Women’s Sevens Programme.
We are currently in a pre-season block, essentially building a base of mental and physical toughness to survive the season on the World Series circuit and next year’s Paris Olympics. Our Strength & Conditioning coach Orlaith Curran has each day planned to a tee; I’ve never seen someone so excited about a spreadsheet but honestly no better woman for the job!
Our week begins at 8.00am on Monday morning with monitoring and mobility to get you prepped for the week again. Some need more than others in both cases! From there we have a Monday morning overview of what the week will look like, a skills' session to focus our minds on some rugby core skills then into speed training. This usually consists of technique work, acceleration and then ending with some top end speeds over 60/65 metres.
The rugby session will last about one hour and 15 minutes, containing the usual drills interlinked with some runs and bag hits. From here it’s straight into ‘PIT’; this is shoes off onto mats, 30 minutes of contact training, conditioning and technique elements but mostly hair flying everywhere! Afterwards we get a bit of a rest, usually 40-45mins and then it’s into the gym.
Lunch follows, our favourite part of the day, and on Mondays it is followed by a players’ meeting to decide what we want to focus on for that week in group terms. You might think it doesn’t get worse from here but everyday builds on to the next.
The layout for the rest of the week is: Tuesday – 7.30am skills, monitoring mobility, pitch, gym, lunch. On Wednesday we get a down day to focus on recovery and if anyone goes to college they usually go there for the day to follow-up Monday and Tuesday’s work.
On Thursday there is a later start to simulate a Sevens' tournament schedule, so we go in at 11.45 for monitoring, pitch, analysis, clinic time, another pitch session – it’s double sessions on a Thursday, yippee – and finally dinner time. Friday is another 7.30am start followed by monitoring, mobility, pitch, gym, players meeting and lunch.
Incorporated into our gym sessions are also HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and off feet sessions as well as our strength training. On Tuesday pre-season, the pitch has been our big running day which is always tough. Thursday is one rugby session or running and a contact session which is a treat. Friday, they like to call it ‘hills & drills,’ kind of explanatory in the name.
Those are the tough parts, thankfully before sessions and in between sessions we have lovely facilities available to us; a hydro room consisting of hot and cold baths, a regeneration room with foam rollers, massage guns and recovery boots with reclining chairs. The light must remain off in here, it’s so peaceful.
Outside there are car charging points provided by Energia which is amazing! Upstairs we have an analysis room to watch training and games, a player lounge to sit and make coffees and eat our snacks, then the fabulous kitchen which is honestly run by some of the best chefs. The food is amazing. We also have the gym, three rugby fields and one indoor field.
All in all, it's a great place to go every day and whilst its hard work, you’re doing it with a group of girls together, you’re pushing each other on for a common goal and have each other’s back. It makes it all worth it.
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