Who am I?
- Name: TJ Ossai
- Age Group: M40
- Nationality: UK
- Event (s): 60M/100M/200M
- When did I start Athletics: 2001
- Pre Masters PBs 6.99/10.79 (10.66W)/21.93
- Masters PBs 6.97/10.85/10.58W/21.75
What is your biggest accomplishment as a ‘master-athlete’ so far? And how did/does it make you feel?
My biggest accomplishment as a master athlete would be my most recent World Championships golds at Perth, Australia. It was the first time I had to defend a title and presented a pretty unique challenge in itself. As a winner the world expects you to win and nothing less is good enough. There is a feeling of euphoria when winning. It becomes a need.
Why do you still compete? What keeps you motivated?
I do get asked why I still compete. I compete because I can challenge myself to achieve certain goals. It’s an excuse to train and have a focus. My job requires me to spend most of my time in an exercise environment. After work the last thing I want to do is be in that same environment. However with a clear focus or challenge this becomes an opportunity
How do you balance life and athletics?
I find that we generally make time to do things we love to do. Athletics is a very serious hobby for me. I have to be very organized running a business with several hundred people relying on our services as well as trying to be the best in the world at my sport.
I’m blessed to be doing a job that allows me to train to a good level. I work in the health and fitness industry doing personal training, coaching and other rehabilitation roles. This means that its easier for me to sneak in a training session here and there.
What would you like to see happen to improve Masters Athletics as a sport?
Masters athletics is fantastic opportunity for older athletes to compete amongst their age peers. We are elite in our own right. It is probably more difficult for master athletes to combine general life and work with sport.
Firstly it usually takes us longer to recover from training, especially with added stresses of family life, bills etc. We are real Masters!
We constantly travel around the world to represent our country with pride. It would be great to have the support to do this by our federation.
You have some athletes doing great things in the sport for our country without much acknowledgement. That for me is a real shame.
When is your next master’s competition, Target?
My next competition is at the World Indoor Championships in Daegu, from 20th March – 27th March 2017. The last time I competed at the World Indoor Championships in Budapest, I finished a disappointing fourth place. My aim this time is to far exceed that.
What is your diet like?
I eat what I enjoy and that’s generally healthy foods. My knowledge of nutrition allows me to understand the value of balancing my macro and micro nutrients to sustain my active lifestyle. As an athlete recovery is paramount. The general consensus is that older athletes recover slower than younger athletes. Therefore we must fuel our bodies adequately to aid recovery. I ensure my plate has a good balance of colours signifying the nutrient presence.
I supplement with added proteins, vitamins and electrolytes.
- Considerations for being an older athlete?
What is a typical training week for you? (Winter or Summer)
Typically I train 4 days a week, of which two are high intensity and the other two more lower tempo. Weight training two to three times weekly.
What one or two things do you currently do in your training that is key to your success?
A couple of things I do in my training that are key to my success are:
- Drills and efficiency training
- Weight training
Do you have any recommended resources to share (books, seminars, websites)?
I can recommend the NSA (New Studies in Athletics) website for new research articles
What was the best advice you were ever given?
Over the years I have received several tips and advice, some very good ones. The one that I still use today was told to me by a teacher at school. “If it can be done, do it!”
Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
My favourite motto today is “Focus on the process”
Where can people follow you? (Links to social media etc)
Anything else you’d like to share?