This summer marked another milestone in the career of sprinter Jarryd Dunn when he was called up to the Team GB 4x400m relay squad for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
He started life as a middle distance runner but has excelled since dropping down in distance, temporarily holding the track record for the 400m after winning the British University and Colleges outdoor title at the test event for the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.
In 2015, the 24-year-old helped Great Britain to 4x400m relay bronze at the World Championships in Beijing and has his eyes on the next edition in London next year.
But what fuels this sprinter in his quest for fast times? And does he consider himself a dab hand in the kitchen?
What is a regular breakfast for you?
Cereal so something like porridge oats although it’s about a 50-50 balance with carbs and protein. So it would be milk as that’s probably the best protein you can have, and oats. I also like a green tea as well.
I train in the mornings so breakfast is important for that. And then lunch will be another protein as being a sprinter it’s important to get plenty of that. It will probably be a chicken breast and salad – something that you can get on board quickly but tastes pretty good as well.
Dinner is pretty similar to lunch. It depends on the day, although Thursday is my cheat day so I’m allowed to push things a little bit. So normally Thursday would be a pizza. In general though, it’s important to get lots of carbs and veg in and also protein so tuna or steak for that one.
Does your food routine change for a competition day?
When it comes to my competition, I’m quite meticulous, I will plan everything out. I will write the time of my race and then what time my call up and warm up will be. I plan everything backwards from my race so my eating times will be a little bit different on competition days. On a normal day, I will eat at 8am in the morning and then I’ll have lunch at 1pm and an evening meal at 6pm. But if I’m racing, I will work everything backwards from the race so that I’m eating and giving my body sufficient time to digest things for the race. I don’t really change what I’m eating on a competition day though, I don’t have any superstitions.
What’s your guilty food?
Like I said earlier, I love a good pizza on cheat days. My topping of choice has got to be pepperoni every time.
Three dinner guests of choice…
Sir Chris Hoy would be one, he’s a legend. There are not many athletes I idolise but you see what he’s done and he’s up there. The same for Roger Federer as well, the longevity he has enjoyed is something special. You never see him in the press for the wrong reasons, you respect what he’s done. And finally, I would invite my mum Tracey. She’s the one who has supported me the most and got me to this stage in my career.
And if you were cooking for one special person in particular?
Someone is going to come off worse here, out of my mum or my girlfriend! I can’t choose! Although I would cook spaghetti bolognaise for both of them. I would make it all from scratch, put quite a bit of garlic in and then pack it full of vegetables so peppers, sweetcorn, that sort of thing.