Christine Day’s trophy cabinet features world, Olympic and Commonwealth medals. The Jamaican 400m star shares some of her best pieces of advice.

Championship tip

The biggest thing I’ve learned is keep your composure under pressure and stay focused on yourself and not on what other athletes are doing. Focus on yourself and don’t be distracted by what goes on around you.

One technique I use during a major championship is to listen to Christian music. I find the music motivating. It helps lift my spirits, but also keeps me calm. This ensures that when it is time to compete, I am ready. 

Coaching tip

I don’t think I have one piece of advice, but I remember my high school coach, Mr. Smith, once saying that I was “a fighter” and that I am very competitive no matter what. I’ve always remembered what he told me. He believed in me and I think it is true.

Technical tip

This is only something I’ve recently learned from my current coach, Reynaldo Walcott: the importance of speed as a 400m runner.

I am quite unusual for a 400m runner in that I’m not really a fan of running the 100m or 200m. Yet he breaks down the sprinting technique and the importance behind it and I take it more seriously. I now understand the importance of speed work.

Tip for surviving the athletics circuit

I never liked travelling from meet to meet – I always feel so tired competing. But if I could pass on any advice, it would be to learn to control your sleep when it is time to sleep.

To help overcome the jet-lag, if I hop on a flight in the morning and it is evening in the place where I am flying to, I try to sleep on the plane. It doesn’t work out all the time, but it helps.

I also try to hydrate as much as I can. I now feel less tired and it is reflected in my improved performances.

Christine Day during the 2016 Rio Olympics (Getty Images / AFP)

Top parental tip

My parents always told me I always knew what I wanted. So, if I say, I am going over the bridge, I go over the bridge. If I make a decision in life, I tend to stick by that decision.

Cooking tip

I’m not a fancy cook, so I would say try and cook something that is easy to prepare. I don’t like bread, so one thing I love to cook is Macaroni cheese and boiled egg!

Fashion tip

I love heels. I don’t really have a rule for wearing them as I don’t get the opportunity too often. I might wear heels two or three times a month on a Sunday when I go to church. I think heels give you a lift and make you look elegant.

Vacation tip

When picking somewhere to go, follow your passion. I like going to amusement parks and even though the rides look scary, I will try them all. I also love nature and would one day love to go on a safari – even though deep in my heart I might be scared of the animals!

Social media tip

I have Twitter and Instagram, but I don’t post too often. For social media you have to be careful what you post. As role models we need to be careful what we post. You are not posting pictures to yourself. You are posting them to the world!

Driving tip

I learned to drive in high school, but I don’t drive a lot right now. I learned how to drive a manual but whenever I drive an automatic vehicle I sometimes make the mistake of using both feet! I guess my tip would be make sure you drive an automatic with just one foot.

Dating tip

Keep it in the dating zone and don’t rush things because that is when it can get messed up.