Sunday, 8 February 2004

In training with Mary Pat Tierney; Your fitness.

Mary Pat Tierney

Mary Pat Tierney is fly-half for the Scotland women's rugby team that plays Wales in the Six Nations championship

For the past two years I have been following a strict training regime to improve my fitness for the national squad. The Scottish Rugby Union has asked the women's team to commit to this training programme for the next two years, until after the next World Cup.

My immediate priority is Saturday's Six Nations match. We meet up on Wednesday and fly down to Bristol before travelling on to Cardiff. On Thursday we will have two training sessions, with a lighter one on Friday, before a team meeting in the evening. This is Scotland's first competitive match of the year and we will spend the time doing a series of rugby drills and playing a number of practice matches.

Combining work and rugby

From Monday to Friday, I work full-time as a solicitor in Edinburgh. Although I start a new job in March, my current employers have been extremely flexible with my training. But, to maintain my fitness, I train every day during my 90 minute lunch break

Monday: after playing on Sunday, I have a recovery session at my local swimming pool

Tuesday: I usually spend 30 minutes on a rowing machine; I row for 90 seconds, rest for a minute, and so on. After work, I head straight for training with Watsonians rugby club between 6.30pm and 8pm. Training incorporates drills such as dynamic stretching, tackling or hitting bags, handling drills, touch rugby or six-on-six matches

Wednesday: probably my hardest session of the week, with an hour of weights. My programme is similar to how weightlifters train -power clenches, press-ups and leg pulls -the theory being that I should be able to replicate the same explosive power in a match

Thursday: at lunchtime I visit a local park and sprint. In the evening I have another session with Watsonians

Friday: depending on how the week has gone, I usually fit in another weights session

Saturday: myself and a few of the team hire a squash court in the morning to perform non-weight-bearing drills and routines, aimed at strengthening our legs and abdominal muscles.

Sunday: normally a club match, although the league is suspended during the Six Nations

Sunday Times (London, England) (Feb 8, 2004): p29.

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