Brenda Martinez is speedy on the track, but drives 'like an old lady'. The US middle distance star shares some of her best bits of advice for on and off the track.
Keep doing what you have been doing and trust in the process. Consistency leading into a championship fills me with confidence. This helps relieve the pressure.
One very useful tip I’ve learned from over the years is to write down a journal of all the things that I am grateful for. I feel that keeps me humble and can lift my mood. Writing down ten things I’m grateful for every day acts as a huge motivation.
I’ve been doing this since 2012 and I find it helps me appreciate the little things. If I have a bad day it also helps to motivate me.
I just try and surround myself with positive people. I have a small team which includes my coach and husband, Carlos Handler, and my therapist Melvin Tann, but knowing I have a small team in my corner goes a long way to helping me emotionally.
I would say more than anything: trust your coach. This is true whether you are a youth athlete, a collegiate athlete or post-collegiate. Some would question their coach, but I don’t question anything. I trust my coach. I build a lot of my relationship on trust and I find that way it helps us grow as a team together.
Top tip for surviving the athletics circuit
Try and stick as close as you can to your normal routine and take care of the little things. The food can be different and the jet lag and travel can be hard.
One thing we are determined to do in future is to travel with Norwegian Airlines where possible. The cabin is pressurised at 6000ft, which helps reduce the jet lag symptoms.
Top tip from parents
They’ve never taken it easy on me and they often tell me to “toughen up”, which is a comment that comes out of love. There are times when races haven’t worked out as I had hoped and they’ve just said “toughen up. You are tougher than you think you just need to commit.” That feeling of not feeling sorry for yourself is something they’ve instilled in me from a young age.
From a Mexican heritage, I am used to eating a lot of carbs. However, in more recent times I’ve cut back on carbs, I no longer overeat. I can’t afford to now aged 30, so I’ve made changes.
My husband and I now have a meal plan from HelloFresh. They deliver the meals to the door. The portion sizes are just right so we don’t waste any food.
Most days I spend in sweatpants and, to be honest, I don’t have much of a social life. It takes a lot for me to get really dressed up, so fashion is not something I worry about too much.
I don’t drive that much as my husband and coach does most of the driving. I maybe grab something from the market, if he is not home but I rarely drive. When I do, I try to imagine I have an instructor in the car with me. I’ve never been pulled over. I drive like an old lady.
Every year when I’m on my end-of-season break, I’m often too tired to leave the house, so we don’t really go on vacation. This year we plan to go to Miami to see family, so I’ll tell then!
Social media tip
One things I try to do is to motivate, so I try not to post anything negative. If you post anything that comes from a place of hatefulness, you don’t grow as a person that way. My goal is to be positive.
Be with someone who makes you laugh. It makes the experience much better.