What does it take to be an Olympic runner?

Running shoe

We picked the brain of Australian Olympic middle-distance runner & local Wollongong legend Ryan Gregson.

What do you love about training and what do you least look forward to?

I love getting better. With training you can measure how you’re doing with your times and you have the opportunity to improve if you repeat the same training.

I don’t look forward to all out reps between 400m and 800m as they build a lot of lactic and it’s an area that I’m not that good at. It’s important for me to do it, but it’s not fun.

What advice would you give to those who are looking to pursue athletics?

Find a training group that is fun, so that you enjoy working hard every day with like-minded individuals. It’s a tough sport but a much more enjoyable journey with a good group around you.

Do you have any pre-race superstitions or routines?

I don’t have any superstitions, but I keep the exact same routine on race day with diet, and warm up. It just keeps things simple, so I can just switch off and go into autopilot.

The 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo are coming up. How is your preparation going for this? When does selection start?

My preparations for the Olympics are going well. The window to run a qualifier is currently open. I need to run 3:35.00 and also place well at the Olympic Trials in April next year. I ran 3:35.10 recently so hopefully I can get a bit faster, and then secure my spot at the Trials next year.

Are there any other events you’re in training for? How are you feeling in the lead up to these?

The World Championships are in October this year in Doha. I have qualified for that so hopefully I get named in the team in September. I will continue training and racing over the next few months to build as much momentum as I can.

Your wife is also an Australian athlete in the 3000m steeplechase. What’s it like to have someone the athletics field as partner? Does it help with race prep?

It’s perfect having my wife Genevieve travel the world with me. She is an amazing athlete, being the Australian record holder in the 3000m steeplechase, as well as being an Olympic finalist 3000m steeplechase and the 5000m. We get to share the highs and lows of our sport together, supporting each other when needed, but also being there to celebrate the good times. It certainly helps with race preparation to have someone who is getting ready for the exact same job.

How do you treat yourself after a big competition?

Beer and pizza. Everything in moderation!

You’re a long-time Peoplecare member. How does Peoplecare keep you healthy and on the track?

Peoplecare allows me to never go without physio, massage, and chiropractic, all important parts of my body maintenance. Without Peoplecare this would simply be too expensive and I wouldn’t be able to take care of my body through hard training, most likely leading to injury.

 

Now for some quick-fire questions:

Summer or Winter?

Summer.

Tea or Coffee?

Coffee

Surf or Snow?

Surf.

Smoothie or Juice?

Smoothie.

Comedy or drama?

Comedy.

Dine in or delivery?

Dine in.

Morning or Evening?

Evening.

Book or TV?

TV.

Cats or Dogs?

Dogs.

Camping or Glamping?

Glamping.

Netflix or Cinema?

Cinema.

Superman or Batman?

Batman.

Facebook or Instagram?

Instagram.

Ryan is competing across Europe at the moment. Follow him on Instagram.