Commentary

Chalonda Goodman's workout plan

Updated: March 27, 2009, 11:31 AM ET
By Brian A. Giuffra | ESPNRISE.com

Chalonda Goodman gazed at the television, fixating on Michael Johnson's golden Nikes. Then after Johnson won his first gold medal of the 1996 Summer Olympics, Goodman turned to her father and said, "I want to do that."

[+] EnlargeChalonda Goodman
Kelly Kline/ESPNRISE Chalonda Goodman believes her starts are the keys to her sprinting success.

"Ever since that moment, that's been one of my dreams -- to win an Olympic gold medal,"Goodman says.

Nearly 13 years after Johnson donned those iconic Nikes at the Atlanta Games, Goodman is well on the way to achieving her own Olympic dream.

The Newnan (Ga.) senior is by far the nation's top female sprinter, having won the 100 and 200 meters at the Nike Outdoor Nationals in both 2007 and 2008. Goodman also recorded the nation's fastest 200 time in 2008 (23.22 seconds).

At the high school level, Goodman's dominance borders on unfathomable. She is the three-time defending state champion in the 100 and 200 in Class AAAAA (the highest class in Georgia).

But Goodman isn't satisfied. Instead, she trains five days a week by running, lifting weights and stretching. Somehow she also finds time to be an honor student.

"I'm always up for a challenge," Goodman says. "I challenge myself with all these goals that I set. Challenges are the only way you can get better."

The next goal on Goodman's radar is winning her fourth state titles in the 100 and 200. Then she'll head off to college, where she knows new challenges will await.

[+] EnlargeChalonda Goodman
Kelly Kline/ESPNRISE In addition to stretching and core workouts, Goodman also likes to hit the weights.

"I know it's not always going to be easy," says Goodman, who's deciding among Texas, Auburn, LSU, USC and South Carolina. "Training-wise, I'm going to have to step it up. It's a whole new league that you have to prepare for."

Before that, Goodman offers an inside look at the training regimen that's helped her become the country's top sprinter.

Station No. 1
"A good start is extremely important. In my case, in the 100 it's most important. It's not really about getting out the quickest, it's having the mechanics. You have to have the form and mechanics so you'll be up with the majority of the field. The keys are power, staying low and drive, drive, drive like crazy."

Station No. 2
"Weight lifting is important. It's important to have strength in your legs. It gives you an extra edge to have strength to go along with your quickness, especially when you're moving up to a different level. That can really be a difference that can give you an edge over other competitors."

Station No. 3
"We were working with the medicine ball, going back and forth and side to side to work all the core muscles. I'm told that it's important for all sports, but I know it's important to have a strong core when it comes to knee lifts in running. It really helps, especially at the end of the race when you're tired. You're able to stay upright and lift your knees. It's easy to have better form when you have a strong core."

Brian A. Giuffra covers high school sports for ESPN RISE.

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