Meet Dominique Scott
Professional distance runner, and two-time Olympian.
Dominique was born in Cape Town, South Africa and came to the United States on a track and field scholarship to attend the University of Arkansas. While representing the Razorbacks, Dominique was a 5 x NCAA Champion, 10-time SEC Champion and 12 time All-American.
Dominique now runs professionally for Adidas International, training in Boulder, Colorado. She competed in the Rio Olympics 10,000m final and Tokyo Olympics 10,000m final and 5,000m. Dominique has personal bests of 14:59 - 5,000m, 31:00 - 10,000m and 67:32 half marathon.
Follow her on Instagram @domscottrunsa.
Learn more about Dominique!
When I was seven years old, my mom was the cross-country coach at my school. But I was younger than the age required to train or compete, so I wasn't on the team yet but would always have to tag along to practices and to races on Friday afternoons. I would get bored, especially during the Friday afternoon races. So, one Friday I was nagging my mom and she said, “if you're so bored, why don't you just run?”. The following week I showed up with my uniform and raced. At the end of the race, I got my race token with the number that I placed, it was very high, and after that I was determined to get that number lower and lower.
Discipline. From a young age, I was disciplined enough to wake up early before school and do my sport, whether it was swimming, cycling or running – just the idea of showing up and doing all the little things. I think from a really young age I had a strong sense of self-belief, and the ability to dream. From 12 years old, I had the dream of wanting to be an Olympian after watching the Olympics that year on TV. I wanted to be one of those athletes representing their country, and I had the belief that I could make it to that level.
Not to let other people's voices get in my head. Early on in my husband and my relationship, I was a freshman in college, I told him I was going to be an NCAA Champion and Cameron (my husband) just laughed at me because he knew how challenging that was. But I proved him wrong and won 5 NCAA titles! I think if I had let people’s ideas or voices get to me, I never would have made it to where I am today. (Cameron is incredibly supportive!)
Last year at the 2021 World Championships in Eugene Oregon I was so excited to race, but I let nerves get in the way and I didn't run nearly as well as I could have. But two weeks later I had the Commonwealth Championships, so I had to pick myself up, re-energize myself - mentally and physically and refocus, and not let that one bad race stand in the way of finishing my season strong. After a bad race not only are you mentally drained, but your body also hurts so much more because you usually aren’t running smooth or relaxed. It’s like you’ve fought the whole way. After that race, there was nothing that made me want to stand back up on a global starting line, but I had to push through those negative feelings and emotions and remind myself of all the hard work I’d put into that season and try to make the most of it.
Themselves. I think most athletes struggle with self-doubt, negative thoughts, and nerves, which sets them back in their own capabilities and potential. I have stood on a couple of start lines where I got myself so nervous and worked up that I wasn't able to run to my potential that day. Other times when I’m relaxed and not putting too much pressure on myself, I’m able to run free of stress, which is when my best races happen.
Nerves and anxiety. Sometimes I just wish I could know the result before the race - It's like I'm so nervous I just want to know how it's going to end. But obviously, that's the fun of racing and that would take the fun out of it. And pride – the idea of putting in a lot of hard work and seeing that hard work be rewarded.
I think it would be pretty cool to win a World Major Marathon. It would be very hard, but super cool! There are six world majors: New York, Boston, Chicago, Berlin, Tokyo, and London. It is very prestigious to be an elite in those fields, and so very hard to finish near the front, but something that I'm striving for now that I’m moving to the marathon.
I have two types of days. I have a workout day and I have a recovery day. Normally there are three workout days in the week, and the rest of the days are recovery days. A
workout day usually consists of waking up, having toast, and heading either to the track or to the roads to do my workout that has a warmup, some intervals and a cool down. Then I'll head to the gym where I usually take my Chargel to get my carbs in, and some kind of protein drink. I'll do a lift and then I'll go home to eat and rest. In the afternoon I'll have a double run where I'll run 4 or 5 miles to total around 17 miles for the day. A recovery day is to allow our bodies to recover while putting some easy miles on our legs. The day will typically start the same with toast and coffee. After that I’ll head out the door for a run ranging anywhere from 8 to 12 miles, come home and eat and rest. In the afternoon, I may or may not have a second run ranging from 4 to 5 miles.
I always have goals for myself. By having goals, I keep myself challenged and excited. I think you need to know your “why”, which normally goes hand in hand with your goal. Without knowing why you're doing something and without having a goal it would be pretty hard to stay motivated.
Before a race, I definitely like to be as relaxed as possible. So that normally does include watching TV, either watching a comfort movie or tv show and having a good meal the night before. I might have a glass of wine to help me relax and sleep better if I’m feeling anxious. After a race, I usually treat myself to something I wouldn’t normally eat. After the Houston Half Marathon, there was like a Steak and Shake in the airport, so I got a burger and fries, and a milkshake. I also like to reward myself with some downtime as well and not think too much about training for the next week.
The most important. Training is one aspect, but your recovery goes hand in hand with it, and without fueling and recovering properly, you can't put in the training. It’s one of the most important things that my coach puts emphasis on.
I really like 90s/2000s, punk music. The songs that I remember singing when I was a teenager. Those are the songs that I like listening to when doing a hard workout on the treadmill or driving to practice.
It’s just so easy! It's very easy to throw in my bag, there’s nothing I need to prepare. It's fast absorbing, which is important. And I'm not having to sit down and have a full meal. I can consume it very easily, like while I'm driving on the way to the gym for my weight workout or driving home after a running session.
Now that I'm running more and more as I'm gearing up for my first marathon in April, I’m having to be conscious about my fueling and recovery. I have to make sure I'm
eating enough carbs which can be hard to do when you're training so much. I love having a Chargel immediately after my run. It’s quick and easy, and I'm getting in the carbs and I'm absorbing them quickly.
It really comes down to the fact that it’s easy to consume. You don't have to chew it or mix it, you just open it and swallow it! The built-in straw makes it really easy to drink and you're not getting sticky stuff all over your hands.
I think it's a great form of recovery for athletes. Obviously, it’s great for pre-run fueling, but I really think that athletes don't realize the importance of fueling right after exercise. Everyone knows about stretching and warming up, but your body is depleted after a run, and those 30 minutes after a run is the most important time to refuel. And really, 30 minutes is not very long when you know you're needing to drive home and cook a meal, but with Chargel you can consume it quickly and easily - immediately after you run.
I really like the strawberry. It’s funny, my husband prefers the apple and the grape, but I like the Strawberry.