5 Olympic Athletes Share Their Workout Secrets
By Katie Arnold
Kristin Armstrong, Cycling
Photo Credit: M. Melville/Getty Images
KRISTIN ARMSTRONG, CYCLING
Kristin Armstrong (pictured on the next page) is used to being mistaken for someone elsethe ex-wife of a certain seven-time Tour de France winner. But since she started racking up her own impressive victoriesincluding the 2006 World Time Trial ChampionshipsArmstrong, 34, has made a name for herself as the woman to beat in Beijing. Just call her "K-Strong."
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS:
Armstrong trains in three-week blocks of increasing intensity16 to 25 hours a week on her bikefollowed by an easier recovery week. During long Idaho winters, the Boise local heads to the mountains for snowshoeing and Nordic skate-skiing.
STRENGTH ON WHEELS:
Twice a week, Armstrong uses her bike as her mobile weight room: She shifts into a high-resistance gear and does 20 to 45 minutes of low-cadence drills to work quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
Armstrong sweats through two Bikram yoga classes a week. Trikonasana, or triangle pose, keeps her limber (she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in 2001), and the room's 90-plus-degree heat helps her acclimate to humid race localeslike Beijing.
During especially hard races, Armstrong talks to herself to stay focused and push through the pain. "I'll ask myself, Can you hurt any more? And then I'll say, You have to hurt harder."
WORD TO THE WISE:
Invest in a bike that fits, get a comfortable saddle (she loves her Fizik), and cycle with a group whenever possible. "Try not to be intimidated," she says. "Most important, have fun."
Next Page: Natalie Coughlin, Swimming