A Day in the Life of Katarina Johnson-Thompson

It’s summer, and sport is in the air everywhere! All eyes are on the incredible athletes representing their countries at this year’s iconic events, but do you ever stop to wonder what a typical day looks like for them? What does it take to become an elite athlete?

We were privileged to speak to Prep Kitchen ambassador, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, to gain a unique perspective on her daily life, to find out how she eats, how she supports her fitness goals, and how she unwinds.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (KJT) is a multi-gold-medal-winning athlete, the reigning World and Commonwealth Heptathlon Champion. She competed at the London Olympic Games in 2012 at the tender age of just 19. As well as her incredible sporting achievements, KJT is known for her friendly and approachable personality, which earned her third place at the 2023 BBC Sports Personality of the Year. She was also named Sports Star of the Year 2019 at Stylist’s inaugural Remarkable Women Awards.

So how does this iconic and super-talented woman spend her days? Read on to find out.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I usually wake up around 8 am and take my time getting ready, doing the usual things such as brushing teeth, washing my face etc. and I have a breakfast that doesn't make me feel bloated or lethargic. A favourite is the Prep Kitchen Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella egg cup which is really tasty.

Once I’m ready, I head to the track and start training at 9.30 am. Each training session is different as I have 7 events to prepare for. On the days where I have a double session – training in the morning, then stopping for a quick lunch – I’ll be training until 3 pm. This is why PK is really handy, as I’ll take a PK lunch meal with me.

I then head to physio for some treatment, a massage or the like for an hour, before then heading home. If I have any chores to do, I try to get them done straight away when I get home as once that is done, I like to get showered, put my comfy’s on, have dinner and relax. I’ll usually either read a book or flick on the telly (I like a good series) and unwind. I’m usually in bed and lights out by 11 pm.

How many meals do you consume a day?

I have three main meals each day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

My breakfast is usually quite light as I will head to training shortly afterwards so I don’t want something that is heavy and makes me feel sluggish. I want to feel ready for the day ahead.

My lunch is usually fairly light too, but with a focus on recovery after or between training so I make sure I get a good amount of protein in.

I usually have a bigger dinner as it’s a bit of a reward at the end of the day, and a way of relaxing for me. As a food lover with busy days, I find dinner the best time to experiment with food and really enjoy it. I’m also more likely to have dinner socially than meeting a friend for lunch or breakfast so again, this is when I usually have my biggest and most creative meal.

I don’t have any specifics with regards to counting calories or measuring my carbs intake etc. but I do try and make sure I have a high amount of protein in each meal.

How many calories do you consume a day?

I don’t count calories. I try to make sure I have a balanced diet so I eat good protein, veggies, carbs and I’ve never really been somebody that will eat so much that I’m stuffed. I do have chocolate and treats but again, in moderation. I enjoy food and really like a good meal but am fairly sensible with what I consume.

Do you eat before or after you train?

Both. I train in the morning after I have breakfast and I’ll have lunch after my training session. On the days that I have a morning and afternoon training session, I eat in between the sessions.

What is your favourite PK meal?

Easy - the Sizzlin’ Chicken Fajita Pasta - it's so good!!

How many times a day do you train?

Usually twice per day. The Heptathlon is 7 events so there’s a lot to try and learn.

That’s intense!

It’s clear that greatness is born from a mixture of hard work, dedication, commitment, good nutrition, self-care and, of course, amazing, incredible talent!

We are grateful to Katarina for sharing details of her personal life. We’re wishing her all the best in her sporting endeavours this summer, and are proud to be part of her journey.

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Posted in Health on by Kerry Beeson BSc (Nut Med) Nutritional Therapist & Metabolic Balance Coach