#WorkoutWednesday with Martina Caironi

She can speak five languages and holds numerous major titles, but what training does Italy’s T42 athlete Martina Caironi do on a typical day? 29 Apr 2015
Martina Caironi, winces,

Martina Caironi

ⒸLuc Percival

I train with a group at the track - they are a little bit younger than me, without disability.

‘Workout Wednesday’ this week comes from Italy’s sprint star Martina Caironi, the reigning Paralympic, world and European champion in the 100m T42.

Caironi also holds the 100m and 200m T42 world records with times of 15.18 and 32.64 and if that is not enough, she is also the world long jump T42 champion.

Here the multi-talented 25-year-old, who studies at the University in Bologna, Italy, and can speak five languages, takes us through a typical day.

Martina Caironi’s #WorkoutWednesday

Normally I wake up about 09:00. In Italy we tend to do things later in the evening, and eat later too, so for me this is the perfect time to get up. I eat breakfast with tea and marmalade, but sometimes when I need more energy I buy Nutella. This is just for special occasions though!

Then more often than not, I head out. I moved to Bologna in March this year and there are lots of opportunities for students to choose different libraries, or different places to study. I practise Portuguese in a library not far from my house.

After the Paralympic Games in London things were very different for me. My University career had been put on hold, and I had lots of things to do, and lots of people asking me to do things. I spent about two years reorganising my life.

I decided to study more and move to Bologna as I want to find a normal way of life and also do my own things - like going out with friends as well as studying. Of course I’m training every day too.

As well as Italian, I speak English, Spanish and of course Portuguese, which is important for me with the Paralympic Games next year in Rio - I want to go there. So I am preparing for my training but also for the language. I’ve been to Portugal three times now to practise. With my Chinese it’s a little bit hard as I’ve finished those studies and I don’t practise so much. But together with a friend I try to make sure I don’t forget what I’ve studied.

After my studies in the morning I go back home to eat because I live pretty near to everything. I found this apartment and immediately I loved it so much. The only thing was there is no lift, and the apartment is on the fourth floor…but I thought well, I’m an athlete, what’s the problem.

It’s something I’ve got used to now – it’s not so difficult - it’s okay. I leave my prostheses in my car though as they are too heavy to take up and down stairs every day. I’ve also bought a new bicycle so I can go wherever I want.

For lunch I eat meat with salad, or maybe pasta of course. I might make a frittata and lots of vegetables.

In the afternoon I do some kind of physical activity – but it might not be at the track. I also do a new discipline, a kind of acrobatics, that’s useful for my body. I go to track for the long jump. I have a new coach, Sandro, but we follow the same time of regime as before – there is lots of co-operation with my old coach.

I train with a group at the track - they are a little bit younger than me, without disability. They are friendly and the group is very relaxed – I can concentrate very well. I’m also very happy about what I’m doing. I feel fit now, more so than past years at this time.

We do half an hour or more of warm up, and at the beginning I do lots of skipping, and some technical exercises. Then we might do lots of repetitions - 60m, 80m, or 100m maybe four times. Then maybe reps of 250m, with a break for four minutes, then 200m, with an eight minute break and so on. At the end I’m very happy to go to sleep, but I like it, because after this kind of training running 100m for me seems shorter.

We are there about two hours, and depending when I finish I’ll either go out with friends – maybe to the cinema – or I’ll go home and have dinner and chill out with my flatmates. We chat and laugh a lot which I think is very important in life. Sometimes it is also important to relax alone, but it’s good for me to live with others, to talk together about the day. Some days I need to rest but if I want to I could go every night of the week – there is always something interesting going on.

If I can sleep after hard training I’ll go to bed about 23.30 – that for me is good. I try to be in bed by midnight, just like Cinderella.

Caironi is set to be one of 1,300 athletes from 90 countries who compete at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships which take place in Doha, Qatar, between 22-31 October.

You can follow her journey on Twitter @smartinella