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?
Written by Kate Branciforte, editorial intern
It’s no doubt that it takes a special kind of woman to be a mother. Moms everywhere are some of the most inspiring women we know! And Lashinda Demus has given us a full cup of motivation mojo to sip on. In 2011, she captured the title of USA Track and Field Champion and set the American record in the 400-meter hurdles in 52.47 seconds. Oh, we should probably mention that she accomplished these goals after she gave birth to twins, lost the 50 pounds of baby weight she had on her 5’7” frame and overcame postpartum depression.
Six short weeks after giving birth, Demus was back on the track with her coach, training to get back into tip-top shape. But her coach isn’t your ordinary trainer. From the household to the track, 29-year-old Demus is taking hints from her mother, Yolanda Demus, another accomplished athlete who was a former NCAA 400-meter champion at California State University in Los Angeles.
We caught up with full-time mom, wife and 2012 Olympic-medal hopeful Lashinda Demus to find out how she clears the hurdles that come with being a crazy-busy parent.
Your journey from new mom to Olympic competitor is truly inspiring! How long did it take you to get back into elite shape after you gave birth?
A doctor typically advises mothers to wait six weeks before you do anything, but I thought I was Superwoman and decided to start training again four weeks after having the twins. I quickly came back down to reality; I really had to figure out how to run with my new body because everything that I was used to had changed. Even though I still moved forward with my training, I paid special attention to any body signals that I might be pushing too much. In total, it took me about nine months to get back to elite shape.
You also dealt with postpartum depression. Did training help you overcome this?
Actually, I was really depressed while I was pregnant, so the training after was more like an outlet of all these mixed emotions I had during my pregnancy. It helped me snap out of it and realize that I was getting something I’ve always wanted—a family. I didn’t have to make a choice between my career and being a mother. Relieving myself of that pressure changed my way of thinking, so in turn, I got so excited about bringing my two sons into the world.