Interview With Dai Greene World 400m Hurdles Champion

May 18, 2012 11:52 am 0 comments

SNI: Since the Track & Field World Championships in Daegu in which you got the Gold in the 400 meter hurdles what have you been doing to improve your body composition?

Dai: I think I’ve put on about 5 kg  (11 lbs) of muscle and my body fat is still around the 7% mark (that never changes really). I’ve been working hard in the gym, even adding an arm specific routine to ensure my upper body is more stable and in control when going over hurdles.  But my nutrition partners Myprotein.com have been sending me a lot of creatine monohydrate which seems to be helping my sprints, squats, snatches and other lifts in the gym massively. So although a few people have commented and asked why I’m 5kg heavier, it’s all functional and just designed to make me a more powerful athlete come London 2012, as well as looking good on the beach.

SNI: And has your nutrition changed at all to fuel the strength training and bigger physique, more calories perhaps? 

Dai: I tend to not count calories but I know that I eat far more than the average as during winter training periods I have to do so much training that I need huge volumes of food, often eating a couple of large carb based meals during the day. If ever I want something “bad” to eat then I will have it provided I don’t have much of it. This would mainly be a couple of biscuits or some chocolate. My meals are 95% spot on and are always very healthy.

 SNI: How do you prepare for a race, both mentally and in terms of nutrition?

Dai: Before a race I like to eat a meal with carbs (rice or pasta), small amount of veg and a small amount of protein (chicken or turkey) about 4 hours before I’m due to race. I do this so that I don’t feel too full when I’m competing. I also take sodium citrate and beta-alanine as buffering agents to help me cope with the lactic acid build up.  In the 400m hurdles, athletes take a set number of strides between each hurdle. I will mentally prepare by planning my race out a couple of hours before hand, checking weather conditions and wind direction to see which stride pattern would be best to use. After deciding on this I will play out the race in my head, going through the stride pattern I plan to use.

SNI:How much of a role does sports science play in your training? And are there any specific supplements you are using at the moment?

Dai: One supplement I’ve really come to love is the amino acid beta alanine; I really find this helps me fight fatigue and ensure I’m hitting the 9th hurdle with a good sprint finish in me still. Also, creatine has hugely helped me add about 7% onto my max lifts in the squat, snatch and bench as well as hugely improving my jumps and throws session. Then of course protein after every session just ensure my body has enough to repair ready for the next session.

SNI: What percentage would you say your success was talent and what percentage is hard work?

Dai: Talent means that you have the ability to be the best in the world but the hard work makes the difference. Everyone on the start line at a world final has talent, how else can you separate them.

 SNI: You are without doubt (and quite rightly so) the favourite going into to the London Olympics, how are you dealing with the pressure?

Dai: I try not to think about it too much, all I can guarantee is that I will give 100% every day from now until the games to ensure I am in the best condition to compete for a medal, hopefully that will be enough.

BIO – Born in Llanelli, Greene had his first success on the junior athletics circuit in 2005. He won the silver medal at the 2005 European Athletics Junior Championships, finishing with a personal best time of 51.14 seconds.

The 2009 outdoor season saw Greene making his first impact on the senior circuit. In June he set a meet record and a new personal best of 48.62 seconds to win the 400m hurdles at the Josef Odlozil Memorial in Prague. This was a significant improvement from his 2008 best of 49.58 seconds and made him top of the European rankings for the first time.

Competing for Team GB at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, Greene won his heat with a strong first round performance of 48.76 seconds. He followed this with a new personal best in the semi-finals, finishing in 48.27 seconds taking second place behind Bershawn Jackson.

However it was 2010 when Dai really made an impact on the world athletics stage as he stormed to victory to win Gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and later that year won Gold in the Continental Cup. Continuing his success Dai then took Gold at the European Championships in Barcelona and completed the perfect year winning the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, where he memorably overtook a strong field in the final 100m to claim victory. Now looking on to 2012, Dai is one of Britain’s best hopes of a medal at the London Olympics.  Dai Greene is sponsored by Myprotein.com, the UK’s number one online sports nutrition brand and supplier to many of Britain’s Olympians such as 100m backstroke world record holder Gemma Spofforth, Taekwondo Youth Olympic Gold Medallist Jade Jones and 11-time Paralympic gold medallist David Roberts.

 

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