With U.S. Olympic Team track and field trials just steps away (they begin on June 21), the competition is heating up. Still, for one of the country’s greatest runners, she’s not worried about the sprinters in the other lanes. “My biggest competition is myself. I am the only one who will get in the way of winning the gold. It is up to me to deliver in London,” says Carmelita Jeter, who has posted the second fastest time in the 100 meters ever (behind only Florence Griffith Joyner, who passed away in 1998).
Now, in full training mode—and kicking around in her signature hot pink Nike Free 3.0 sneaks when she’s not wearing her racing flats—Jeter is ready to make her way to the podium. Here are her top five tips for getting into speedy shape, staying motivated and taking advantage of days off.
- Put in the time. Jeter lifts weights for two hours a day, and then hits the track for another two hours. Four or five days a week, she’s training for about four hours a day. “I know what it takes to be a great athlete and I constantly push myself to be better,” she says.
- Pump yourself up. Before a big race, she has eclectic music choices—including anything from Maroon 5 to Lil Wayne—depending on her mood.
- Visualize success. When the gun goes off, Jeter doesn’t let distracting thoughts sidetrack her success. “I try to think about executing a great race,” she says. “I can hear my coach’s voice in my head telling me to swing my arms and drop my chin.”
- Don’t forget to eat. Jeter fuels her competitions with granola bars before and Muscle Milk protein drinks after.
- Reward yourself. Just like many of us, she pampers herself after a week of hard work. “On rest days, I like to rest and relax on the sofa and watch Lifetime network. If I’m not doing that, I’m at the nail salon getting a mani and a pedi, or getting my hair done,” Jeter says.
Now tell us: What is your favorite rest day splurge?