I asked Rafal Augustyn from Poland in June if we could meet up for an interview in Warsaw as I was there but both our schedules did not allow us to meet so I thought to ask him via email and he accepted to answer a few of my questions before the World Championships in London and he found the time in between a doping test, accreditation and workout to respond to some questions.
Rafal I know there are many people out there who are very curious about you. So please tell us a few things!
1. I like to know what is your favourite animal and why?
My favourite animal is the Kangaroo because I came to like during my travels in Australia.
2. You are competing in London tomorrow (August, 13th), what do you think about women racing 50km?
50km for women is a big thing, if they want to race they shall start. I personally think, that they did not have enough time to prepare since the notice of the IAAF really late, therefore not many women could entered the race.
3. How do the days before the WC look like for you?
The last days before the World Championships concentrate on the start, calm warm ups and gather and charge energy. I listen to music and do not think about the competitions the whole time.
4. What do you have for breakfast and do you eat before you work out in the morning?
Breakfast is for me a fundamental and important meal. It varies though, sometimes. In principal a yogurt with honey, whole grain bun or dark bread with yellow cheese or ham and tea always with it. In addition a little of good marmalade , this before long and tiring workouts in the morning. If there are shorter workouts then sometimes scrambled or fried eggs sometimes.
5. How does a normal day look like for you?
A normal day is different from a day I await for a start. If I have enought time until a start then I find something to do always. I do not like to laze around . I find something to do all the time at home or while on a trip.
6. How do you stay motivated during the race?
Motivation and perseverance during the race is my rather strong side. I am mentally strong and I do not get distracted throughout the race. I am looking forward although I am aware what is going on around me.
7. Does your wife goes to each competition?
My wife is not always with me on the races. I am glad when she comes, helps me out and supports me during the races. However it is now always possible because of her job.
8. What motivates you to keep racewalking?
Thanks to racewalking I met fantastic people all over the world. That is one reason and I continuously meet new ones. The most important fact is that I improved and walk faster each year.
9. This year you are the third best racewalker in the world. Do you think you will be in the Top 3 in London?
I know I worked hard for the result. I also know that a few competitors this year wont start who have stronger results. I will give everything to make it until the end and I I hope that it gives me at he highest possible place at the finish.
10. Do you think you are different from the other racewalkers?
Good question. Many people tell me that I look like a fitness coach something I hear all the time. Because of that I am a bit different. Natuarally I am very muscular without having spent time at the gym. On one side it is benefically on the other though I lose a bit. That is how I am.
11. How many km did you walk in a 2016?
Working out towards 50km you have to march quit a lot. Weekly on a taining camp I walk 180-190km not more other than that 120 – 140km. Before a competition even less. This sums up to some lovely thousands of kilometers. One is for sure, I wear out many shoes.
12. Do you have a secret you follow to be a successful racewalker?
The secret is an honest and conscientious workout. I don’t cheat during the workout. You can fool the coach but not yourself. Conscientiousness and rest is the foundation.
Rafal thanks a lot for your time and good luck for London!
Dziekuje bardzo i mam nadzieje ze ci sie uda w Londynie!
Thanks to Giovanni Reno for some of the pictures.
Interview in Polish
- I like to know what is your favourite animal and why?
- You are competing in London next weekend, what do you think about women racing 50km?
- How do the days before the WC look like for you?
- What do you have for breakfast and do you eat before you work out in the morning?
- How does a normal day look like for you?
- How do you stay motivated during the race?
- Does your wife goes to each competition?
- What motivates you to keep racewalking?
- This year you are the third best racewalker in the world. Do you think you will be in the Top 3 in London?
- Do you think you are different from the other racewalkers?
- How many km did you walk in a 2016?
- Do you have a secret you follow to be successful racewalker?
I have asked others to answer some questions but my timing was terrible, should have done it months ago, not last week when everybody is getting race ready.
I’ll bring more “interviews” after the stress of the World Championships is over.