US sprint hurdles star and world championship finalist Queen Harrison shares her words of wisdom.

1. Treat every race like a final

“Whether it is a small meet or a championship meet, it is important to treat every race as a final.

“I first discovered this in my senior year at college. By that point I had reached a good level of success. I was prone to seeing that I had a faster PR than the other athletes and changing my mind about how I went into the race.

“I recall going into the 2010 Penn Relays in great form. I remember I had the race won and I didn’t run all the way through the line. I still won the race in 12.46 but I could have run so much faster. It was my chance to run 12.3. That race has taught me to treat every race like a final.” 

Queen Harrison US Trials 2014 ()

Harrison has hurdles for the US over both 400m and 100m

2. Look good, run fast

“To me looking good is important and when I look good, I run well. Some people believe there is no correlation between the two, but when I am in my lane, especially for a TV meet, I think of myself as an actress.

“Think about it: Meryl Streep, who is a wonderful actress and one of the best of her time, would never act in a movie without her hair, make-up and costume done!

“I remember at the semi-finals of the 2013 US Track and Field Championships I pulled my hair into this big puff ponytail on top of my head and I ended up coming second in my section when I had gone into the whole competition with the second fastest time in the world that year. I thought I need to get back to basics and look good, and I ended up setting a PR the next day.”

Head this way to get the Queen Harrison look.

Queen Harrison US Trials 2013 ()

Lights 💥, camera 🎥, action 🎬

3. Keep your dating on the circuit to a minimum

“As athletes we spend the majority of our downtime on the circuit hanging out in hotels. This gives people a lot of time to gossip, and often the biggest topic of conversation is who has been dating who. Some people just want to name names.

“I learned at a young age to keep my dating to a minimum on the circuit. I find by doing this, it helps me stay focused.

“As much as we like to think that such things don’t affect us, we all have emotions. Our job as athletes is to win races, so having a fight with a girl or guy you have been dating the night before you are due to race in not ideal preparation.”