Quentin Rew is an international race walker from New Zealand.
Quentin has been racing internationally for a number of years. Some particularly notable performances include a 24th place finish in the 2011 World Athletics Championships 50km walk, a 29th place finish in the 2012 Olympic Game’s 50km walk, and a seriously impressive 10th place finish in the 2015 World Athletics Championships 50km walk- in 3:48:48- a time that many of us would dream of finishing a marathon in!
We interviewed Quentin to find out more about him, his training, and his plans.
- Can you start us off by explaining, very briefly, what the rules of race walking are?
Just the same as running, except you must land with a straight knee, and keep it straight until the leg is vertical. You also must have one foot on the ground at all times – or at least appear to, to the naked eye.
- How long have you been race walking? What got you started?
Since the end of 2008. I got a chronic Achilles injury which ended my running career, and I found I wasn’t good at doing nothing! I missed the training and the racing, so a friend showed me how to race walk and that was that. The Achilles still flares up if I try any serious running, but race walking doesn’t affect it too badly.
- What do you think has been the single biggest game-changer in terms of your training?
There isn’t one single thing, it’s an accumulation of steady aerobic training over about 20 years, mixed with plenty of other diverse physical exercise.
- What is your favorite session?
It changes, but I like finishing a session knowing that I nailed it, and didn’t leave anything out there. It could be a 45km steady walk, or a shorter tempo session, or reps. The most consistently satisfying session is a flat out 10km tempo in the afternoon after a long walk in the morning.
- Do you have a least favorite session?
Exactly the same as above, but opposite – sometimes sessions just don’t click for whatever reason, which is frustrating.
- What do you think is the key to your success?
Being born into a life without war, hunger or poverty is a huge blessing that’s alarmingly rare throughout the world’s history, so I’m grateful every day for that. Without the basics there is no sport, and certainly no success.
- Is there anything that would surprise people about your diet?
I don’t eat anything blue. If it’s blue it isn’t natural. Before you ask, blue cheese is green and blueberries are purple.
- What is your favorite pre/post-workout snack/ meal?
Cornflakes before a workout and chocolate milk afterwards.
- What is your biggest vice?
- What races do you have lined up over the next few months?
50km in Mexico this weekend; World Cup 20km in Rome in May; 20 mile race in Canberra and a 20km race in Dublin in June; then the Olympic 20km and 50km races in August.
- You seem to travel a lot for races, and training, where is next on the list, and where is your favorite place to race/ train?
Aside from the races mentioned above, I have altitude training camps in Arizona and St. Moritz (Switzerland) this year. St. Moritz is my favourite place to train – it is absolutely beautiful.
- Have you got any advice for aspiring race walkers?
Become a good athlete first. Don’t specialise too young.