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track and field

Sprinter Michael Johnson Wants to Help You Get Fit Fast

Written on June 25, 2012 at 11:28 am , by

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Retired track star Johnson is still passionate about staying fit. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

We are in a running mood after the amazing Olympic trials this weekend. Did you catch Ashton Eaton’s record-breaking decathlon performance? How about the hurdling action by one of the July/August FITNESS cover models (and Olympic qualifier) Lolo Jones?

Sprinter Michael Johnson may have hung up his gold running shoes after winning four gold medals at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, but his love for health and fitness remains strong. He partnered up with GE to develop personalized workouts for a new Facebook app called “Healthy Share,” which encourages users to implement small changes in their lives to yield big results. The soon-to-be Track and Field Hall of Famer and Olympic commentator says the app thrives on a sense of community, because you can log your workouts and then share your results with Facebook friends.

He sat down with The Fit Stop to tell us some of the ways he stays motivated and the importance of setting goals.

Tell us about your new Facebook app.

It’s an app that people can use to help them with a healthy and active lifestyle. We give you a type of challenge and you share your health goals with friends. It creates accountability and helps them get some support from friends. You can get tips from me, too, using a challenge I created. We’re not trying to get people to do Olympics-style training—they’re simple and easy things to do to help them get started on a path to a healthy lifestyle.

What are some examples of the tips you share with users?

Things like stretching before exercising, simple exercises when you don’t have time and drinking more water, because it’s not just fitness but the nutritional side as well. It gets people started off easily because the idea of getting fit can be daunting for some people. You work them into your daily life to get started, then share those ideas and get help from friends so you can make it a part of your daily routine.

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5 Success Secrets From the World’s Speediest Woman, Carmelita Jeter

Written on June 13, 2012 at 9:15 am , by

Jeter after winning the 100 meter final at a 2011 event. (Photo courtesy of AFP Photo/Adrian Dennis)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Pump yourself up. Before a big race, she has eclectic music choices—including anything from Maroon 5 to Lil Wayne—depending on her mood.
  3. 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.”
  4. Don’t forget to eat. Jeter fuels her competitions with granola bars before and Muscle Milk protein drinks after.
  5. 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?