With less than 80 days until athletes start their journey in the London Olympics, it’s full-blown red, white and blue love here in the office. So when the opportunity to chat with three-time Olympian Misty May-Treanor arose, we simply couldn’t say no (and who would want to?). May-Treanor is working with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America on the Ditch the Drip campaign, educating allergy sufferers around the globe on how to get (and stay!) healthy when pollen season kicks into high gear. An allergy-sufferer herself, May-Treanor has learned to pay attention to her environment, both on and off the court, to make sure her performance is always top notch.
We caught up with the beach volleyball pro, who is teammates with Kerri Walsh, about how she fights those pesky allergies and what she’s most looking forward to about this year’s Olympic Games.
Suffering from allergies when your job is to play a sport outdoors must be challenging. How do you deal with it all?
It’s really important that I take preventative measures. As I was getting older, I finally realized that every time the pollen picks up I would start to get all of the usual symptoms—a lot of sneezing, runny eyes and nose, etc. I’m traveling to a lot of different environments for work, so now I make sure that I’m prepared beforehand.
What type of preventative measures do you take?
I’ll take medicine if necessary and that will clear it up. But beforehand, I look more at the climate. If it’s going to be a problem, then I make an appointment with the doctor to make sure I’m taking any steps possible to make sure I won’t be affected drastically.
How do you feel going into the Olympics? Do you feel like a high standard has been set, or do you feel more relaxed?
Kerri might tell you differently, but we’ve proven the type of players and team that we are, so I don’t feel like we have anything to prove. But at the same time, we set our own standards high because we want to be the best. We put so much pressure on ourselves to excel because we want to be the players that we know that we know we can be.
With more career wins than any other female volleyball player, Misty May-Treanor is a pro at getting her body in top shape. With less than 100 days until the London Games, she chatted with us in between competitions to share her nutrition tips and favorite fueling recipes, and told us about a fun opportunity for you to learn volleyball from none other than the champ herself.
What do you eat to fuel up before a big game? What do you eat after?
As an athlete, it’s important to watch what you eat. I eat meals throughout the day, so I carry foods that help sustain energy. I eat a lot of sandwiches and try to be conscious of eating carbs and protein. I try to eat every couple of hours. I like sandwiches with whole wheat/grain and use pickles or cucumbers for moisture instead of mayo or mustard. I like having chicken or turkey breast sandwiches right after working out. Some other sandwich combinations that I love are:
- Tuna with sprouts, tomatoes, lettuce and red onions
- Roast beef with avocado and red onions
Do you have any go-to healthy meals or snacks?
Since I try to eat every few hours, if I feel like I need a little extra after a meal, I’ll have a piece of fruit or add more vegetables to my lunch to stay fuller. When I’m home I like to have almond butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches. They’re easy to make and kids love them, too.
How does your diet change when you start training for competitions?
I think diet needs to be a constant routine, so I don’t stray so much. But you need to give yourself some sort of leeway—if you want a brownie once in a while, then you can have one. But it takes discipline and it’s easier to stay on top of it than play catch up later on. It’s all about having a healthy lifestyle.
Do you have any techniques or mantras to get your more motivated, especially on off days?
I try to live life to the fullest and live in the present. What keeps me motivated is wanting to constantly get better. I want to keep improving. [As gold medalists,] we have a huge target on our back and competitors are trying to bring us down, so that always keeps me wanting to do better.
You’ve teamed up with Arnold and Oroweat Bread to give one lucky person a private training clinic. Do you have any special tips for people wanting to learn or get better at volleyball?
The person that wins this contest will get a taste of the lifestyle that I lead. Have fun, get out there and play, even if you don’t know all the rules.
How to Enter The Arnold and Oroweat Bread Slice of Gold Contest: Submit your original healthy sandwich recipe on Facebook to enter for a chance to win a private volleyball clinic with Misty May Treanor!