Sutton sprinter Aikines-Aryeetey gunning for Commonwealth Games glory

In less than a month Harry Aikines-Aryeetey will return to Australia to compete in his second Commonwealth Games as part of England’s 4x100m relay team.

The Sutton sprinter has fond memories of the country, having won gold and silver medals at the 2004 Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendingo.

Since then Aikines-Aryeetey has been a fixture in British athletics, picking up an individual bronze and a relay gold at the 2014 European Championships and a relay bronze at the 2009 World Championships, as well as a 4x100m relay silver for England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Unlike previous tournaments, the upcoming Gold Coast Games are being held relatively early in the athletics season, but the sprinter is primed for the challenge ahead.

Aikines Aryeety, 29, said: “Other than the massive spiders and everything else out there, I think it’s more the fact that everyone else is on the same level playing field.

“It’s just about preparing as best as you can and taking each day as you go.”

Training under coach Benke Blomkist, Aikines-Aryeetey is well known for his  physical prowess, and is one of the biggest sprinters on the circuit.

From intensive gym sessions to three days a week on the track, the athlete lives by a simple message of quality over quantity.

An added aid to this mantra is Aikines-Aryeetey’s ability to train close to his home and family in south west London.

“It’s all about making things easy and not adding any extra stress, it’s a massive plus,” he explained.

And like many sports the most crucial part of the sprinter’s ability to perform comes down to how well he recovers.

He said: “If you don’t think about your recovery and how you are going to prepare for the next day then it can have a knock-on effect and actually hinder your performance.

“You can be more fatigued and if you try too hard when you’re tired you could actually hurt yourself.

“Some of the products I like to use are something that helps you sleep at night, I think that’s a great tool to use and the Blue Lab whey, which has a great amount of protein but also a lot of TCH, that in itself is a great way to recover.”

For someone of Aikines-Aryeetey’s stature, it is unsurprising that many people are curious about what the 29-year-old uses to fuel and build his physique.

Yet as seems to be the case with much of his lifestyle – the key is no stress; therefore, food is straightforward and hassle free.

Porridge, eggs, chicken you know the drill, but it’s fair to say the sprinter is not afraid of a little indulgence every now and again.

He added: “I love my Ben and Jerry’s ice cream when I go to the cinema, and the large sweet popcorn – I won’t hold back.

“It’s all about the balance, you can treat yourself but I’m not trying to be a body builder I’m trying to run fast, so if I have them on the right days then it’s ok.”

Aikines-Aryeetey believes his decade of experience within senior athletics has allowed him to find the sweet spot between dedication and obsession.

He understands the importance of focusing on training, recovery and nutrition, yet has not lost sight of the of the gift he has been given.

He said: “Sport is a luxury at the end of the day, there’s a lot of people who aren’t able to do sports.

“I mean when you look at it you get stressed over the fact you can’t compete or you’re not doing as well as you liked, but just be thankful that you are in a situation where you are able to do it.

“You’re not young forever so just enjoy it.”

Harry is an ambassador for leading sports nutrition brand USN and was speaking to promote the launch of the USN Blue Lab Whey.

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