This is what Thomas Barr eats on race day, compared to a regular training day
The European Championship bronze medallist is on top of every aspect of his race preparation.
Thomas Barr remembers the Olympic Village canteen food almost as much as his stunning semi and final 400-metre hurdle runs in Rio. In the days after his excellent fourth-place finish, the sprinter ate like a lord.
"Oh yeah," he tells SportsJOE, "the diet went out the window after the final. Pizzas, chocolate mousse, cakes; the whole lot."
Barr admits there were a few beers to wash it all down. Having smashed the national 400m record twice in the space of three memorable days and came within thousandths of a second of a podium spot, Barr had more than earned the blow-out.
That blow-out may be even more epic after Barr's bronze medal run in the European Championships, in Berlin, on August 9. His season's best time of 43.81 meant he was Ireland's first ever sprint medallist in the competition's history.
We caught up with Barr to get an idea of his diet and training routines. He says:
"Your diet is important to keep you charged, your body fuelled, and to ensure your energy levels don't crash. The most important thing I'd say is to keep it balanced."
REGULAR TRAINING DAY DIET
Breakfast: 3 or 4-egg omlette with peppers, spinach, cheese and a slice of brown toast.
Snack [11-12]: Yoghurt, fruit and some nuts. "Protein is key here," says Barr. "I used to have three big meals but I now have six or seven smaller meals with plenty of carbs thrown in over the day when I'm on a strength [training] cycle."
Lunch: Vegetable or chicken soup. Brown bread sandwich [chicken or ham & cheese] with lettuce.
Snack: Glass of milk. Nuts. Slice of toast.
Dinner [after training]: Salmon or chicken fillet with green vegetables [spinach, broccoli], carrots and either sweet potato or rice.
Bedtime snack: Glass of milk or a chicken sandwich.
RACE DAY DIET
"This often depends on the time of the race but, with Rio, that was an early afternoon run. I usually eat a lot of carbs the day before but snack very lightly on race day. You want to give yourself that fuel but I can't take too much on board."
Breakfast: Porridge. Small portion of vegetables and a piece of bacon.
Snack: Fruit and nuts or cereal bar.
Snack: Isotonic drink.
Dinner: "It all depends on whether there is another race coming up. Usually it would be chicken with pasta and vegetables or a slice of pizza. As small treats, I'd often have a square of dark chocolate or a few jellies as it is good to get the sugar levels back up."