A Day In The Life: Martha Gill
Enduro racer, festival organiser, musician and all-around awesome human Martha Gill never sits still for long. She spent last winter in NZ, a brief spell at home and then jetted off to the USA before the EWS season starts. We pinned her down for a quick chat about what a 'normal' day looks like!
- Name: Martha Gill
- Age: 28
- Follow Martha Gill:
- Location: UK
- Riding with Marin since: 2015
9AM - Start the Day The Right Way
I start my day with a one-hour gym session to build fitness for race season. The Enduro World Series races are huge events and it's super important to be in your best physical shape if you want to just complete the weekend, let alone do well.
During my winter off-season in New Zealand I really got into this routine and trained with Jase at Tasman Performance. He's the first Strength and Conditioning coach I've worked with in person at the gym and it's been super helpful for building a strong foundation. My training varies depending on the time of year but it tends to be a mix of strength, power and fitness - I'll spend some time lifting weights, spinning on the Watt bike or working on flexibility on the matts.
Now I'm on the road again I'm doing my best to keep that routine going, either training where I am at a particular time or finding a local gym to work out of. It's not always easy when you're travelling, but I'm making it happen. I always feel better when I can start my day with a session in the gym.
11am - Time To Party (Kinda!)
Gowaan is Bex Baraona and I's way of sharing what we do with other riders outside of the race season. We make videos, we put on events and we try to inspire other riders to get involved. Gowaan Fest is our Women’s MTB festival with heaps of activities including coaching sessions, air bag, pump track, dual slalom, long jump competition and a huge raffle. You can check out the Gowaan Festival website here.
Alongside festival admin, there's all the usual work stuff that's involved in being a sponsored athlete. One day I'll be planning a trip and booking flights and accommodation, another I might be editing videos for our Gowaan Youtube channel or arranging a video shoot with a film crew. There's also the regular job of keeping in touch with sponsors and making sure they're getting what they need and - of course - the daily job of keeping social media updated. My Instagram takes up a lot of my time!
As you'd expect, I have a long list of to-dos that I'm slowly working through and today I've been working on designing a tee that will go in everyone's goodie bag at the festival that they receive when they arrive.
2PM - It's Gravel O'Clock
I'll usually ride for about 2 hours and mix in a few short intervals to help build fitness. During my off-season in New Zealand I really looked forward to this ride and really enjoyed exploring the endless gravel and fire roads around Nelson - the gravel back home in the UK is a lot muddier than back there!
The gravel bike works really well alongside the gym and can either be a really intensive, hard ride or a mellow spin depending on where I'm at in my training plan. It's rarely all hard work though and I try to pick some fire roads for the intervals, throw down a few wheelies or detour past some techier terrain, singletrack or trails to keep it interesting. It can't always be about the hard yards!
5PM - Slappin' Turns
I keep the bigger, all-day rides for the weekends and try to have shorter sessions building on skills during the week. The afternoon is the perfect time to pick an element of my riding to work on and just go focus 100% on that.
Today's session was all about cornering, something I've always worked on and tried to improve more and more. I used to have a couple of rutty corners in my parent's garden back home that I'd ride over and over, and I've tried to keep that going to this day.
We lay out some cones in different arrangements and practice our cornering techniques on a short gravel or grass patch. Things I've been focussing on are weight over the front wheel, aggressive elbows and moving my hips more. This will hopefully help me on the flat corners of a dual slalom track and is already making a difference out on the trail.
All that probably sounds pretty serious... But like the gravel rides always ends up being about having fun on my bike. It's just about practising your skills, putting a smile on your face and getting some bike time in. If you're having fun, you're probably winning right?
6PM - And .... Chill.
I try to keep my evenings pretty relaxed and not spend too much time on social media or in front of my laptop, something I've learned over the last couple of years and really helps me to unwind. I LOVE my sleep and the more I get the better I train and ride so, I try to get to bed at a decent time.
All of that obviously goes out of the window when I'm on the road or at an event - on the road evenings will end up being all about emails to sponsors, getting social media updates out, hunting for WiFi, prepping bikes, finding some decent food and generally just living the road trip life!