Joel Tobin WhiteThe 28-year-old is an elite Australian long-distance runner, co-founder and podcast host. for glory.
The Melbourne Track Club member has participated in events ranging from 1500m to 10,000m around the world.
Here, he joins the 9Coach series 5 fitness questions.
1. We always promise the “secret” to being healthy and keeping healthy. Which one is yours?
Consistency is a secret. There are no shortcuts to getting healthy and staying fit. It’s about following a program week after week after week, and letting your body slowly adapt to your training routine. Nothing can happen overnight, but with a consistent approach to training and healthy lifestyle habits, anything is possible.
2. What is one thing you now know about health (whether it be training, eating or general well-being) that you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself five or 10 years ago?
I elaborate on my first point – as a young athlete I made the mistake of pressing too hard in certain sessions throughout my training week. I was sick and injured because my body was always playing catch-up.
As an older athlete, I now know that you should think about “60 weeks, not 60 days”. With a consistent, long-term approach to training, you’re more likely to stay free of injury and disease.
3. What is your nutrition philosophy?
As an athletic athlete, I burn so many calories that my nutritional philosophy should be “eat a lot – all the time”.
When people find out I’m a professional athlete, they always ask “Does that mean you have to be really strict about what you eat?” The answer is no. I must make sure that I am getting all the macro and micro nutrients required in a balanced diet and any extra calories I take in throughout the day are used as energy in my training.
For someone trying to lose weight, using a program from the couch to 5 km for example, they need to be more strict in their diet because spending their energy will not be like a professional distance runner. In elite sport, I’ve seen many athletes get injured due to calorie counting and a lack of proper nutrition required during heavy training loads.
4. What area of your health, fitness or well-being are you working on improving? Is there a goal you set yourself, or a skill you’re trying to master?
For the past few months, I’ve been dealing with a chronic knee problem. I had to deal with this with anti-inflammatory medication, rest, physical therapy and rehabilitation. After the injury came back for the third time in four months, I realized that the only way I was going to beat the injury once was to stop running for three weeks and spend some time training in the gym.
Strength and conditioning training allows me to strengthen the muscles, joints and other parts of the body that work together to support the knee when running. Many injuries can be caused by weaknesses in other parts of the body and the only way they can be fixed is through strength training in the gym.
5. What small practical step would you ask a friend to take if they asked for your advice on something they could do to improve their health, starting today?
It really depends on a case by case basis. If a friend spends his weekends partying, I will tell him to reduce his alcohol intake. If a friend eats unhealthy food but does a lot of exercise, I will ask him to include his macro and micro nutrients in his daily nutrition. If a friend is eating very healthy food but not exercising, I encourage them to start their day with a morning walk to get their body moving.
With that said, the only thing I would recommend over anything is “movement”. Sedentary lifestyles are bad for our health, so the one thing I recommend above all else is finding time every day to get the body moving – whether it’s walking the dog, riding a bike to work, yoga at lunch or jogging in the morning – get the body moving every day!
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