Q&A: Candace Hill

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for ASICS

Last year at a mere 16 years old, Candace Hill dashed her way into the record books by becoming the first under-17 woman to run the 100m in less than 11 seconds. Signed by Asics a few months later, making her the youngest professional athlete in America, Candace is now in the running for the US Olympic trials next month. We spent some time with her at the launch of Asics’ brand new shoe, the Dynaflyte.


What do you think about the Asics DynaFlyte?

I think they’re awesome. I’ve been in a lot of running shoes and they’re often heavy if they’re cushioned, but this shoe is lightweight and it’s comfortable. When I’m doing intervals like 300m repeats and I need to have fast times but my coach doesn’t want me in spikes, I need to go to a shoe that’s light so I can easily run. This shoe definitely does that.

What does a typical day of training look like for you?

I do my warm-up for about an hour, with dynamic stretching, one-lap jogs, resistance band work and foam rolling, then a couple of drills for before I go into the main workout. After the workout, I’ll usually cool-down, do some stretching and some core work – I use a medicine ball for Russian twists and ball tosses, then do basic curl ups and sit ups.

How do you fuel your training?

I usually wake up and get a quick protein shake then head to the track. After I’ve trained I’ll go get a chocolate milk and a peanut butter jelly sandwich. Once practice is officially over, I like to pig out and eat chicken, mashed potato and string beans – you know, the good stuff!

What’s your ultimate indulgence food?

Fried chicken – anything fried! I would definitely go for that, and also candy.

Do you use any nutrition products while you’re training, like gels/sports drinks?

I use Gatorade and Powerade, that’s it. I don’t really use anything else.

How do you find it fitting in studying around your training?

Good thing is school’s out for me, so I have the whole summer to focus on track. During the school year, I’ll practise then I’ll come home and go straight to homework. It’s not like I’ll practise then push it to the side. Homework’s my number one priority just like track is. I can handle it. I’m looking to go to college right after high school. I want to study something to do with sports, like sports medicine.

What do you think about the current state of doping in athletics?

I just say if you feel confident and comfortable in your training then you don’t need those performance-enhancing drugs to help you on the track. Track should be the queen sport, everyone’s at the same starting line and you should just compete to your best ability. If you start doping, you don’t respect your sport and you don’t respect yourself.