This article originally appeared in The Daily Mail on Tuesday 22nd March, 2011.
ARE YOU AS FIT AS YOU WERE IN YOUR HEYDAY?
YES-ISH. Obviously my reference points are different than most people’s, but I go to the gym most days. But it’s messing about with the kids that I most like. The youngest is four – it’s the only reason I stay in training these days, so he can’t take me in a race until he’s at least 16!
DO YOU MISS THE BUZZ OF RACING?
I WAS in the doldrums for a while after my athletics career ended in 1992. I spent six to eight hours a day training, for 18 years, and it took a long time to get over the regret that I wasn’t competing in major championships any more. All I ever wanted to be was the best. But I find new projects and I keep things in perspective. Ever since I was a kid, whatever situation I was presented with, I always made the most of it.
DO YOU GET YOUR FIVE A DAY?
IF I’M honest, probably not. I tend to eat vegetables only when I’m with the kids and the rest of the time, I’m a bit slack. But, I am weight-conscious, so I concentrate on avoiding junk food.
WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST VICE?
I’M A banoffee pie man – that’s my real weakness – and I love winegums or red liquorice. I’ve got a sweet tooth and I have to work at keeping it in check.
ANY LINGERING INJURIES?
I DON’T even have a GP. I had a couple of recurring injuries during my athletics career, like pulling my hamstring, but nothing very serious. However, as I’m getting older, I think it’s prudent to have a big health check, which I’ll have this summer. Like most guys, I’ve been prevaricating for a couple of years.
DO YOU DRINK?
NOT really – I don’t think I’ve been drunk since the Eighties, that’s for sure.
POP ANY PILLS?
NO, I’VE always thought that provided you have a fairly well-balanced diet, you can get the vitamins you need from food.
WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST PHOBIA?
WELL, I’m not the biggest fan of needles and while I’m happy with one spider, I’m not sure I’d be happy with hundreds.
WOULD YOU EVER HAVE PLASTIC SURGERY?
IT’S not my thing, although I had laser surgery on my eyes in December 2009. The streetlights started going starry, so I knew I was on the road to wearing glasses and opted for laser surgery instead. The improvement in my eyesight has been fantastic.
WERE YOU NERVOUS?
NO – I asked the surgeon: ‘When are you starting?’ and he replied: ‘Just about finished, sir!’ I’ve got a pretty low pain threshold, too, so if you’re worrying it’s going to hurt, don’t.
DO YOU EVER GOOGLE HEALTH WORRIES?
NO, IN fact I’ve only just joined the 21st century and got an email address a week ago. I don’t even have my own computer.