Q+A With Simon Whitfield: Olympic Triathlete

The two-time triathlon Olympic medalist from Canada, Simon Whitfield, provides some insight into his healthy lifestyle. We thank Simon for providing Healthynomics with his time.Simon Whitfield

Healthynomics: What does being healthy mean to you?

Simon Whitfield: I haven’t been sick in a long time, I suppose the absence of sickness is a ‘baseline’ to being healthy but true health to me is a combination of proper exercise, eating habits and a balanced lifestyle (stress, family, job satisfaction, creative outlets etc.).

HN: What healthy eating habits do you have and what resources do you use for nutrition advice? Do you take any nutrition supplements?

SW: Mark’s Daily Apple (www.marksdailyapple.com). I read every post and I’ve read through most of the blog and his book, The Primal Blueprint. I really like the way Mark sees ‘health’ and well being, his advice on nutrition and exercise is simple yet very well thought out.

I take a multivitamin supplement made here in Canada (under strict quality controls!!!) from 7Systems (www.7systems.ca).  I take it because I know the people who formulated it, the passion, expertise and commitment to quality they put into it (and it’s very similar to Mark’s Damage Control Master Formula which isn’t available in Canada).

HN: What advice would you give someone looking for ways to motivate themselves to start or maintain a fitness program?

SW: Think long term and pick a program that’s sustainable, if you have 5hrs a week to workout then aim for consistency. Whether you’re just starting a fitness program or an elite athlete consistency is critical. I’ll give you 3 of Mark’s guidelines (of 10): #2 move around a lot at a slow pace, #3 – Lift heavy things and #6 – play.

HN: How do you stay fit in your off-season?

SW: What off-season? No off-season here, 2 weeks I guess but that went quickly and I did absolutely nothing aside from a 20-30min run each day and a 2k swim every 2nd day. As I’ve gotten older I’ve found it’s really important to not get to far away from race fitness. I could be wrong here but that’s what we do….

HN: Do you have any favourite training tools or pieces of equipment that you use?

Simon Whitfield 2008

SW: It would have to be my favorite shoes, I run in a specific pair of Nike shoes, best shoe ever, long runs, trail runs, intervals, easy runs. My favorite sport is running, I spend the most time doing it and they (along with my iPod) are on every run.

HN: From regularly reading your blog, I know you like coffee!  Tell us a bit about your coffee habit.

SW: Habit Coffee, 550 Pandora st. here in Vic, best coffee shop ever. Love it. Jennie and I often say as we go to bed, see you in the morning for coffee (and play time with our girls).

HN: Do you ever listen to music while you train and who are some of your favourite music artists?

SW: Hawksley Workman and The Tragically Hip are my favorite running music but most of the time I listen to various podcasts. I listen almost everyday to CBC’s ‘As it Happens’ and ‘The Current’, I look forward every week to ‘Wiretap’, ‘Dispatches’ with Rick MacInnes-Rae’ and ‘The Sunday Edition’ with Michael Enright and 60 minutes. But ‘Wiretap’ takes the cake!

HN: Last November, you took part in a seven-day running training camp (Nike Oregon Project) with the American running legend, Alberto Salazar. Did you learn anything that can help a recreational 10k runner improve their time?

SW: Hmmm I can’t give away all of our secrets!!!

Be sure to check out Simon’s blog – some great stuff! http://simonwhitfield.blogspot.com/