Each month we’re getting to know a professional athlete an ‘oat’ lot better! This month we’re catching up with 400mH Athlete - Jason Harvey!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am 25 years old full time athlete, living in Loughborough England for my second year. I am training with Niall Flannery, Tom Burton, Megan Beasley and Carline Muir all of which have represented their countries over the past few years. Most either number 1 or 2 in the country.
I have played a number of sports up until I decided to focus on Athletics in 2009. I used to be a UK champion in the High Jump sharing the Youth NI record of 2.04m. I competed as a multi eventer and was also a UK medallist under age. I then focused on 400m from 2008 become part of the Irish Junior Record holding team in 4x400 in the World Junior Championships. Following on I started competing in 400mh in 2011 accidently after my coach at the time thought it was the right thing to do after an up and down season over the 400m. I have won several silver medals in the 400mh and am currently ranked 3rd in the All-time list in Ireland behind Thomas Barr and Tom McGurk.
How did you get involved in running / athletics?
My mum is now retired but was a PE teacher in Strathearn School. My dad was also a big rugby player in his day getting onto the Irish Schools team to tour Australia. My mum was a huge athletics fan and hockey but she wanted us to enjoy our sports so let us do whatever we wanted. Probably one of the main reasons I did multi events as well. My sisters and I were always so competitive as they did athletics at an underage level. So we have been such a sporty family I was always going to keep up running.
What did/do you like to hear from the side-lines when you are competing? How did it make you feel to receive this support?
I was a bit of a showman, whenever I did High Jump I always go the crowd clapping and wanted to be centre of attention. It made me so happy and motivated me to do well. So I never really heard much more than claps and the odd name chant. But it always made me feel great inside that other people were so happy for me.
What is your advice for any young people looking to get involved in running/athletics?
I would say do EVERYTHING, run, jump, throw, swim, play others sports as they also help with Athletics. Running is the corner stone to all sports but they also come in handy with hand eye coordination, balance and much more. So I say do it, enjoy it and keep being competitive. But most of all HAVE FUN!
What is the best piece of advice a coach has ever given you?
Run fast and turn left.
How do you fuel up ahead of a big race – how important is a healthy diet to you?
I would tend to be careful what I eat, it depends on race timings and when my race is. I would normally go for a morning smoothie, oats, protein, bananas, raspberries, Yoghurt and milk. It tends to tick me over nicely. I would tend to grab a sandwich and have a lot of water around to sip on.
If I am racing in the evening I would then get a bigger carb loaded lunch, pastas, bread etc just to keep the sugar levels up maybe a Jaffa cake or bar. Then I would wait until after my race to fuel up with protein and more water to keep going for the next round if it’s the next day.
What way do you have your oats?
Two ways, in a smoothie or just porridge.
What’s your favourite porridge topping?
Probably a sweetened yoghurt and some raspberries.
CLICK HERE to download Paul's Q&A responses!
CLICK HERE to download Kerry's Q&A responses!
CLICK HERE to download Christine's Q&A responses!