Olympic Athletes Share Their Favorite Workout Exercises
Olympic Athletes Share Their Favorite Workout Exercises
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Olympic Athletes Share Their Favorite Workout Exercises

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an Olympic athlete? Thanks to some of our favourite champions, now you can get the inside scoop! We chatted with AfterShokz Professional Athletes and Olympians Missy Franklin, Meb Keflezighi, and Katie Zaferes about their favourite training exercises, meditation practices, and pre-workout snacks that help them achieve their goals. Keep reading to get exclusive training tips and workout advice from a few of the greats! 


AFTERSHOKZ: What is your favourite pre-workout snack/meal?

KATIE ZAFERES: My favourite pre-workout snack is anything super plain. I have a hard time eating too close to running. So my snacks usually consist of toast or rice with a banana.

AS: What are some stretches you absolutely must include before and/or after a workout? 

KZ: I am actually not much of a stretcher. However, before I start run workouts I often do some dynamic drills that I learned from my strength coach Jeff Moreno. We call them ankling drills and it’s a bit of a small progression from quick little steps into doing strides.

AS: What kind of exercises or drills do you do to prepare for a competition?

KZ: Before a race, I do more activation type sessions. I do a 20-minute bike session with my AfterShokz Xtrainerz that includes a 5-minute effort building each minute and then a few short sprints. 

I do this on the trainer about 90 minutes before my races and having the music helps me to be able to stay engaged with the pre-race surroundings just enough, while also being able to control my pre-race nerves with some of my favourite energizing/powering up/calming songs (pending what I need at the moment). 

About 45 minutes or so before the race I’ll get in the water and do a swim warm-up that also consists of easy swimming, ending with 4-6 starts of about 25 strokes. Most often before a race, I don’t actually do a run in the hours before a race, but rather will do a shakeout jog with some strides by myself in the morning listening to music on my AfterShokz to help control the nerves from getting too high too early!

Get to know more about Katie here


AFTERSHOKZ: What is your favourite pre-workout snack/meal?

MISSY FRANKLIN: My favourite pre-workout snack is a Grastified bar. I love having bars before I train because they’re not too heavy, and when they have all-natural ingredients, the right amount of good fats and protein, and help balance your blood sugar, they keep me full and energized for my entire workout!

AS: What are some stretches you absolutely must include before and/or after a workout? 

MF: Before a workout, you definitely want to do more active stretching and mobility work. Think about stretches that keep you moving, like walking leg raises, calf raises, inch-worm walkouts, runner’s lunge, and arm swings. 

After a workout is an ideal time to do more static hold stretches, where you take at least 20-30 seconds in each position to really let the muscles relax and loosen. I love listening to more pump-up music on my Xtrainerz bone conduction headphones as I warm-up, and then I switch to something much calmer, like classical music or my favourite, Frank Sinatra, for my cool down stretching!

AS: What are your favourite exercises to do during a swimming workout?

MF: My favourite exercise drill is doing swimming backstrokes with a water bottle on my forehead! Head position is so critical to having a proper form in backstroke, and when your head is straight and neutral with your spine, your hips will stay lifted so that you’re swimming on the water and not through it. 

It’s such a fun balance challenge. I’ll do this drill while listening to my favourite songs on my Xtrainerz headphones and will try and match the tempo of my arms to the beat of the music!!

Get to know more about Missy here.


AFTERSHOKZ: What is your favourite pre-workout snack/meal?

MEB KEFLEZIGHI: I travel a lot and, when I do, I always plan ahead so I can stay healthy on the road. Instead of immediately resorting to fast food when I'm hungry, I bring fruit, granola, nuts, and cut up vegetables to stay energized.

AS: What is one tip you think all long-distance runners should know when they’re training?

MK: Many people push themselves to hit their weekly mileage goal. In training, it's better to run one mile less to make sure you have time for 10 minutes of stretching, rather than running longer without stretching. Prehab always beats rehab.

AS: What type of meditation or spiritual practices do you recommend when training or when preparing for race day?

MK: Before a big race, sit down and think about all your training. Take confidence from the work you did. It's easy to be intimidated by our goals, but staying grounded in the work you did leading up to the race is what helps you overcome self-doubt. 

When you finish your run, take a moment to pause and reflect on what you've accomplished. Those moments give meaning to all your effort.

Get to know more about Meb here

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