NZ Herald Olympics Banner

Nick Willis training harder than ever ahead of Rio Olympics

Nick Willis has his eyes on the Olympics and John Walker's mile record in 2016. Photo / Getty
Nick Willis has his eyes on the Olympics and John Walker's mile record in 2016. Photo / Getty

New Zealand middle distance runner Nick Willis says he's getting in the most training he's ever done as he prepares for his fourth Olympics later in the year.

Willis, who won silver at the 2008 1500m final in Beijing, has been back in Wellington from his Michigan home for the Christmas break and has taken on the Arthur Lydiard training method of completing almost 100 miles (161 km).

Willis has been running 90 miles a week with a day off as he begins preparations for the Rio Olympics in August.

"I'm getting in the most training I've ever done before and I'm not injured. That's really all I have to report so far...Right now is the most unglamorous part of training where you're putting in the hard work and not getting any notable reward for your work but hopefully it will pay off down the line," Willis told Brenton Vannisselroy on the Radio Sport Summer Breakfast this morning.

"I've been quite injury prone in the early parts of my career. I've had three quite significant surgeries just after the Beijing Olympics in successive year. It's only just after reaching my 30s that suddenly I've had such a good continuous bout of health that has allowed me to put in what I've though was a real man's training as opposed to making the most of the talent I had without really being able to put in the real work."

"It's been really fun but you're a lot more tired all the time but when the race season comes around it does make your recovery that much better. You do finish the race and you don't feel that tired at all and you're ready to get going again."

Willis said an Olympic year is just like any other in his sport but it brings more support.

"This will be my fourth Olympics coming up and each year there are a World Championship or a Commonwealth Games or an Olympics so it's somewhat you're going through the motions but it makes it a bit more exciting from an outsider's perspective so you get a little but more support from other who may not be paying attention to your sport otherwise."

Listen to the full interview with Nick Willis

Willis will complete his New Zealand training in Wanaka over the coming weeks before racing in three meets across the country in January and February. Following his home stint he'll head back to the United States for the indoor season.

The 32-year-old had another strong year in 2015 beating his 1500m personal best with a time of 3:29.66 at a meet in Monaco in July but he says he has his sights on John Walker's mile record (3:49.08) this year.

Willis says he'll hopefully have an opportunity to break that record in June in Oslo, the same city Walker set the New Zealand record in 1982.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 26 Aug 2016 05:17:14 Processing Time: 521ms