When it comes to legacy, Allyson Felix has no shortage of accolades. The sprinter has made a name for herself during her nearly two decades in the sport: She's amassed six Olympic gold medals (nine medals total), a record-breaking 12 gold medals at the World Athletics Championships, and three world champion titles, to name just a few of the accomplishments that have made her the most decorated U.S. Olympian in women’s track and field history.
Now, as she gears up for her fifth and final Olympic bid at the 2021 Tokyo games, Felix has partnered with Pantene's "What's Your Legacy" campaign to celebrate her lauded career and the impact she's made as an athlete. And the 35-year-old is taking the opportunity to honor her legacy outside of her sport, too. For one, she's a proud mom to her daughter, Camryn, whom she teaches the value of strength and confidence in sport and life in general. Felix is also a dedicated advocate for mothers of color who face healthcare disparities and higher maternal mortality rates.
Between her sprinting career, activism, and motherhood, there's no doubt that Felix has made a staggering impact both on and off the track. But what does the Olympian do when she's not making waves? Read on to learn about Felix's go-to workout, hair, and beauty routines; what she's looking forward to post-Tokyo; and how she's setting an example of strength and self-worth for her child.
What is your current workout routine?
Things are very intense right now getting close to Olympic trials. Usually I'm training about five hours a day, five days a week. But now I'm starting the tapering process, so we're out there for around three hours, and I'm in the gym for about an hour. Then I have two recovery days: One is an active recovery day where I'm doing a longer run and see my chiropractor, and then I have a day that's completely off.
What workouts do you do just for fun?
I like to get in the pool. It really takes the pressure off my body and the pounding from running so much. I also love getting on my stationary bike!
What is your pre-workout hair routine and post-workout beauty routine?
I am really into wearing my hair in its natural state, so that's why I'm totally into the Pantene Gold Series line. I love using the Hydrating Butter-Creme before practice because it's like a conditioner throughout the day that protects and softens my curls, so when I go home after training, [my hair] is in a very manageable state. I love their Hydrating Oil as well. Being out in the sun all day is drying, so this helps me keep my hair in its natural state but also really healthy.
I typically have oily skin, so I make sure that I'm removing the sweat after practice. Post-workout, I'm really about keeping my skin clean and protecting it from the sun. I cleanse after training and then I'll moisturize. I keep it really basic; I'm not a 20-step person.
What advice do you have for someone who's just getting started with fitness?
Take it slow. There's this tendency to feel like we have to jump all in and do the most. I always tell people if they're new to running, just go to your local track and start off by running the straights and walking the curves and building your way up. Once you get a bit of a base and you're ready to challenge yourself, you can push yourself a little further. But don't feel like you have to take on everything at once.
Being a sprinter, the majority of work I'm doing is on the track, and it's shorter, so whenever I have to do longer runs, it's really hard for me. One thing that helps me is I'll listen to a podcast or something that occupies my mind, like an audiobook. You get lost in it.
Legacy is bigger than what I've done on the track, and I want to teach my daughter that as well—that it's important to stand up for what's right and to know your value.
How has your outlook on running and fitness changed knowing this is your final Olympics?
Training at such a high level has been my life for so long. I've really been trying to embrace training at this level because I know that it might look different [after the Olympics]. I'll always have a relationship with running, and it'll always be a huge part of my life, but I don't imagine that I'll want to be killing myself day in and day out training. I'm excited for what training and working out looks like after I'm not preparing for the Olympic games. I think I might even enjoy it a bit more without all of the pressure.
Do you have any different activities you'd like to try post-Olympics?
I've been looking forward to learning how to ski for a long time. I haven't been able to do that with running, so it's one of the first things I want to try!
What do you do to try to set a healthy example for your daughter?
I think it's really important for her to see images of healthy women, so I try to surround her with that and show her what's real and that strength looks like all kinds of different things. Legacy is bigger than what I've done on the track, and I want to teach my daughter that as well—that it's important to stand up for what's right and to know your value.