Olympic hurdler Brianna Rollins is fast. It looks effortless — but to call it that belies the decade-plus training and constant long days she's put into her sport: Just hearing about her five-hour daily workouts are enough to feel exhausted.
So, what keeps her going? Along with the love for her dogs and her boyfriend is her commitment to her religion. In fact, her favorite Bible verse, Isaiah 40:31, seems totally fitting: "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
We're sure Rollins will be thinking of that over the next couple days, as she makes her run for Olympic gold: With a time of 12.24 seconds for the 100-meter hurdles, she's already tied for fourth-fastest in history.
So how did she get there? An Olympic career is built day by day — which is why we asked her to show us what a day in the life is like for an Olympic hurdler. Note: The only easy thing in it is the daily Chipotle run. Here's what it takes to be an Olympian.
7 a.m. to 8 a.m. I wake up in the morning at 7 a.m. I read my Bible or I read a book for a half hour, or I journal.
8 a.m. to 9 a.m. I cook breakfast. I normally cook two eggs, two slices of turkey bacon, and a cup of oatmeal. That would be my first meal. I try to get my protein in and some good carbs with the oatmeal. I wouldn’t eat pancakes or anything like that. After I eat breakfast, I brush my teeth and take a quick shower. Now, I get ready to head out the house to get to practice.
9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. I get to practice around 9:30 a.m. I take my supplements and pre-workout, I take RSP Fast Fuel. Then, I get ready to warm up with my training partner, Kristi Castlin. I also train with Dalilah Muhammad, Melia Cox, and Karelle Edwards. I do two laps, I run for 50 meters, then walk for 50 meters. I do that for 800 meters. Then, I do walk overs. I stretch and do some flexibility. Next, I either do sprint drills or hurdle drills. I go back to my stretching area and do some glute mobility with exercise bands. After that, I would do three acceleration exercises for 50 meters. After I put my spikes on, I’ll probably do one more acceleration exercise. Sometimes my coach, Lawrence Johnson, will make us do more hurdle drills, but they’re different. They’re like rhythm work. I do this all with my spikes on.
10:45 a.m. to noon Getting ready for my workout. Today we did sprints. I did a 3x2 60-meter sprint. In between each set, we get an 8-minute break. Once we finish those, I do 150. That’s pretty much my whole workout. I train at CalState Northridge College.
Noon to 1:00 p.m. I try to grab a smoothie from the grocery store. I get any kind of fruit smoothie, like strawberry or banana with kale or spinach. I don’t put any protein in that. If I have time, I go to Chipotle. I get a chicken bowl with brown rice, hot sauce, corn, guacamole, peppers, and a little bit of cheese — but that depends on if I have time between practice and weight training. I also have two English Bulldogs and a pitbull, named English, Buddy, and Soda. When I get back from practice, I feed them. My boyfriend does most of the dog duties, so he walks them.
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. For weights, I do another warm-up and more glute exercises. I do squats, box jumps, hamstring curls, and some rows. If I have time, I grab a snack from Whole Foods, like a protein bar.
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. I have to get treatment. At treatment, I work on relief therapy. That’s pretty much it for training, working out, and treatment.
4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. I head home and shower and chill and watch TV. I wait for one of my main shows to come on, like Vampire Diaries or Quantico. I’m the oldest of seven siblings. They call me all the time, usually later in the day. I talk to them on FaceTime.
7:00 p.m. I cook dinner. If I don’t feel like cooking, I’ll order some food. That’s probably what I’ll do today. When I’m tired, I just do that. If I cook, I make chicken wings with broccoli or asparagus, or a sweet potato and brown rice. I never eat dessert, I wish!
11:00 p.m. I usually go to bed at this time.
Catch Brianna Rollins on Tuesday, August 16th for the Women's 100m hurdles.