Gold Medal Glam

These international Olympians are famous for going all out. Here, they take a rare time-out to talk beauty obsessions, diet secrets, and intense workouts.

By Gina Way

July 10, 2012 4:00 PM
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Natalie Coughlin, Swimmer (USA)

California girl Coughlin, 29, is an 11-time Olympic medalist and two gold medals shy of being the most decorated female U.S. Olympian in history.

TRAINING SCHEDULE: I train at least six days a week. I'm at the pool by 5 a.m. and do a Pilates mat routine to warm up before I get in the water. I swim from 6 to 8 a.m., lift weights from 8 to 9:30, then rest and have something to eat. In the afternoon, it's more swimming followed by power circuit training and Pilates again.

SECRET TO LEAN MUSCLES: It's important to do the entire range of motion when you're lifting weights, as opposed to short, little reps, which build bulky, tight muscles.

RUBDOWN REHAB: I see a physical therapist once a week and a Swedish massage therapist once a month. The masseuse inflicts bruises with deep pressure—and it's very painful—but I feel great afterward.

ACTIVE R&R: When I'm not training for competition, I love to run (up to 10 miles a day). And I hike on trails near my home outside of San Francisco with my high-energy dogs: SheRa, a Border terrier, and Dozer, an American bulldog.

MORNING JUMP START: I'll have Birchir muesli and coffee before training. It's part of my meditative ritual before I warm up for competition.

SMART SNACKS: I always have almonds, dried plums, and herbal teas in my bag.

GUILTY PLEASURE: A really good hot dog and Vosges' Barcelona Bar with sea salt and almonds.

RECEIVING THE MEDAL: After a race, I'll put my hair in a chignon, and I might put on eyebrow gel and some lip gloss, but that's it. You have less than half an hour after a race to warm down, do press interviews, and get to the medal ceremony.

SKIN SAVIORS: Since I worry about discoloration from being in the sun so much, I also use Pevonia Botanica Vitamin C serum. On my arms and legs, I apply something super-moisturizing, like cocoa butter. I've been in the sun my whole life, and fortunately, I've been obsessed with wearing sunscreen since I was a kid. For my face, my favorite is Vertra Stick SPF 50. It's ultra-waterproof and gives some coverage like makeup.

PERFUME PICK-ME-UP: Jo Malone Cologne with lemon verbena. I like to spray on this clean citrus scent, otherwise I end up smelling like chlorine.

HAIR RX: I rinse my hair with tap water before jumping in the pool, so my strands soak up less chlorine. To keep them hydrated, I use Pantene Split End Repair Creme. I also put a little Pantene Silky Moisture Whip in my hair whether I style it straight or wear it naturally wavy.

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