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Olympic Training: Your Gold-Medal Game Plan
Three United States Olympians share the training secrets that make them faster, stronger, better (no doping required).    Text by Greg Melville  
Illustration: Olympian

Olympic Training Secrets
Endurance | Power | Speed | The Truth About DHEA

When the world's top athletes march into Torino Stadio Olimpico for the opening ceremonies of the Winter Games in Italy this February, they will embark on a 16-day quest to determine the best of the best in 14 sports—plus curling. We asked Eric Heiden, 47, five-time 1980 gold medalist-turned-head physician for the U.S. speed-skating team, to help identify which U.S. athlete would have the best tips for weekend warriors who want to improve endurance, power and speed. His answers were both predictable, "Speed skaters know from fit," and surprising, "Cross-country skiers are, hands down, the fittest." Use the Olympic advice assembled here to help you improve your 5K time or power through your turns on the slopes. (Sorry, curlers: Scrubbing ice with a broom didn't make the cut.)

Rebecca Dussault, Cross-Country Skiing
Considered America's best bet to bring home a medal in cross-country skiing, this resident of Colorado has won seven U.S. national championships.

Main Ingredients: "I've done so many sports, and this is by far the one that hurts the worst," says Dussault, 25. "Both strength and endurance are huge components."

How She Prepares: Dussault endurance-trains every day and hits the weights three times a week. "Cross-country skiers are some of the most fortunate athletes, because whatever trains us cardiowise can be considered cross-country training. I roller-ski, run, bike, hike, and even rock climb to get a workout."
 Illustration: Running
STEAL THIS MOVE: This routine works equally well for runners who want to improve in endurance races such as a 5K or 10K and for Nordic skiers. Try it
outside or on a treadmill.
• Jog slowly for 15 minutes as a warm-up.

• Then, to loosen leg muscles, sprint for ten seconds and follow with a ten-second jog. Repeat.

• Run at your 5K race pace for two minutes.

• Jog for two minutes.

• Repeat the two-minute speed intervals six to eight times, with a recovery jog after each.

• Jog 10 to 15 minutes as a cooldown.
Keep in Mind: If you can't hold your form and speed after a few repeats, stop. Next time, slow it down.

Illustrations by Nick Dewar; Aaron Ashley

Olympic Training Secrets
Endurance | Power | Speed | The Truth About DHEA

Pick up the December 2005/January 2006 issue for our annual coverage of the best of adventure, your guide to everything cool with 15 sports trends, 14 astonishing adventurers, and 45 gear picks that rock.

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