A Day in the Life: Jenny Simpson

The New Balance-sponsored track star talks training, cooking, and Rob Dyrdek.

Jenny Simpson

Simpson, after winning the 1,500-meter race during the Prefontaine Classic last year. Photo via AP

Ever wondered how people who eat, sleep, and breathe health spend their days? We did. So in this series, we’ll take you behind the scenes and show you a day in the life.

Jenny Simpson, Elite Runner

Jenny Simpson‘s warm-up and cool-down are probably longer than your entire run.

The track star, who is part of New Balance’s roster of elite athletes, has run in two Olympics, won gold and silver medals at the World Championships, and been named a USA Track & Field Champion eight times. In short: She’s fast.

We chatted with Simpson, 29, at New Balance’s Brighton headquarters to find out more about her training regimen, diet, and life off the track:

Approximately 6 a.m.: Wake up and have breakfast, usually a cup of tea and toast.

7 a.m.: After breakfast, Simpson heads to the University of Colorado, where she trains. She warms up solo with a three-mile run, then meets her coach and teammates for an hour-long track workout. After that, it’s a three-mile cool-down.

Post-workout: After her morning workout and a quick snack, Simpson hits the weight room for 45 minutes. “I’m not trying to gain a lot of strength and power in the weight room; what I’m trying to do is build up my body to protect itself when I am building strength and power out on the track,” she says. That means a lot of core, body weight, rehab, and balance exercises.

Afternoon: Simpson takes a break from training, stopping to have lunch, take a 30- to 60-minute nap, and bang out some chores and business responsibilities.

5 p.m.: “Any workout day, I almost always have a double,” Simpson says, adding that she hits 80 miles per week during peak training season. The second run of the day lasts 30 to 45 minutes.

6 p.m.: Dinner time, which often means roasted root vegetables, red meat, or another lean protein. “I have a general rule that if you buy ingredients and cook for yourself, it’s hard to eat something unhealthy,” Simpson says. “Honestly, I’m not on as strict of a diet as people often think, and I definitely eat a lot more than people think.”

Evening: Simpson and her husband wind down either by reading, or with an episode of Suits, Downton Abbey, or Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory. “It’s us and 14-year-olds that are watching MTV at 8 p.m.,” she jokes.

10 p.m.: Simpson tries to sleep nine hours per night, so she’s in bed by 10 p.m.