Track-and-field star Allyson Felix is so ridiculously fast, just watching her run leaves us breathless. Her fast and furious pace (ahem, with a personal best in the 400 meter of 49.26) has earned her a spot at the Olympics three times running. And now, the four-time Olympic gold medalist hopes to add two more to her trophy case at the Rio Games.
The road to Rio hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the 30-year-old frontrunner, though. After a serious hamstring injury back in 2013 and an ankle injury this past April, Felix says she’s grateful to even have a shot at competing in the 400-meter and 4×400-meter in Rio. Still, she’s coming in as a favorite, and is more determined than ever to shatter records in both events.
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As she adjusts to life in Rio and makes her final preparations for the Games, Felix caught up with Daily Burn to talk about how she has recovered from her injuries, her plans for setting new records and her recent partnership with Bounty, one of the athlete’s key sponsors. (Proctor & Gamble, which owns Bounty, is also a sponsor of the 2016 Olympic Games.) Read on to hear Felix’s take on the best thing to eat pre-race, the evolution of her training, and the surprising tools you’d find in her gym bag.
Meet Olympic Sprinter Allyson Felix
On the Olympic experience, take three…“[I plan to] embrace it and take it all in! It’s been a difficult year with some ups and downs, so I’m really grateful to be in Rio. I want to take in the whole experience and cherish it.”
On the evolution of her training… “As I’ve gotten more experienced, I’ve been able to adjust my workout. For example, I’ve revamped my weight program. As I learn about my body more, I see what works and I’m able to change things as needed.”
On rehabbing her hamstring… “I’m doing a lot of treatment and therapy. I’m really just staying on top of what I need to do!”
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“I try not to make the moment bigger than it is. Just be calm and do what I’ve always done.”
On keeping up with training while traveling…“I love using the Nike+ Training Club app. They have a lot of workouts you can do in small spaces that don’t require a lot of equipment.”
On staying calm and managing pressure…“I try not to make the moment bigger than it is. Just be calm and do what I’ve always done.”
On the last meal before a race…“I try not to change anything too much. I typically eat grilled salmon, brown rice and broccoli for dinner.”
On “good luck” rituals…“I’m not superstitious — but my mom gave me a cross necklace, and I feel like I always have to have it when I compete. My mom and I always talk and pray together before I compete as well.”
On what’s in her gym bag… “I have a lot of tools for stretching like a softball, stretch rope and lacrosse ball for my feet. And, I also have some lip gloss and moisturizer.”
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On the next few weeks…“Other than the competition, I’m looking forward to the Opening Ceremony. It’s amazing, and I love how the culture is always infused. I’m excited to experience that.”
On life after Rio…“[I plan to] take a vacation somewhere and just stay away from the track. I’ll do something fun and not running related!”
On overcoming obstacles…“Make small goals, create a plan and go after it. You should go after whatever you’re passionate about. Don’t focus only on the end goal, but embrace the process and enjoy growing and everything that gets you where you need to go.”
For Felix, her lifestyle is all about being quick — from on the track to at home. Despite her record-breaking pace, Felix is just like us and makes a mess or two in between cooking meals and workouts. That’s why she’s partnered with Bounty for the Rio Olympics — the brand that helps her pick up messes in record time.
To track Allyson Felix’s Olympic journey in Rio, follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For all major track and field updates from Team USA, visit teamusa.org. The Olympics begin on August 5, and the first track and field event is on Friday, August 12.