England and Leicester winger, Jonny May, is renowned as one of the world’s fastest international rugby players and among the deadliest finishers that England has to offer. We caught up with him to talk recovery, knee reconstruction and chatting with Barack Obama.
As one of England’s most prolific try scorers of recent times, Jonny May isn’t short of claims to fame. Having used his searing pace to score dramatic tries against the likes of New Zealand and South Africa in the white jersey, he has become an integral part of Eddie Jones’ squad and, injury permitting, is likely to be one of the first names on the squad list to step on the plane to the World Cup in Japan next year.
Despite this, Jonny says that his proudest moment in his sporting career remains getting his first cap for England in 2013 on the summer tour to Argentina.
Asked about the rigours of preparing and playing for club and country, Jonny explains:
“The typical training regime involves a combination of skill work and fitness work. We combine rugby training with weight training and speed training. There is also a lot of emphasis on recovery in the modern game, which is essential to ensuring that we can get through the season safely and in good condition.
Over the course of his career, Jonny has suffered a number of injuries – most significant of which required knee reconstruction surgery in 2016. While he has made a full recovery from this problem, he acknowledges that making adequate time for recovery is something that can’t be neglected nowadays, with the collisions so severe and the long season so draining.
“The emphasis on getting recovery and rehabilitation right has never been greater. Within both club and country setups, the physios and medical teams take time with all the players to ensure that our workloads are carefully managed and monitored. But above all it is sleep that is the best and most important part of recovery. Personally, I aim for between 8 and 9 hours a night in order to get my full compliment of sleep.
“The difference between a good night’s sleep and a bad one can be huge – both in terms of physical and mental performance. After a restful night I always feel so much better in body and mind. I can be a little bit restless through the night, so getting the sleep environment just right is particularly important to me.
“When I am away from home with Leicester or England I always make sure to pack my headphones and iPad. It’s important to create enough time to relax and unwind before bed – something I usually do with a film.”
Jonny also says that making the sleep system at home a priority has become part and parcel of optimising performance and safeguarding against fatigue or injury:
“I first found out about Mammoth through the Rugby Players Association and I visited Colourbank in Leicester to test drive the range. The quality of the mattresses, combined with their reputation among other athletes and fellow players convinced me that I needed to upgrade my old mattress to one that really supported my goals.”
Now with his Superking Performance Pocket 1600 installed at home, Jonny says,
“It’s really comfortable and having opted for a superking it provides lots of room, giving my wife and I a restful night’s sleep.”
And if Jonny had to have a late night chat with anyone, he says that former president, Barack Obama would be the man worth losing sleep over.
“I’d just like to chat to him about politics and some of the more interesting White House conspiracies.