A Day In the Life – in athlete lockdown with canoeist David Paterson

Name: David Paterson
Studying: Pharmacy Degree
Sport: Canoeing


8-8.30am – Wake up (later than usual)

9.00am –  Glass of water then either a run – intervals – or a long bike ride for a run (for example 2 mins fast, 1 min recovery x10, or other varying sessions, the worst being 15 mins hard as you can, 10 mins off and another 15 mins hard with another 10 min recovery.)

10.00am – Get home, stretch out my legs and trigger point any tight bits. Have my breakfast – porridge with frozen blueberries, in the microwave for 2 min and then stir in some Skyr yoghurt, honey and a few seeds. Quick cold(ish) shower to help the muscles too.

10.30am  – After breakfast I’ll work my way through a couple of lectures online for my Pharmacy course or work on the group presentation we have to do over Microsoft Teams. I also might have an online meeting/check in with my British Canoeing coach.

12.30/1pm – Lunch (generally salad with leftovers in a sandwich or pitta bread)

1.30pm – Continue on with uni work until I can’t take anymore. Recently been outside in the sun too…until my laptop dies or I need wifi!

3/4pm – For a break I’ll do some yoga to get some flexibility and maintain my core stability and then meditating using Headspace.

4.30pm – Mess around trying various ping pong ball trickshots with my uni friends, sport challenges with my training group over WhatsApp or snapchat, eg most keepy ups with a football or a golf club and ball or around the worlds with a cricket bat.
Then I’ll get on with a few lifestyle admin kind of things, for example improving my CV, researching into social media or even exploring my creative side by trying to learn how to draw well, which I’ve never been great at. Or even a little project in the garden with my dad like making a storage box out of spare bits of wood.

5.00pm – Time to hit the home gym…  I’ve managed to convert my garage into a pretty decent home gym, using a suspended scaffolding pole for pull-ups and calisthenics, I am fortunate to have a bench pull from when I used to live at home along with some weights. I also have made a makeshift bench press using car roof straps to safely hold the bar when I finish a set, as opposed to a squat rack. I can use the plates as dumbbells and I’ve generally been going hard at the gym, 6 sessions a week, focused on high intensity endurance training, but I’m now starting a strength block.                                                                                


I’m finding the time to explore the calisthenic side of strength which I really enjoy, coordinating different muscle groups with control to progress up to a specific movement pattern or pose. As I’m no longer on the water, the coordination across the whole body, being anchored by a strong and stable core should hopefully prove really useful in maintaining or bettering my athletic performance. Shower after of course!

7.00pm – Dinner with my parents.

7.30pm – Then I’ll review some race video, either of myself or senior athletes, thinking about the movement patterns and the ways I can use that to improve myself or just visualise how the moves would feel.

8.30pm – At night I tend to stay up later than I normally would, because this gives me the opportunity to socialise with my friends, both from home and from uni life on the PS4. I don’t think it’s overly productive but I do enjoy staying connected with my friends and I think this time is really important for my wellbeing to not feel alone in everything that is happening.

11.00pm – Bed, having meditated if I haven’t already and some gentle stretching/foam rolling.