This interview was held on March 2009.
Interesting interview, especially when he confesses his junk food habits! If you want to read more about the effects of junk food, read the Top 10 Worst Fast Food Places List, Are French Fries Bad for You?-, and EAT THIS, NOT THAT – Book Review
Q. What’s a typical training session for you and Veronica Campbell-Brown?
Tyson Gay: It’s very similar, we pretty much do the same workouts, of course different times, but I guess the difference between our training sessions is well we pretty much train similar too you know if our coach gives us a fast time you know or a slow time we pretty much run faster than the times so there’s some competitiveness as well during practice if I try to run a fast time she may try to run a fast time because she doesn’t really back down from anyone so if we’re in the blocks together she’s trying to be the first one to 10 meters or 20 you know so it’s pretty amazing to see her work ethic as well running with me.
Q. When you warm up what are you wearing?
Tyson Gay: Right normally when I’m running I try to run, well normally when I’m training I try to train in some shoes with a lot of cushion, not too light you know I want more support because I do a lot of pounding so and then I normally put on my long tights and some sweat pants so my muscles can stay warm and things like that so I won’t pull anything, I want to make sure I’m real loose and sweating and hot and things like that so I’m pretty much covered up and then when it gets down to the end of practice or it gets down to the meet time I kind of take some of those layers off and lighten up my shoes and things like that to prepare to race.
Q. The spikes you wear…how important is it for you to be wearing Jesse Owens spikes…?
Tyson Gay: It’s very important, you know adidas just doesn’t just look at me as some guy who runs fast, you know they gave me the Jesse Owens spikes because they feel I carry myself well off the track as well just like he did, you know a real humble guy, so that really means a lot to me. But besides that I mean when I put the spikes on it’s about business, you know, so they’re coming up with some new concepts this year, they’re coming up with some new colour scheme and things like that that I can’t really talk about right now but a lot of people are going to be surprised what they do with the old Jesse spikes that will make them more modern day.
Q. How much input do you have into the design of things?
Tyson Gay: Yeah they give me, I mean their idea was the Jesse Owens spikes but then Adidas gives me as much input as I want you know whether it’s the colour scheme, whether it’s the weight of the spike, whether it’s a little bit of the design you know things like that and whatever’s comfortable for me you know they give me an idea as well but then they say well after you’re wearing them how do you feel? What’s comfortable? Should we lighten it? Should we tighten it? Should we strap it? Should we zip it? Things like that so that really means a lot to me when they really know that I’m the one wearing the shoe you know so I give them ideas as well.
Q. The life of an elite athlete it’s about the training and the competition
Tyson Gay: For example I was just telling Allyson Felix earlier that my life is boring and she was like "what do you mean?" I say well I get up in the morning, I take my supplements or my protein shake or whatever, I eat lunch, at 6 o’clock I eat chicken every day at 6 o’clock, I eat a sandwich every day at 2 o’clock, I drink a shake at night time before I go to bed it’s the same routine every day just to take care of my body where it’s almost boring you know what I mean? And she was like well do you enjoy it? Do you enjoy the sacrifice? And I was like yeah at the end of the day I do, you know I’m not going to do that for ever but at the end of the day I mean it is a lifestyle from when I wake up until when I go to sleep.
Q. Do you ever take a day off?
Tyson Gay: Yeah I do, you know and I have to watch myself sometimes because every once in a while when the weekend comes you know I’m so tired from putting all the work in, you know eating some of the same foods every day then I just like to go crazy on the weekend sometimes you know whether it’s ice cream, you know whether it’s McDonald’s whatever it is you know I just go super crazy on the weekend sometimes so I enjoy that part!
Q. What’s your goal for 2009?
Tyson Gay: To win the World Championships and to break the World Record. You know I look at track totally different now after what Usain Bolt did last year I look at track different you know it’s about running fast, it’s about exciting the crowd, you know it’s about doing the impossible and that’s what it’s about and he has basically opened up doors for other people to become better or to reach certain goals, it’s not about 9.7 any more you know and it might not be about 9.6 any more so I really appreciate him opening up that door for me to train my mind to run even faster than that.