Australia’s three-time Olympic race walking medallist Jared Tallent answers our work, rest and play questions.
Tallent, who secured bronze in the 50km event at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, plans to compete at the 2014 IAAF Race Walking Cup held in Taicang, China (May 3-4).
JARED AT WORK
What are your three favourite things about being an athlete?
Jared Tallent: Definitely, number one is the travel. The sport allows me to travel to some pretty special places around the world. Secondly, the training allows me to train in some great locations. My favourite spot is St Moritz, Switzerland. It is beautiful and we go there every year for altitude training. Thirdly, I love the competition and the opportunity to compete in major events like the Olympics and IAAF World Championships.
What is your favourite training session?
JT: It is probably one of my hardest sessions. I like to do 8x2kms reps with two minutes recovery in between. It is probably my favourite speed session. I know if I’m doing really quick times in this session, I’m very fit and ready to race well. It is always a good test to see where I’m at.
What is your least favourite session?
JT: The long, slow sessions of 40km or 45km. If I don’t have a race walker to train with, it can be pretty tedious. I prefer the speed sessions.
What is your least favourite thing to being an athlete?
JT: Feeling tired all the time, particularly training for race walking events and banging out 200km a week. Often, when it gets to the weekend and my wife wants to go out and do something, I’m just totally exhausted. It is often tough to go out and do those fun things I enjoy doing on a weekend.
JARED AT REST
What is your favourite way to relax?
JT: I watch a lot of movies and before each competition I download a movie. We’ve just moved to Adelaide and I’ve turned half my garage into a theatre room with a 110-inch screen, so I spend quite a bit of time in there.
What is your favourite movie?
JT: I like Quentin Tarantino movies. So Inglorious Bastards and Django Unchained are two of my favourites.
Describe your perfect non-training day.
JT: We (Jared and his wife, Claire, also a fellow race walker) have just bought a beach house up at Moonta about an hour-and-a-half from Adelaide. I love to spend time up there and on the beach. It is a beautiful spot which helps me relax.
What is your favourite stress-reliever?
JT: I’m not sure. I don’t often get that stressed. I’m pretty laid back.
What is your favourite drink to relax with?
JT: I drink white wine, so probably Secret Stone is my favourite at the minute. It is a New Zealand wine.
If you could pick one athlete in the world to relax with, who would it be and why?
JT: It would have to be my wife. She’s a walker as well, so I’d want to relax with her.
JARED AT PLAY
I believe you’re a big Formula One fan. How did you get into the sport?
JT: I first got into F1 after attending the 2003 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. I just loved the noise and the speed of the cars and that was when Mark Webber starting competing. Mark is an Australian and I think that is another reason why I got into it. I’ve been following it ever since and often stay up late watching the races in Europe.
Besides the Australian Grand Prix, have you attended any other races?
JT: Yes, I was racing in an event about 20km from where the F1 circuit in Shanghai was. My race was a week later, so I flew over the weekend before to watch the race. It was a good race; Webber came from 18th on the grid to finish third. I was also racing in Varese in Italy one year, which is about 45 minutes from the Monza circuit and I managed to get to that F1 race.
Do you have a favourite driver?
JT: Probably Mark Webber but now he is retiring and is being replaced by Daniel Ricciardo on the Red Bull racing team, I’ll say him for no other reason than he is an Aussie.
Would you make a decent F1 driver?
JT: Probably not. I’m a pretty bad driver. A lot of people say I’m pretty bad!
Any athlete who would make a pretty good F1 driver, who would it be and why?
JT: Henry Frayne (the 2012 World indoor long jump silver medallist from Australia). He’s big into F1, so I’ll say him.
Which F1 driver would make the best race walker?
JT: I’ll say Felipe Massa (the Brazilian driver) because South Americans are quite good race walkers.
Steve Landells for the IAAF