How They Train Speed Skating TIME

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TIME

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Apolo Anton Ohno is an Olympic gold medalist a world champion speed skater a Dancing with the Stars King and he is also a very early riser we got to the Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City on time but Apollo was already hard at work he's warmed up and clocked in some time on a stationary bike and he was now doing something called turn belt exercises okay so the turn belt we take this long belt which is essentially it looks like a seat belt I reprimand whoever's holding me wrapped around his legs and he provides tension so I basically simulate the lean that I'm gonna have on the ice you know our sport is so unorthodox and the way you have to train for all the small intricate little muscles your core your lower back your hips your quads calves your ankles your knees I mean everything has to work in synchronicity and that's one of the exercises that really helps with the u.s. speed skating team had a 12-hour day the day before and although they were sore it didn't appear to slow them down after training on the track they prepped to get on the ice you'll see why in a minute but if the molding or the blades of these custom-made boots change at all even a tiny difference could cost the skater a race equipment is like one of the most important parts offshore track you can be the fittest guy the strongest I train the hardest and it means absolutely on the ice and you can't put together because you're the token bag it's going to hurt it's a challenge to catch these skaters on camera mostly because they whiz by at 40 miles an hour as a skater glides over the ice the friction creates razor sharp grooves that hold them in place through the tight curve but when you look closer the physics seem totally impossible and the angles are sometimes unbelievable the concept behind the water is when ice is dry kind of it's a little brittle wait for a wire on it this gives the ice a little more grip and we're actually not skating on the ice after skating on water it's a big lecture in the next few hours you watch the team slice through the ice and go through training drill after training drill to prepare for competition well I'm completely immersed in my zone and focused it's everything slows down I feel like I have a lot of time and a lot of space people watch on TV like oh my gosh how this guy does fit in this space they're so tight but for some reason I can scan I can see when this guy's gonna slip when this guy's gonna move out where there's an opening and it may only be for like you know a tenth of a second if that and boom I can fit in that hole I will that's what it's all about you know never hesitating and once you commit and commit in between sets Apollo and his coaches intently discuss and rebuild his form over and over again after a while and makes sense a lifetime of training is literally riding on razor blades my model this the seasoning for the rest of this year's have no regrets you know I want no regrets in my life and that's why we push so hard I totally train so that's why this morning like I knew I was gonna be dead I knew it could be hurting but it doesn't matter it doesn't matter that's what it's about this is what it's about is when I'm dead before I even get on the ice for the morning training I go out there I put in as much effort and I focus like that's the last two hours of preparation for the games that's a beautiful thing the end product is visually impressive but it takes a lot more than just ice training to be truly great speed skating is a delicate balance of strength agility power and precision the athletes dryland workouts include running biking and weightlifting but on this day we filmed one important portion of their training the stair workout it's perfect for skating because you know we just finish kind of slow long pushes on the ice and what that essentially does is start trying to do it recruits all these muscles along your quads your hips and calf muscles your ankles to fire at once so like one cycle is every step every third step every fifth step and that's one set I'm going to do 14 sets of that and then we give you know the individual legs going up through sets three sets go inside through size three slips and then double leg goes three sets as well they make it look easy but you should know that this exercise took 45 minutes if you want to lose weight doing some high intensity training like that you go slice through fat after the stairs onal ran a mile on the outside track to warm down and then finally took some time off to give me a quick lesson how to push to the side think of yourself as crouching like a ball you see this motion right here use your legs here this is your back you a little bit high but where you want you want this to be parallel you want to be down about this much further there you go okay but sit back sit back sit back hey go I do diamonite good oh shoot as you can see I couldn't even get into the basic position and it hurt to think about being crouched in this ball for hours on end made me cringe that's not bad that's not bad it's not great but hey you know we're making progress you're moving you're moving sometimes I feel like that after I waddle off the ice Ono's intensity began to sink in if you can believe it leading up to the games these athletes now do these training sessions three times a day then the most important part in my mind is this stage right here this preparation as long as I go to the game here and in my mind I've been paired like nobody else has you know I can stand to stand out there open ceremonies focus and I can best represent the United States best I can happy this is Sean Gregory reporting for time calm

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