Carmelita “The Jet” Jeter knows a lot about living life in the fast lane. As the world’s fastest woman, the sprinter is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and one of the most glam girls on the track. Jeter gave us the scoop on her speed training as well as her secrets for freshening up fast post-workout.
Let’s talk about how you got your start in athletics; was it always concentrated in track?
“No, it wasn’t. I grew up playing basketball. I didn’t start running track until I was a freshman in high school and it was pretty much because my coach wanted me to stay healthy and fit. So he was like ‘Go run track and keep yourself in shape.’ And I ended up going to masters as a freshman so I thought to myself ‘I’m going to stick with this.’ I’m sure he’s probably kicking himself right now!”
I’m sure! So in 2013 you tore your quad muscle but after just a few months you were able to compete and place top three in the world championship. How did you safely train during those months in order to compete?
“I tore my quad in May, and I went to a rehab center and I rehabbed four days a week. Then I was able to train, however, I couldn’t train as I normally would. I’m a power runner but I couldn’t be very powerful or very aggressive so my coach had to train me very differently. Basically, he tried to keep my fitness together as much as he possibly could and he said, ‘Whatever you have right now, we’re just going to take to the race and hopefully you can pull it off.’”
How were you able to keep your fitness and stamina up?
“Well, we have to do a lot around the track. So I would be doing a lot of 100s and 60 meters and 80 meters—everything would be fast and quick—but since I couldn’t be fast and quick, we had to do 400 meters and 800 meters—more of the long stuff to keep my fitness up. Since I couldn’t be powerful and pound the ground with my quad, we had to just keep going around the track.”
So as a professional athlete, what fitness tips do you have for the every day person who’s just trying to get in better shape?
“I would say my best fitness tips would be eating right and drinking lots of water. Some times people think that if they eat once a day they’ll lose weight. But really, they’d probably gain more weight because your body is trying to store that food that you eat one time. So a lot of people don’t know to have a lot of little snacks. Especially for people who work in an office, it’s good to keep an apple at your desk or some other fruit or trail mix or a granola bar. And every time you feel hungry, try to eat a little. And as for working out, try to do small things. Like if you work in a building that has stairs, put your tennis shoes on and take the stairs instead of an elevator. For lunchtime, walk to lunch instead of driving. And if you’re a person who works out a lot, I would say get your iPod and jog for 20 minutes.”
Speaking of food, you touched on diet. What kinds of foods do you incorporate into your diet to stay energized for such intense training?
“Well, I’m working with a chef and she’s giving me a lot of baked chicken breast, fish, all types of baked fish. I eat asparagus, broccoli and salads with only a little dressing on top. She’s really good at making sure my meals are not fatty and nothing is fried. Everything was baked in olive oil or lemon juice, and at first, I didn’t like it but after about a week, I could do it, but it took awhile. She also does brown rice with yams for flavoring but that’s pretty much how I eat.”
We know you’re glam. What beauty products are essential for you?
“When I compete I do wear makeup and that’s just because we’re always on TV. I definitely want to make sure I look like something when I’m on TV! I use a lot of different products—I use NARS lipstick, MAC Cosmetics foundation. I also like to use NARS Body Glow. I like to put that on when I’m running, because sometimes when I’m running at night, the light hits you so you get a little glitter going with the body bronzer. This year my hair was different. I wore Nike headbands. Usually, I have a really short haircut and that’s what I’m going to go back to next year.”
Why do you want to go back to short hair?
“That’s just me! It just represents me and it’s what everyone knows me as when my name’s on the screen. Everyone was walking past me when my hair was curly and was like ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t even recognize you!’ So I definitely want people to recognize me. People think I look totally different with longer hair. But I feel more powerful with my hair short; this is just a personal thing with me. I’m just a little more demanding of myself.”
Do you have any post-workout secrets to freshen up fast?
“Well the one thing I do is use baby wipes. I always keep baby wipes with me to wipe down my face, neck and arms and I always keep a change of shirt.”