Long Jump and Triple Jump Olympic Medalist, Will Claye, prepares for the Games in many different ways–emotionally, mentally, and physically. Our Fabletics team was able to interview him to better understand his routine in hopes of inspiring other athletes who haven’t started training, or have reached a plateau in their own routines.
Will explains how he mentally prepares for a competition, and it begins in his hotel room well before a race.
“What I’ll do most of the time, even when I’m still in the hotel, is have my music playing–nothing too crazy. I listen to music on the way to a meet to stay as calm as possible and conserve all my energy until I have to go out there and exert it.”
Will believes that mental soundness translates to his performance on the field. Once his mind is in the right place, he can focus on his body. Will’s warmup begins with a 5-minute jog. He then goes into a 10-minute session of dynamic stretching, which includes lunges and leg swings–using his own bodyweight to get his muscles prepared to compete. Will points out that dynamic stretching is a relatively new school of thought. This form of stretching prepares the body by actively moving, so all muscles are loose when the athlete begins the game. Static stretching requires holding a stretch for 15 seconds, which many now believe makes muscles weaker because there is a 30-minute recovery time for the strained muscles to regain their strength.
“I start with a jog for my warmup. It’s best to ease into it. You don’t want to go out there and start running at full speed.”
Will also welcomes the help of others when warming up, especially his physical therapist.
“I often work with my physical therapist and he will treat any trouble areas. For example, if I have a tight hamstring, he’ll massage the problem area out so I don’t injure myself.”
To finish off his warmup, Will moves onto drills, which involve high knees, butt kicks, A skips, and B skips. It’s now time to take on the track. Will starts off strong with a 100% power sprint.
“I go on the runway at the track and try to get my mark and my rhythm. Then I wait for the competition to get going.”
As fans and spectators, we only see what happens on the screen. It’s interesting to learn all of the preparation involved before the actual competition begins. Will’s warmup routine is a powerful reminder that each person has to find their own groove when it comes to preparing both mentally and physically for a workout. Keeping calm, loose, and safe are all very important factors to ensuring a successful performance.