They're not just the fastest and strongest people in the world. Athletes can excel off the track, too. Following on from the running parliamentarian, world 1500m medallist Johan Cronje tells us about his typical day as a dutiful dad, elite runner and investment specialist. 

5am grind

"I have a young baby, Daniel, who was born in May 2013 so my day starts when he wakes up, which can be anywhere between 5-6am. I take him out of the cot, play with him a little bit and then get prepared for my first run of the day at just after 6am.

"Rather than drive to a specific venue to start my run, which takes time, I like to start my run straight out of the house. I’m lucky in that I live close to open fields. I run anywhere between 8-16km on a morning, but never for more than one hour.

"The nanny will then arrive at about 7am and my wife Claire, who is a teacher, will leave for school. I will head out to work a little later.

"I’m an investment specialist, where I work for a company that does a lot of consulting work for financial advisors. I market an investment platform, but I also do a lot of relationship building with the clients, so a lot of my work is very social and I often meet the clients at either a coffee shop or in their office at around 8.30am."

Cronje SPIKES ()

Summer job: After 11 years of hurt, Cronje cracked it in Moscow. Read his inspiring story here.

Evening work

"I normally return home to change for training at about 4.50-5pm and I’ll be at the track for a training session by 5.15pm. Depending on the length of the session I’ll often be at home by no later than 7pm.

"Whoever is least tired between my wife and I will then feed and bath Daniel. I’ll then have a little play with my son and he will go down to bed at around 9pm – maybe a little later.

"My week has become a little more complicated because my work responsibility has increased. I’m now expected to see some clients on an evening outside of my hometown of Bloemfontein. I plan my week so I’m on the road every Wednesday and Thursday."

Troubled slumber

"I should probably go to bed myself, but I like to relax by maybe watching a series or two on TV. I rarely go to bed before 11pm. I get used to the lack of sleep, although I find I’m at my most exhausted between 3-5pm.

"There will be days when it is harder to find the time to run, so I’ll fit in my harder sessions on a Monday-Tuesday and then on a Friday-Saturday. I find my days are fine, so long as I’m organised. I can’t afford to wing it."