Series06 Oct 2014

Work, rest and play – Kaliese Spencer


Kaliese Spencer at the 2014 IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels (© Gladys von der Laage)

Next up to answer our work, rest and play questions is Jamaican 400m hurdling star Kaliese Spencer.

It was a phenomenal year for Spencer, who won her specialist event at the Commonwealth Games and the IAAF Continental Cup, and she was also the Diamond Race winner.

Last Friday, it was announced that she had been shortlisted for the 2014 World Athlete of the Year Award.

Kaliese at work

Do you have a favourite session?

Kaliese Spencer: I love the shorter distances. I know if I'm running 60 metres I am not going to get tired! I also love any sessions when I stretch, warm up and then go back home!

What is your least favourite session?

KS: Any lactic session, those are killers for me.

What is your favourite training venue?

KS: Each summer since 2006 I've trained in Lignano in Italy. It is somewhere I enjoy training, it is nice and peaceful.

Do you have an all-time favourite training partner?

KS: I'm a 400m hurdler and I enjoyed my time training with Melaine Walker (the 2008 Olympic Games and 2009 world champion). I also enjoy training with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, but Christine Day (the Jamaican 400m sprinter) is my best friend. We went to school together. She is a great person and a great personality. She makes me very happy. 

Kaliese at rest

Where is your perfect place to relax?

KS: At home, in my bed, watching TV. Sometimes after training I'm so tired I just stay in my room and relax.

Describe your perfect non-training day.

KS: I would like to spend some of it in my bed watching TV but, for me, I like to help people. I like to try to understand people and, if they have a problem, I like to think of ways how can I help and motivate them.

What is your favourite stress reliever?

KS: If I'm having a bad day, I read my bible.

If you could pick one athlete from the world of track and field with whom to spend a day to relax, who would it be?

KS: I think Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. She's funny and knows how to enjoy herself. She's fun and makes everyone feel happy.

What is your perfect meal to relax with?

KS: Rice, peas and chicken with a coconut milk.

Kaliese at play

When did you first have a passion for dancing?

KS: From school age. As soon as I hear music, I just want to dance. I also love singing, but I can't sing!

What is your favourite style of dance?

KS: As a Jamaican I love hip-hop, reggae and dance hall.

Did you ever compete at dancing?

KS: I did compete regionally up until third grade at high school, after which I focused on track and field. I don't think I was too successful. I don't think I won too many trophies, I just loved dancing.

Which track and field athlete makes the best dancer?

KS: Asafa Powell is a good dancer. I know Usain Bolt dances, but I'm not sure he is a great dancer (laughs).

Steve Landells for the IAAF