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Nick Willis’ Key to Longevity, Olympic Medals and Remarkable Career Thus Far

“Love what you do. What I love the most about running is not the racing. It’s not the workouts. It’s getting out onto a trail and discovering new places to run with people. The beauty of being a  distance runner is that I get to do that for 90% of my training. The rest is just the top. Find what you love to do and it will be easier to go for much longer as well. Sure, there are the physical components but ultimately luck has a lot to play. I listen to some podcast with Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki talking about it. They had more luck than Yao Ming. He had to retire at 26. They were able to keep going. They loved the process. Deep down, I love running and it just so happens that running gets me fit. I have the genes to be able to turn that fitness into being able to perform at a pretty high level.”
Nick Willis sits down in New York City for a long-awaited conversation to look back at his remarkable career thus far. In this episode, we’ll go through everything from growing up in Lower Hutt, New Zealand and his start in athletics with his brother, Steve, to his recent streak of 18 consecutive years of breaking four minutes for the mile.
More in this episode:
  • Nick’s early interest in skateboarding and then finally turning the page to track and field
  • Arriving at Michigan after the Alan Webb hype and the start of his relationship with coach Ron Warhurst
  • His wife’s development as a coach
  • Breaking the New Zealand 1,500 meter record in 2005 and the start of his professional career
  • Losing his passport and rookie mistakes of his first professional year
  • Being a student of the sport even now by reading about track and field greats
  • Get in Nick’s shoes for the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic 1,500-meter final
  • Thoughts on Rashid Ramzi, Asbel Kiprop and competing against dirty athletes
  • Drowning out the skepticism and dark cloud of the sport’s problems of doping
  • Theory of longevity (via Spikes Mag): Sleep, Patience and Having his family with him
  • 2020 and how much longer he could keep going


Lots of wisdom shared in this episode. Enjoy.

Support for this episode comes from Stryd. They’re helping ensure that you nail the perfect pacing strategy so you can keep a consistent effort in challenging conditions – all in real-time. I’m digging all the data that it’s collecting and you’ll see a bunch of people wearing them on their shoes at the US Olympic Marathon Trials. Learn more by visiting STRYD.COM/CITIUS

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