How to work out like an Olympian
(CNN) — After watching so many impressive Olympic performances, you may be inspired to ratchet up your fitness routine or sports practice. You may even wish you could try an Olympic-caliber workout to see what it’s like.
“This is usually to train with other elite athletes and create the optimal training environment without any outside distractions,” he said.
These camps and special spots are often in mountainous areas where athletes can train at elevation, or where a particular sport is especially popular. Here are four places where Olympians often gather — and where you can work out, too.
Important note: Before beginning any new exercise program, consult your doctor. Stop immediately if you experience pain.
Soldier Hollow, Midway, Utah
“While Soldier Hollow has Olympic-caliber trails, they’ve done a good job making them accessible for beginners all the way up to elites,” she said.
Challenge you can try: Randall’s “one-third” workout. Select one of the easy trails, then warm up for 15 or 20 minutes. Next, elevate your pace for another 15 or 20 minutes before cooling down for the same length of time. “You should be breathing a little hard in the middle, but not feeling any heaviness in your muscles,” she said.
Manitou Incline, Manitou Springs, Colorado
The Manitou Incline, in Manitou Springs, Colorado, gains almost 2,000 feet of elevation over less than 1 mile.
RJ Sangosti/Denver Post/Getty Images
Challenge you can try: Hiking to the top without stopping. If that’s too difficult, rest as often as needed. You can also get off at the Bailout, a false summit 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) up the incline. The Bailout connects with the Barr Trail, an easy path leading back down the mountain. Stopping at the Bailout also allows you to avoid the steepest portion of the trail.
Mt. Lemmon Highway, Tucson, Arizona
The scenic Mt. Lemmon Highway near Tucson, Arizona, offers a challenging trek for cyclists.
Challenge you can try: Cycling to the summit. Start at the intersection of Tanque Verde Road and Catalina Highway and bike slowly but steadily to Summerhaven. If that’s too much, there are rest stops at miles 5.5, 12, 14 and 21 where you can take a break or turn around.
Forest Park, Portland, Oregon
Forest Park in Portland, Oregon, has more than 80 miles of trail that wind around the Tualatin Mountains.
Many elite runners live and train in the Portland area, which is also home to Nike World Headquarters. And one of their go-to spots to run is Forest Park, said Andrew Schupp, owner of Schupp Chiropractic & Sports Injuries in Madison, Wisconsin. Schupp, a former collegiate runner at Michigan State University, regularly spotted Olympians there while attending chiropractic school in Portland.
Challenge you can try: Intervals on a hilly stretch. After warming up, Schupp suggested running hard for one minute, then easy for one minute; then hard for two minutes and easy for one; then hard for three minutes and easy for two; then reversing back down. If you want more of a challenge, he said to try some hill repeats on Firelane 1. “Firelane 1 is a massive hill,” Schupp said, “so it’s a tough workout.”
Once you’ve tried an Olympic-caliber workout, it’s important to do what Olympians do next: Get plenty of rest. Obtaining adequate rest is something many regular athletes ignore, said Dr. Rand McClain, an osteopath and chief medical officer at LCR Health, a regenerative and sports medicine facility in Santa Monica, California.
“Without rest (and good nutrition), all the training in the world will not result in gains in fitness,” he said. “And, in fact, it could result in overtraining and reduced fitness.”
Top photo: In Midway, Utah, racers prepare for the IBU World Cup Biathlon, on February 13, 2019, at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, a venue in the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic games. Don Emmert/AFP via Getty Images