Olly Woodburn is a firm favourite with fans, both on and off the pitch, having been crowned last year as the Exeter Chiefs Player of the Year.
Arguably one of the finest wingers in the premiership today, we can certainly vouch for Olly being as awesome off the pitch, as he is on. A truly humble, grounded guy, he also happens to be pretty handy with the camera, taking the spot as this month’s guest photographer for Grow. Huge thanks go to Canonteign Falls for their hospitality and a truly fantastic afternoon for our shoot with polar explorer Ann Daniels.
We caught up with Olly earlier this month to talk snoozing, meditation and morning workouts.
What is your morning routine?
I like to wake up about 45 minutes before I have to be at work. That gives me 10 minutes to snooze and check my phone, 10 minutes to get ready and 10 minutes to get to work with a 15 minute buffer for extenuating circumstances; traffic, lost keys/wallet etc… it hasn’t failed me yet.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
This has been my routine for about a year now. I have, however, incorporated making my bed into my morning routine; I was watching a video of a naval officer and how he made his marines make their bed every morning. The reason behind it was that completing a simple task each morning gives you a little bit of pride and would encourage you to complete another task and then another, and then another. Have a list of completed tasks at the end of the day and then, if you end up having a horrible day, at least you will have a nice made bed to come home to.
What time do you go to sleep?
I’m a bit of a night owl; I normally get to sleep around midnight on a school night. I am very bad at sticking to a bedtime! I usually just drift off watching YouTube videos.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
I like to pack my kit bag the night before; making sure I have the right set of clothes for the next day. You are expected to have the right kit for gym and rugby and then clean clothes for afterward. The punishment for having the wrong kit is 2 kilometres on the bike, as well as being ridiculed by your teammates of course. So I try not to forget by preparing the night before.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I set my alarm on my phone 10 minutes early so that I can snooze. That soft, warm cocoon you wake up to is glorious, so I try to enjoy it for 10 minutes before I have to begin my day.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
On weekdays the club provides food so once I’ve made my way to work, breakfast is the first port of call; about an hour after I’ve woken up. Usually, it’s bacon, eggs (scrambled or poached), beans and toast. Sausages if we are lucky.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
All of my workout routines are lead by our strength and conditioning coaches. I don’t have a routine that I do every morning, but I usually lift weights 2-3 times a week and run about 4-6 kilometres a day during training.
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
Last season I began using an App called “Headspace” where I would meditate for 10 minutes after I woke up. I enjoyed it but got out of the routine during my summer break… I should get back into that.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I am awful at emails. I SHOULD do them in the morning but I get around to them in my own time. Which is probably when the person on the other end has lost all hope of a reply.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
I haven’t used any apps since I stopped using Headspace. Sometimes I’ll do the 1:2 breathing ratio technique to relax. Inhale for 1 second and out for 2 a few times, then 2 for 4 and so on until you get to 5 seconds on the inhale. That should lower your heart rate and help you settle down.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
It’s the first thing I do. I turn off my alarm and then I get scrolling; WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram are the go- to’s.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Making sure I have the right kit is essential for reasons I’ve already explained and I’m enjoying ticking off a made bed too.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Orange juice, if I’m lucky enough to have some in the fridge. If not I’ll have water. I’m not a slave to coffee fortunately. I like to save caffeine for those times I really need it. (Just before a meeting).
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
My routine changes on weekends; I have a more dedicated rest, hydration, and nutrition routine for match days and then the complete opposite for my day off! When I have a game, I like to down a litre of water first thing in the morning to front-load my hydration; then keep sipping throughout the day. I also drink a water-based salt drink which is full of nutrients and minerals. They help prevent cramp and dehydration.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
I think I adapt quite well as my routine isn’t rigid and I don’t rely on it. We often have away games where I wake up in a hotel in a different city. I actually like coming out of a routine sometimes, makes everything feel fresh and like I’m not “going to work”.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
As I’ve said I think I take changes to my routine in my stride. Not making sure I have my training kit, or being late, is an awful way to begin the day but preparing the night before really takes that stress off my shoulders.