Aussie long-distance runner Joel Tobin-White shares the one thing that’s ‘horrific to our health’
Joel Tobin-White28, is an Australian elite distance runner and co-founder and host of a running podcast For congratulations.
The Melbourne Track Club member has competed in events ranging from 1500 meters to 10,000 meters around the world.
Here he joins the series of 9Coach 5 fitness questions.
1. We are always promised “the secret” to getting and staying healthy. What is your?
Consistency is my secret. There are no shortcuts to getting healthy and staying fit. It’s about following a program week after week after week and allowing your body to slowly adapt to the workout routine. Nothing can happen overnight, but with a consistent approach to training and healthy lifestyle habits, anything is possible.
2. What do you know now about health (whether it’s training, diet, or general well-being) that you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself five or 10 years ago ?
Elaborating on my first point – as a young athlete I made the mistake of pushing too hard in certain sessions throughout the training week. I was battling illness and injury because my body was always catching up.
As an older athlete, I now know to think “60 weeks not 60 days”. With the consistent, longer-term approach to training, you’re much more likely to stay injury- and disease-free.
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3. What is your nutritional philosophy?
As an endurance athlete, I burn so many calories that my nutritional philosophy has to be “eat a lot – all the time”.
When people find out that I’m a professional athlete, they always ask me, “So does that mean you have to be really strict about what you eat?” The answer is no. I need to make sure that I get all the macro and micronutrients needed in a balanced diet and that any extra calories I consume throughout the day are used as energy in my training.
For someone trying to lose weight, with a couch-5k program for example, they should be much stricter with their diet because their energy expenditure will not be the same as a professional distance runner. In elite sport, I have seen so many athletes injure themselves due to calorie counting and lack of the proper nutrition required during heavy training loads.
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4. What area of your health, fitness or well-being are you striving to improve? Is there a goal you’ve set for yourself or a skill you’re trying to master?
For the past few months, I have been dealing with a persistent knee problem. I had to manage this with anti-inflammatory meds, rest, physio and rehab. After the injury came back for the third time in four months, I realized the only way to beat the injury once and for all was to take three weeks off from running 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 you run. Most of the time, injuries can occur due to weaknesses in other parts of the body and the only way to fix them is to do strength training in the gym.
5. What is one small practical step you would tell a friend to take if they asked your advice on something they can do to improve their health, starting today?
It really depends on the case by case. If a friend spent his weekends partying, I would tell him to cut down on his drinking. If a friend ate poorly but exercised a lot, I would tell them to factor in their macro and micronutrients into their daily diet. If a friend was eating very healthy but not exercising, I would encourage them to start their day with a morning walk to get their body moving.
That said, the one thing I would recommend above all else is “movement”. Sedentary lifestyles are horrible for our health, so the one thing I would recommend above all else is finding time each day to get your body moving – whether that’s walking the dog, biking to work, lunchtime yoga or morning jogging – get your body moving every day!
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