Two-time US indoor 800m champion Duane Solomon boasts a strong record competing on the boards. We speak to the world and Olympic finalist about what makes him tick in the latest of our work, rest and play series.
DUANE AT WORK
What are your three favourite things about being an athlete?
Duane Solomon: No.1 would be the opportunity the sport gives you to travel the world. Secondly, I would say all the friends I've made competing in the sport and thirdly, I like being able to motivate people and to be a positive role model for kids.
Do you have a favourite song to train to?
DS: I don’t have a favourite song but I like listening to up-tempo beats with positive lyrics. I really like Drake.
What is your favourite training session?
DS: I really like the 600m or 700m time trials I might do two or three days before a meet. It gives me a good gauge as to where I’m at.
What about your least favourite training session?
DS: Probably the distance runs of about 10 miles or so, or the one-mile repeats we do on the road. It just makes me tired thinking about it.
What is your favourite training venue?
DS: I love training on any track because I know exactly where I’m going to start and end. As a competition track I really like Monaco and London.
DUANE AT REST
Where is your favourite place to relax?
DS: I have a little den, which I call my man cave. It has a big couch and Xbox up there and my DVDs and other video games. It helps keep my mind off running.
What is your favourite video game?
DS: I have two. I really like the fun and competitive side to Call of Duty and I’m a real addict of UFC Ultimate Fighter.
What is your favourite type of music to chill to?
DS: I like contemporary music a lot. I like to listen to a lot of Lady Gaga and Chris Brown – mellow music with a nice melody.
What is your favourite movie?
DS: I'm a big fan of horror and war movies. I love any films about the Roman Empire and I'm a big fan of the film Gladiator.
Describe your perfect non-training day.
DS: If I had one day of no training, I’d go to Disneyworld and ride the big rollercoasters.
DUANE AT PLAY
You have a keen interest in music production. How did it start?
DS: When I was very young I’d attend street parades and make a drum from an old shoebox, tie shoelaces around it and start banging it to act like I was a drummer. When I got to middle school and high school I was a drummer and I later got into producing music on my computer.
What is the proudest piece you’ve ever produced?
DS: I made a song actually for my cousin that I really enjoy.
Describe your sound.
DS: It is R&B and hip hop, but I have a bunch of different styles. I have also made rock and pop songs. I have a wide variety of music tastes.
How does your music background help your athletics?
DS: I am such a rhythmic person, so if I do something in practise I can mimic the sound of a song and change up the pace really quick according to the rhythm.
Do you plan to move into music production in future?
DS: I’ve not really thought long and deep about it, but music will always be a part of me and a keen hobby.
Steve Landells for the IAAF