“I like to race. I’m a racer!”
Introducing Reece Prescod, a 21-year old 100m athlete who is about to compete at theEuropean Athletics Championships in Berlin. Equipped with Nike’s highly anticipated release, the Pegasus Turbo – we are sure this young star will make his mark.
Find out more about the young star above and his history in the q&a below.
You worked in a bar and a DIY store before you became a full-time athlete. Tell us a bit about your life before Nike started to support you.
I worked in a bar and a golf club. There were lots of events. I started at 6 pm and finished around 4 am, but it was really fun. I had a lot of pals, so I really enjoyed it. I also worked as a personal trainer and at Homebase, a DIY store that sells everything from kitchens to bathrooms. I learned a lot about everything and acquired good life skills that are not related to track.
When did you first become a professional runner?
In 2016. Before that I was an amateur from 2012 to 2016. I was with Nike as a junior and things were going very well and I became a senior. They gave me enough direction and focus. They realized that I had enough talent. And they pushed me because I’ve been working a lot to just stay focused on the sport. So I was able to train full time. I had a pretty good season in 2017. I won the British Championships, and that helped a lot.
How is your family supporting you?
My mum and dad have always been very supportive, but my extended family wasn’t so supportive.
Winning is always best, but how do you cope with defeats?
Racing is an experience. If you run your best race and somebody beats you, you can’t really complain. Somebody else had more talent than you. All you can do is go back to your coach and see what you can do to improve. Losing isn’t always bad. You can learn a lot from it. But, of course, you try to minimize the chance of losing and you prepare for each competition as well as you can.
How do you prepare mentally?
I’m very focused on what I need to do to win a race. My coach is quite strict. He sets goals for me and I have to achieve them. When I was younger, I didn’t have a lot of stuff. Now I have everything, but I still have the same mentality as before. I don’t really care who you are or where you come from: if I win, I win and if you win, you win. I like to race. I’m a racer! That’s my life. That’s how I grew up. I didn’t have so much, but I enjoyed myself and I was happy. So if I look back at myself four years ago and someone tells me, “You’re in Berlin for Nike. You’re doing this and you’re winning that,” then I would say, “You’re lying!” So I realized that all the good things come from performing well and running fast. So I have to make sure that I train hard.
The next challenge in 2018 is the European Championship in Berlin. What’s your goal for that?
I want to win. I definitely want to win that championship.
How do you prepare for such an event?
It’s the same training as I normally do. I just have to qualify for the final and then win the final. So I have to make sure I’m very strong and in good shape. Now I have to do some practice with my coach and he has to make sure my core is good and my strength is good. I have to make sure that good food is in my system ten days before the race. It’s also good for me to have been here before, at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, so it’s not new to me and I know how the tracks look. I’ve seen the stadium before, so that gives me the opportunity to look around and enjoy it.
Some people say you’re the next Usain Bolt. How do you feel about that?
He achieved a lot, so he’s a big name. He’s someone I looked up to in the past, but you have to take it step by step. He’s still the fastest guy in the world. And that’s what I would like to be in a few years.
Nike invented the Pegasus Turbo. What do you like most about it?
I like the design. The mesh is quite flexible, but it’s still supportive in the right way so it stays smooth when you’re running. The massive Swoosh is quite nice: they’re comfortable and they look good. I ran with them yesterday and I think they are quite balance-reactive.
What does it mean for you to wear the Swoosh?
It’s a big thing for me. It’s an honor to be part of Nike. It’s a brand with the world’s best athletes. It’s a privilege, a highly exclusive club, and I’m happy to be in it.
Which other Nike superstar would you like to meet?
That’s a tough question because Nike has had a lot of great athletes like LeBron James, for example.
What’s on your menu these days?
Normally I try to eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated. Water is important for me. Food-wise, I keep it simple: chicken or fish, rice or pasta, steamed vegetables or salad. Spices are important for me too, just for the flavor. Fruit-wise, I like pineapples. I keep it simple, but I have to make sure I have two dinners, a lunch and a breakfast every day. Alongside nutrition, sleep is also very important. So I don’t take it too far, but I try to stay nice and healthy: meat, carbs, vegetables. Just simple.
And on cheat days?
Yeah, I feel like sometimes you have to enjoy yourself. I think it’s not a bad thing if you do it in moderation. It gets tricky if you diet too strictly because you have to eat when you come to an event, but you might not get everything you normally eat in your diet.
What’s on you’re running playlist today?
Drake, Playboi Carti and probably A$AP Rocky’s song “Praise The Lord” from his “Testing” album.