RT: Nick thanks for your time. In a post Daegu 1500m final video interview you stated you timed your peaking wrong for Daegu. Do you have any more thoughts on what went wrong in Daegu?
NW: It was a longer season than I have been used to, but ultimately the main issue was just a simple case of over-hydration. I went back to Europe afterwards and had some solid results, so I am just a bit disappointed that I made a rookie mistake with my electrolyte intake.
RT: What did you and your coach learn from the Daegu experience?
NW: Basically not to take anything for granted. Just because I have experience, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t step back and take an overview of the steps that need to take place to avoid any issues – like over-hydration
RT: You stated in that same interview that maybe you needed to take dietary supplements? Have you started doing this?
NW: Right after Daegu I had to get back in electrolyte balance, but since then, I have gone back to my routine of eating like a regular healthy person should, and taking a post run recovery drink each day.
RT: What has been happening since Daegu. Are you back training hard?
NW: I enjoyed a few weeks off, and watched a lot of the Rugby World Cup, the NRL finals, University of Michigan Football, and Detroit Lions Football. I have slowly gotten back into the swing of things running wise, but I really won’t get up to my full volume until March. Injury prevention and all round body fitness will be my priority until then. The Very Nice Track Club has ten guys, including Aussie’s own Craig Huffer, training in Ann Arbor. The guys make it a really fun time down in the gym, on the trails, playing FIFA on the Xbox, and on Thursday Scrabble nights. My wife, Sierra, and I have also been taking Italian classes. We’ve had such a great time in Italy the past two seasons that we thought we better learn the local language. It will definitely be our European base of choice in future season.
RT: Previous years you have always been the man that has peaked perfectly for the major championships. What did you do differently this year?
NW: We tried to race a little more to see how I would respond to that. Having to get the A standard was a little different also. In the past I had already gotten it out of the way the previous season. Perhaps my unexpected 3.33.2 in Paris indicates that I got in shape a little earlier than I would normally plan.
RT: Are you going to race much in Australia again this summer?
NW: Yeah I plan on racing 2-4 times while home for the summer, and that hopefully includes a trip across the Tasman.
RT: Whenever you race in Australia you seem to be cleaned up by the Aussies, Riseley, Gregson, Roff and co. But then when it comes to the business end of the season you are streaks ahead. Does it annoy you losing to these guys in February and March?
NW: Yeah it sucks! My uncle, who lives in Melbourne, invites his friends and family to the IAAF meet, and the guys who live down the street keep taking me down! And come on! Gregson has never beaten me (yet).
Everyone has their own way to navigate through the year, and what I find works for me is to race in Feb/march, regardless of my fitness, as it gives me a good platform of speed to take into my next phase of base training. I am able to run much faster on my long runs through March and April because of this, and jump back on the track in May without seeming to lose a beat.
RT: Will you be based with Ron Warhurst in Michigan primarily during the lead-up to London?
NW: Yeah, we would like to spend more of the year together next year, as this past year I was away at training camps a little more frequently than what is probably best.
RT: How good is Ron Warhurst? How is he so different to New Zealand’s best coaches?
NW: He is the best coach in the world for my specific needs. Ron gives me a very long leash, which allows me to be very involved in the daily decision making process with my training. He taught me most I know about running, and it is amazing how many times we bring near identical ideas to the table for the next workout. NZ has some great coaches, but the challenge for them is the exodus of young athletes to the US collegiate system (like I did). Ron’s methods aren’t greatly different to that of most coaches in the world, but his personality is his x factor. With him excited and yelling on the sidelines, I am able to get to the next level in training (which can be dangerous if done too often mind you!).
RT: Your thoughts on Ryan Gregson and Jeff Riseley?
Jeff is probably the more handsome, but Ryan can pull off saggy running tights like few others!
Jokes aside, both have shown impressive patience and maturity as they have dealt with untimely injuries in the past year. Obviously they are extremely talented, but this resilience and attitude is what will get them beyond talent to the top.
RT: Nick, thanks for your time and all the best with the preparation for London.