Q&A with Tom Walsh, New Zealand Olympian
07 May 2020
Nutrition, performance & adapting to global lockdowns.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on economies, jobs and health across the globe. Our normal way of life has changed beyond recognition, and the world of sport is no exception.
Multiple international leagues and competitions have been postponed in recent months, including the highly anticipated Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This unprecedented decision has upended the lives of athletes ahead of the most important event in their calendar, just as many were gearing up to hit their peak form.
As the world comes to terms with the decision, we spoke to shot putter Tom Walsh, Olympic bronze medal winner at Rio 2016 and one of New Zealand’s most successful field athletes, to find out how he reacted to the postponement.
As an athlete accustomed to international competition, spending so much time at home has presented unforeseen challenges. He also sheds light on the adjustments he has made to his daily routine, both physically and mentally, as well as tips for all of us on how to manage the current unknowns.
In the interview, Tom Walsh shares what his reaction was to the Tokyo Olympic Games being postponed and how COVID-19 has seen him adapt his daily routine.
"Like many athletes, I had expected the Tokyo Olympic Games to be postponed due to COVID-19, so it didn’t come as a surprise. I think the right decision was made to prioritise the health and safety of the public, the athletes, and Games staff.
I was still preparing for the possibility that the Games might still go ahead in the weeks before the announcement, but I’m glad we have clarity now." says Tom Walsh.
Tom adds, "Personal training outside of competitions has now become even more important in helping me to maintain my momentum and physique. At the minute, I don’t have access to the professional equipment and facilities in Christchurch I usually do, but I’m still putting in the time to ensure that my training remains as effective as possible. My day kicks off at 9 am for around three hours of training; 1½ hours of throwing, followed by a 1½ hour lift session and circuit training."
For breakfast, I'll often have a bowl of oats coupled with NZMP's ready-to-mix protein powder, berries, milk and honey.
Tom Walsh | New Zealand Olympic shot putter
"For breakfast, I’ll often have a bowl of oats coupled with NZMP’s ready-to-mix protein powder, berries, milk and honey. In the midmorning, I’ll have a protein shake snack with berries and oats, as well as a sandwich.
Lunch and dinner typically consist of a form of carbohydrate, protein and vegetables – two cups each – and I’ll top it off with a protein shake snack in the mid-afternoon, then the same portions again for dinner.
As you can tell, protein is a crucial component of my diet and makes it into all my meals!" shares Tom.