Olympian Kikkan Randall is vying to make history as the first American to win a medal in cross-country skiing — she's THAT good. Heading into her fourth Olympics, the 31-year-old tells TODAY.com about her tough training schedule, how she stays motivated and oh yeah, how she gets those crazy washboard abs.
Favorite muscle/body part:
“My abs! I love having a six pack!” (Editor’s.note: We agree, you can wash clothes on those things)
"Hanging core exercises from the pull-up bar. Start with bringing your knees up to your chest (10 reps), then progress to bringing toes up to hands, then progress to bringing knees to chest and then twisting back and forth and finally progress to toes up to hands and then swing legs back and forth like a windshield wiper. Gets your deep abdominal muscles which are key for your core stability!"
Typical training workout routine
"Six days a week, two sessions per day. A lot of easy-paced endurance training (think conversation pace), intervals twice per week, speed training twice per week, strength and core training twice per week and then the seventh day, as a rest or easy recovery day to let the body absorb all the great work you did all week."
"As an athlete food is fuel for me. It’s important to keep your body fueled properly throughout the day, so snacks are really important. I try not to go for more than three hours without eating so I always have a stash of healthy snacks with me. Kashi has granola bars that are packed with good nutrients, so I am usually eating those. Right now, I am into the Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt Chewy Granola Bar."
Favorite protein shake recipe:
- 1 cup of frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
- ½ cup of spinach
- 1 banana, skim milk and/or coconut water
- Vanilla protein powder
- 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp. of ground flaxseed
Go-to workout songs:
“Battlefield” by Jordin Sparks, “Roar” by Katy Perry and “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson.
Most hated workout:
"My coach once took one of my poles away while I was roller skiing uphill, for over an hour. At first I felt off balance and had to work really hard with my legs. But it ended up being really good for teaching my arms and legs to move together to find the optimal body position. When my coach gave me my other pole back, I was much more in sync and skiing actually felt easier than when I had started."
Fave cheat meal:
"Maple glazed doughnuts from my local grocery store."
Tips to get motivated:
"Commit yourself to getting out the door for ten minutes. Ten minutes is a totally manageable chunk of time. After ten minutes, you are free to stop but I usually find that, even on my most tired days, I start feeling good and end up having a great workout."