As the 2010 Winter Olympics draws to a close, I figured this was a good occasion to spotlight the workouts and nutritional habits of both a men's and women's competitor. For the men's spotlight, let's take a look at short-track speed skater and gold-medalist Apolo Ohno.
After viewing one of his training videos courtesy of Strength Performance Network, I noticed that Apolo's training style was very reminiscent of explosion and plyo drills I learned during my time running track & field in college. The neuromuscular requirements of sprinters and speed skaters are very similar, both require explosive power along with fast-twitch muscular endurance. Apolo's workout also features a big emphasis on hip flexor strength, which is another immediate similarity to a track & field sprinter philosophy.
As I expected, Apolo Ohno seems to have a solid understanding of what sorts of foods make his body perform optimally. Other than Michael Phelps, I don't think many of us can run efficiently on pizza, pancakes, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Ohno apparently fuels with complex carb sources like oatmeal and brown rice earlier in the day, good lean protein sources like chicken, and of course plenty of leafy green vegetables.
Ohno's coach, John Schaeffer deserves a ton of the credit, having helped Apolo Ohno shed 16 pounds in preparation for the Vancouver Olympics by closely monitoring his meals approaching the final phases of his training.