Q&A with Professional Athlete, Kelley O’Hara

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 20: Behind The Scenes At Kelley O’Hara’s BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK Ad Shoot on April 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Chocolate Milk)
  1. How do you incorporate running and cardio workouts into your training routine? Why is it important?

“Soccer is an endurance sport so cardio is very important. During season, I don’t have to worry about incorporating it into my routine because it comes naturally during practice and games. During the off-season, I build it in with technical workouts, but also running without the ball. These workouts are used to build an endurance base or to work on speed and sprint repetition.”

  1. What does your recovery routine look like after a tough workout?

“As soon as I’m done playing, I’m drinking chocolate milk as quickly as I possibly can because it’s important to get those nutrients back in your body once you’ve depleted yourself so much. On top of that, my biggest recovery strategy is sleep and relaxation, I think a lot of people forget that and that’s also where your body rebuilds.”

  1. Do you have any tips for those who want to reach a new fitness goal this year?

“Make the little things a priority. If you have this big goal you tend fixate on it, but if you don’t take care of the little pieces along the way, you’re never going to get to that big goal. Set your goal and put it out there but then you have to figure out what steps it’s going to take to get there along the way.”

  1. What advice would you give girls who admire you/are looking to succeed in their athletic sport?

“Love what you do. Figure out what makes you happy and do that, because it makes all the sacrifices worth it. Whatever that thing is that you’re always thinking about, that’s probably what you love and that’s probably something that you should go after.”

  1. What is the best piece of advice someone has given to you?

“My dad said, “Never make a decision when you’re really high or really low.” There are times when you’re really high or really low where you want to make a rash decision. It’s always good to make your decisions when you’re pretty even keel.”

  1. When did you start believing in/feeling confident with your own talent? Was there one person in particular who supported you? Who you looked up to?

“I think that my confidence has gone up and down through my entire career. I think maintaining confidence is one of the most difficult things an athlete has to do. My parents have always supported me, but most importantly, they’ve I always told me to do what I love and I think that has kept me going through my career.”

  1. What is your go-to endurance workout?

“My go-to endurance workout is “half mile repeats”. I try to run a half mile as fast as I can, rest for 2 minutes, then repeat. I do that 6-10 times, so end up running between 3-5 miles. The aim is to have my heart rate be in my zone, which means it’s at 90% of my max heart rate, for 15-20 mins.”