Japan's Hirooki Arai was one of the main protagonists in the thriller that was the men's 50km race walk in Rio. The Olympic bronze medallist gives an insight into life as a race walker.

Championship tip

Whether it's an international or a domestic race, stay calm and do what you're normally accustomed to doing.

The 50km race walk is a long way, so know what you need to do and do what you need to do.

Tactical tip

My event is the 50km race walk. It's a long trip, so try not to over-pace yourself in the first half. Between the 30km and 40km mark, I look for the right moment to attack.

In race walking our walking form is checked by judges. I need to be aware of how they're judging my form.

Psychological tip

There are always highs and lows in athletics or in life. Even when you're at a low point, be consistent in your training and stay patient. It will pay off down the line.

Coaching tip

Hmm... the 50km is a survival race, you tough it out! Survive the battle and win. If you continue to work hard, that opportunity is sure to come. Never give up, be patient and stay patient. 

Technical tip

Race walking is technical. I am fortunate to have coaches and support staff around me to shoot my walking form on video.

They film my training, and give me feedback on my form. From their feedback, I give thoughts to them and try to make adjustments on my form. Their advice helps in the long run.  

The 50km race walk podium in Rio (Getty Images)

Driving tip

I recently bought a Mazda RX8, but haven't had the chance to drive much in it.

And yes, I have race walked more kilometres than I've driven in my new car!

Tip for surviving a long training camp

Be sure to turn your "switch" ON or OFF. You train when you need to train, but rest when you need to rest. Get lots of sleep.

Make sure you try the local dishes. Each city or region around the world has their unique cuisine that you must try. Eat a lot, sleep a lot and train a lot.

Cooking tip

Sunny side up (for eggs). If you're hungry for some sunny side-up eggs let me know.

Fashion tip

Just be yourself. If you have an official uniform, wear it [note: Hirooki's club is the Physical Training Academy of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force]. You'll look great and they'll love it.

Vacation tip

I am from Nagano, the host city of the Nagano Winter Olympic Games in 1998. Nagano is famous for its beautiful scenery and nature, famous for its apples, grapes, chestnuts. My parents are apple farmers, too. You really should visit Nagano [ok, we're going].  

Social media tip

I am a social media novice, and haven't been posting much until now. But to generate more interest toward race walking ahead of Tokyo 2020, I will be posting a bit more, so make sure you check my posts.

Dating tip

I'm currently single. But I don't need to stay single, of course. Someone who's a good, understanding caring friend and a good cook, can fill this spot [laughs].