I was able to interview one of the greats of track & field Allyson Felix a while back in California. Allyson talks race visualisation and training...
John: What do you focus on when warming up? Allyson: Once I actually get onto the track, I’m really focused on technique and what I need to do during each phase of my race. I have a little routine that triggers where my focus needs to be.
John: And those little things would be? Allyson: Like coming out of the blocks, I know I need to be driving and being very powerful and aggressive. And when I hit the curve I know that I need to be leaning in and working on coming off (the curve) really strong.
John: How do you combine the need to be relaxed with the fact that you also need to be aggressive to generate all that power?
Allyson: For me, I just try to focus on what I need to do and that kinda takes me out of the moment and away from the crowd and relaxes me. I try not to be too relaxed though as I need the adrenaline of the situation.
John: Do you think that as a woman you have train differently to men? Allyson: I always feel that it’s (sprinting) easy for them (men), it comes more natural, like coming out of the blocks where they are more powerful and aggressive. So we (women) have to do more drills and more sled (pulling) work, because it’s not such a natural thing.
John: Is there any type of training that you don’t like doing? Allyson: Yeah, anything’s that’s long. I hate 600s, but I get through them, I love to sprint.
John: Do you do any aerobic work? Allyson: Yeah, every Wednesday we go on a thirty-minute run, but that’s the one road run we do. Once the season starts we pretty much stop that. But every so often, we pick it back up ….. you can feel when it’s (aerobic fitness) lacking.
John: What’s your strength as a sprinter? Allyson: I think it’s top end speed and being able to hold that. The beginning of my race is weak and I pick things up later on.
John: Are you working on your start? Allyson: I would love to (improve it) I’ve been trying to for a very long time. I know what’s wrong and I can visualise it, but it’s a whole other thing trying to actually correct it. John: Is it frustrating as you could run maybe a tenth faster?