The art of the interview is not always evident. In my humble opinion, the writer is giving the interviewee a chance to provide an intimate view of themselves. My friend, Australian Brian Lenton, would always show up with a six pack (or two) of an adult beverage, and tape the conversation he would have with the interviewee. His interviews of Brendan Foster, Bill Rodgers and Ron Clarke have a cult like following. Brian would never prepare questions for
the interview–he felt that was not intellectually honest.
While I am comfortable with interviewing actual humans in person, I find sending 9-20 questions a fascinating exchange. LoLo Jones interview, which you will find below, may be the most successful interview of an athlete that I have ever done. I will be curious to see what you, dear reader, think of LoLo’s coments.
What follows is the RBR interview with Lo Lo Jones , the 2010 World Indoor Champ, the 2010 US Indoor and Outdoor Champ. LoLo was sent the questions right after I met her at the adidas GP, and she sent them back just after the US Champs.
One final wish: a belated Happy Birthday to LoLo, who finished her celebration just a few minutes before this was posted-her birthday was August 5.
RBR, #1. How has preparation for this year been compared
to the last few?
LoLo Jones: My preparation for this year is the same as it is for every year. The only
thing I do different is change goals. This year I put a lot of emphasis
on Indoors, because it was the only major championship of the year for me.
After I broke the American record indoor, I added a goal of trying to break
the record outdoor.
LoLo in Des Moines, June 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.
RBR, # 2. How many training sessions do have in an average week?
LoLo Jones: I train 6 days a week. I get Sundays off. I don’t do double workouts.
Thank Goodness Coach Shaver doesn’t do that..I’m so not a morning person!
RBR, #3. Once you’re in season, say while in Europe, what’s your workout schedule between meets?
LoLo Jones: I love being in season, because it gives me a a break from the tough workouts
back home. Coach Shaver wants (my) legs to be rested for the races so the
workouts are pretty easy. A lot of shake outs, a few hurdles. No sprints
over a 50. The key to this is I run a lot. I usually have 2 races a week.
On rare occasions, I’ve had 4 races in a week! I rely on my races to keep
me in shape. When I have meets in Europe, I usually get 2 days off a week.
So I love that added bonus.
LoLo Jones, enroute to her US Champs 2010 victory, photo by PhotoRun.net.
RBR, #4. Would you take us through your pre-race warm up routine?
LoLo Jones: Jog six minutes, then stretch five minutes. Then sprint and drills for 20 minutes.
Then, hurdle drills for ten minutes. Then, spike sprints for 10 minutes. Then, starts over
hurdles for next twenty minutes. The last 15 minutes, I rest and check in for race.
RBR, # 5. Is that replicated on track workout days?
LoLo Jones: Yes, Coach Shaver will have competition workout on 2 practice sessions of
the week. Competition warm up increases as our workouts get easier.
LoLo Jones, US Champs 2010, Photo by PhotoRun.net.
RBR, # 6. Besides the physical warm up, is there a checklist of sorts, any series of things you do to get mentally prepared to race?
LoLo Jones: Not a checklist. I just try to encourage myself with positive thoughts.
Whether that is positive sayings, Bible verses or telling myself little
sayings like “you can do this”, (or) “you will have a good start”.
RBR, #7. What would you consider to be the single most important element of your training? Why?
LoLo Jones: Learn. If I go through the motions, I will not improve. I have practices where
I act like I’m lining up at the Olympic finals. A good quote I live by
is “practice doesn’t make perfect but perfect practice makes perfect.”
LoLo Jones, US Champs 2010, just before the line…photo by PhotoRun.net.
RBR, # 8. Knowing what you know now, what would you go back and change in your training in high school and college?
LoLo Jones: I would watch more professional and college meets. The only race I ever
remember watching on TV was the Atlanta Olympics. Now, kids have access
to the internet and can view races around the world for free. It’s a great
tool to study and wish I would’ve had it growing up.
RBR, # 9. What specific training advice do have for young hurdlers?
LoLo Jones: For young hurdlers, I would just tell them to look up races of pro athletes.
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