Triple jump king Christian Taylor believes a new sleep regimen could hold the key to his dream of breaking Jonathan Edwards’ 22-year-old world record.
Taylor, the reigning two-time Olympic and world champion, on Saturday threatened Edwards’ 1995 mark with the third longest leap in history, posting 18.11m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.
The US star, who already owns the second-longest jump (18.21m) of all-time, said he has made breaking Edwards’ record of 18.29m the priority for the remainder of his career.
Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
“I’m getting older and my time is running out,” Taylor said. “It’s a small window. I have to capitalize on it while I’m healthy. I can’t play around any more.”
The Netherlands-based athlete said lifestyle changes he has implemented to help him sleep could prove vital in achieving his goal.
With many of Taylor’s friends and family in the US, the 26-year-old said his sleep had been disrupted by activity on social media late at night.
He has since taken the decision to shut down all contact after 10pm at night.
“It’s about sleep and recovery, about really getting deeper sleep on a more consistent basis,” Taylor said. “Social media has taken over and its constant. I’m in Holland so I’m several hours ahead of everyone else. At midnight in Holland people in the States are just getting off work.”
“I really struggled with trying to stay in touch with my friends, but then I realized its taking away from my goal. You can’t expect a top performance if you’re not giving your body a chance,” he said.
Taylor believes the changes to sleep and diet — he has cut down on carbohydrates — could be worth an “extra 3 percent” of performance.
“I’ve never doubted my ability,” Taylor said. “But it was things that were off the track that were setting me back.”
Taylor is to spend the rest of the season aiming to beat Edwards’ world record.
“It’s the only reason I’m here,” he said. “I’ve got two Olympic titles, two world titles, the American record. I’ve been blessed beyond belief.”
“The only thing that kills me now is that I’m No. 2 all-time. And when I hang up my spikes, nobody will remember number two,” Taylor said.
“I had a good few years and won a good few competitions, but the record is what’s pushing me every single day,” he said.
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