Q & A with Quentin Rew

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. What is your favorite pre/post-workout snack/ meal?

Cornflakes before a workout and chocolate milk afterwards.

  1. What is your biggest vice?

Sugar.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Have you got any advice for aspiring race walkers?

Become a good athlete first. Don’t specialise too young.

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