Justin Gatlin's Track Meet Prep
As a collegiate star at the University of Tennessee, Gatlin won six NCAA titles by the end of his sophomore season. He ignited Tennessee's 2001 NCAA team title run by winning the 100 and 200 meters. Gatlin became the first freshman to get double victory in the 100 and 200 at the NCAA Outdoors since 1976. Gatlin was named the SEC Track Freshman of the Year for both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Coming out of high school, Gatlin received full scholarship offers in track and field, as well as graphic design. He nearly went to art school, before changing his mind and pursuing his track career.
STACK asked Gatlin how he prepares for a big meet. Check out his answers to learn how you can prep yourself like a Gold Medal Olympian.
STACK: What's your typical daily routine during the day of a meet?
GATLIN: Listen to a lot of music—try to get myself in a zone and focused for the race. Everything is done on the same schedule the day of the meet from when I wake up to when I eat breakfast.
STACK: Is there any specific song, or type of music you listen to before an event?
GATLIN: I listen to a mix of things—Jay Z, DMX, Alice in Chains, Lil Jon & the East Side Boys.
STACK: Is there any specific food or meal you eat before a meet/event?
GATLIN: I drink a protein shake in the morning and then I have a snack close to the race like a PowerBar. I usually don't eat much until after the race is over. Then I eat whatever I want.
STACK: Do you use any sort of mental visualization technique?
GATLIN: I try to stay really focused, and think about my own race and staying in my lane.
STACK: Do you have any other routines you try to perform to help you mentally prepare for a meet?
GATLIN: I just go off instinct. I do what my body tells me.
*Biography courtesy of USA Track and Field.
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