16th October 2015

Scottish swimming legend Michael Jamieson in partnership with Red Sky Management sat down with Nicola Smith to discuss his training schedules, love of music and favourite moments about being a medal-winning athlete.

Train like an athelete

You famously won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. How does it feel to be an Olympic medalist?
When I was younger and thought of becoming an Olympic medallist, I thought I’d be invincible and that it would be the springboard to dominate my event on the world stage for the next few years. The reality was a fleeting sense of achievement. I’d achieved what I set out to do, nothing more. Within 6 weeks I didn’t know what to do with myself so I began training in search of the next medal. Perhaps a lack of experience, or perhaps the experience I needed to improve on that result in Rio…

As an athlete you’ve swam all over the world. What does it feel like when you get to compete at home?
I’ve experienced the positive and negative influences it can have. In London I jumped on it and knew my preparation couldn’t have gone any better. In Glasgow, I was hampered by a back injury throughout the season, altering my training constantly and this played on my mind and I let it create a lot of doubt. It was an incredible experience to be an ambassador for the Commonwealth Games in my home City. It was such a privileged position but I wish I could have enjoyed it for that instead of putting myself under enormous pressure.

What is the run up to a competition like?
I’ve got years of experience now so it’s almost a subconscious heightened level of focus and concentration. I’m not superstitious,
just logical…often too logical! The main change in the lead up to an important competition is the need for absolute self-belief and positive self talk. Without a strong mind, it’s very easy to undo all the hard work that’s gone before.

Can you imagine life without swimming?
I’ve been involved with sport for so long that I couldn’t cut it from my life. I’m addicted to self-improvement and the challenges it presents. I enjoy the work in the gym more than the pool at this stage in my career. In the gym there are so many areas I can improve on and become stronger. I’ve swam since aged 4 but only lifted weights since 15/16 so in total training hours there’s lots still to do.

Your dad played football for Albion Rovers, Alloa Athletic and Stenhousemuir and you’ve played football yourself. So why swimming?
The main reason was to attend the Glasgow School of Sport at Bellahouston Academy. The school aims to fast track young athletes by substituting extra curricular subjects for introduction to sports nutrition, sports psychology, land training and in my case swim training. I think making this decision so young was from being surrounded by sport through my dads playing career. I always wanted to be a professional athlete.

Train like an athelete

As an athlete, what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
It’s hard to channel all the advice I’ve been given over the years and to know how to use it. A quote from Open, the autobiography by Andre Agassi almost perfectly explains my thoughts: “Now that I’ve won a Grand Slam, I know something very few people on Earth are permitted to know. A win doesn’t feel as good as a loss feels bad, and the good feeling doesn’t last as long as the bad.
Not even close.” It’s important to have goals but not to be consumed by them. This is a mistake I’ve made countless times throughout my
career and something I’m enjoying working through just now, although it’s easier said than done!

I’ve been involved with sport for so long that I couldn’t cut it from my life. I’m addicted to self-improvement and the challenges it presents

What is a typical day like for you when you’re training?
Up at 6am
6.45am poolside to start warming up/waking up!
7.15am 5.5-6km in the pool
9.30am physio or massage session after quick breakfast
11am home for a few hours rest and refuel
2.30pm poolside for warming up and small circuit session
3.30pm 5.5-6km in the pool
5.45pm weightlifting gym session
7.45pm dinner and feet up – ready to go again tomorrow
And when you’re not training?
I like to stay busy when I can so swimming doesn’t control my life. I’ve just started learning to use some music production equipment and I love techno and deep house music. I’m also a big movie fan and I love the cinema and eating out. When training has left me on the couch I watch the NBA, American football or football, pretty much any sport that’s on.

How important is good nutrition to your athletic career?
Each athlete has different beliefs and areas of focus but for me, nutrition is a vital part of performance. I can eat over 6,000 calories a day throughout the winter training cycle and still lose weight! I could eat anything without worrying but I’m always vigilant. Oats, sweet potato and fish are always in the house and I usually have 7/8 vegetables a day and 3/4 pieces of fruit!

How important are Red Sky in supporting you as an athlete?
It’s important for any athlete to have a strong relationship with their management team. It’s exactly that, a team. Your team is an extension of you and your goals and they must have
the goal to support you in reaching yours, through the ups and downs of a competitive career and beyond.


Favourite place to swim?

Who is your sporting hero?
Andre Agassi

Swimming in a pool or the sea?

In ten years time..?
I will be a DJ and producer and a real estate owner

What are your goals for next year?
Olympic Gold in Rio

What is your favourite thing about being an athlete?
The travel and the lifestyle

What is your favourite post race snack?
Bounce energy balls

Who is on your training playlist?
Anything by Solomun, Maya Jane Coles, Richie Hawtin or Seth Troxler


Post Rio Redsky Celebrations


We were thrilled to celebrate the achievements of Redsky Managements Olympic Athletes post Rio. The Athletes gathered at our Assembly Rooms Boutique where Luke Patience interviewed the Athletes in a relaxed Q&A and the guests enjoyed some well deserved downtime in between their rigorous training schedules.

Grace Reid


Break-through diver, Grace Reid in partnership with Red Sky Management sits down with Nina Ghita to talk about her whirlwind year.

Enduro Woman


We sit down with Red Sky Management’s mountain biker Hannah Barnes. Not only is she one of a select group of female riders racing for Specialised Bicycles, she has competed across the globe in the Mountain Bike Enduro World Series and Adventure events, she is also passionate about health, fitness and Scotland.