You took a big leap from modeling to make a career in sports, what were the reasons that led to this decision? Will we ever see you again posing for a brand or walking the ramp?
This decision was definitely a very difficult one for me. My parents weren’t pushing me in either direction, it was really my call. In the end, I chose running because when I took a step back and looked at the big picture I could see that the accomplishments I had made in my running made me much more proud than what I had accomplished as a model. Becoming a Missouri State Champion was more gratifying to me than being featured in 17 magazine, for example. I was proud of the things I had done on the track because I knew that I had really truly earned them, and had worked so hard to achieve them. Modeling for me was more about luck- I got lucky to have good genes that gave me features that society generally deems to be attractive. I had to learn how to pose and move my body in certain ways, there was definitely some skill to it, but not in the way that being an athlete is. I wanted to pursue running because the thought of becoming an Olympian (to me) is way more exciting than the thought of walking the runway in lingerie at a Victoria’s Secret fashion show.
How do you keep yourself fueled during training sessions?
My track workouts usually don’t last for more than 45-60 minutes so during the workouts I typically just sip on some water. The most important fueling happens before and after the sessions. Beforehand, I usually have oatmeal for breakfast, full of nuts and seeds with some protein powder and fruit (check out breakfast recipes on my website here). If I go from a run to the gym or to the pool and need a snack in between, I love to have a couple of my homemade date balls (recipe here). I also have a few lunch and dinner recipes on my site for you to check out if you’re interested.
You have said that “I actually enjoy my time in the pool and see it as a type ofmeditation.” Share with us 5 tips about swimming as a source of fitness.
Swimming has saved my fitness multiple times when I have gotten injured. It’s a great way to get in a hard cardio workout without any impact on your body, which is great if you are dealing with an injury like a stress fracture.
1. Get the proper gear- look the part and you will feel more confident. I used to swim in spadex and a sports bra and felt like such a newbie. I love the Nike swimsuits I use now, they make me excited to put them on. Good goggles will help you be more comfortable and be able to see too. And don’t forget the swim cap to protect your hair from the chlorine!
2. Ask other swimmers or lifeguards for tips on your stroke. That is how I learned, really, just getting tips from the lifeguards was so helpful because they are already there watching you anyways and are usually bored and welcome the entertainment.
3. Get into a routine. If you are injured, you can often feel lost, adrift, no set practice times or schedule. So create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. This way you won’t get to the end of the day or end of the week not having done as much cross training as you would have liked.
4. Find a pool buddy. I tell lots of runners who need motivation the same thing- its way more fun with a friend! Make dates with friends at the pool. This will keep you accountable and make you feel better that someone is working next to you (even if you can’t chat while you swim like you can when you run).
5. Mix it up! When I’m injured, some days I do just a steady swim for a certain amount of time (equivalent to a recovery run), whereas other days I do a harder workout with sets and reps. If you are looking for some beginner swim workouts, my teammate and friend, Gwen Jorgensen, is an Olympic Gold Medalist in the triathlon and she wrote some great workouts for beginner swimmers. Check it out here.