Nick Symmonds ()Nick Symmonds () © Copyright

Welcome to Nick's world

US middle-distance star Nick Symmonds is a five-time US 800m champion and a world silver medallist. But what does he do all day?

"I normally wake up for an average training day at around 7am and one of my favourite things to do when I first get up is to run through my emails and check Twitter. I also like to catch up with the news.

"It normally takes me an hour to an hour-and-a-half to fully wake up and I like a strong coffee to help me reach that state. I like to feel light when I run, so I’ll often just eat either a bowl of cereal or a piece of fruit for breakfast and I won’t eat anything else until lunchtime.

"I often start my first training session of the day at about 10-10.30am. Each Monday and Wednesday, I’ll run seven miles followed by lifting in the gym. A Tuesday and Thursday's training consists of a tempo run or long intervals of about ten miles. Including warm-up, cool-down, stretching and drills, the session will total around two hours.

"After my light breakfast, I’m often starving so I’ll take on a massive lunch of around 2000 calories. I try to eat between 4000-5000 calories a day, which is difficult to achieve given most of it comes from effectively two meals a day.

"A typical lunch for me would be a big sandwich, some chips [or crisps for British readers], fruit and maybe a Dr Pepper or another coffee – something to keep me going through the afternoon.

"My afternoons are filled with either writing – I’m currently working on a book – learning Spanish, or reading books. I try to stay off my feet as much as possible. I view this four or five-hour period before my second session of the day as an opportunity to get some work done and I try to be as productive as I can.

"I see my job as not just to run but to grow the business and the brand and these are the perfect hours to do this. One of my goals is to perfect my Spanish. I train each year in Mexico for around a six-week period, although because my time in Spanish speaking countries is so irregular, I often feel like I take two steps forward and one back with my language skills.

"I also like to read. I’m more of a non-fiction fan, although if someone recommends a good novel I can get lost in the book.

"My evening session starts around 5pm and usually consists of a 30 minute run or 30 minute swim. I swim three days a week and find it really benefits me to use this as a form of exercise. For me, it accomplishes two things; it expands my lung capacity and it loosens up my muscles. I also feel so much better for it. After I’ve gone for a swim, I feel I bounce back much quicker in training the next day. I probably swim just over a mile in the 30 minutes.

"I’ll then head back for dinner. I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so I’ll have a cut of meat with potatoes, pasta and a carb-rich meal. The one dietary rule I have is to have a colourful plate. I like salad with lots of diverse food, like fruits and cheeses. If the plate is all brown, it is not a good sign!

"I have a terrible sweet tooth, but I often find I can satisfy with a little bite of dark chocolate.

"I try not to work after dinner, although I’m a little bit of a workaholic, so that is tough. If I can relax for a couple of hours, I watch a movie or read a book. I abhor getting up to an alarm, so I try to get to bed at 10-10.30pm, which allows me around nine hours of sleep."