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Speed Skater Extraordinaire Jennifer Rodriguez

This week, FBG will feature an inside peek into the minds—and training routines—of three different U.S. Olympians. Here’s the second of this special three-part “Going for Gold” Olympian FitStars series!

Long track speed skating is no joke. Just ask Jennifer Rodrigueztop medal threat in the 500m, the 1,000m and 1,500m speed skating events. I had the opportunity to sit down with Jennifer in Vancouver and talk shop about the sport that pulled her out of retirement and back onto the ice.

You’ve read about her diet. She has to be a well-fueled machine in order to compete in her event. It’s not a sweet skate around the rink by any means. According to her, “You have to train to make your body become automatic.” She told me stories of how she sometimes loses eyesight (!) while going around the track because all of her oxygen is flowing into her legs.

The lactic acid is no joke either, but she’s learned to differentiate between mental exhaustion, physical pain and just plain laziness. She says listening to her body is key, and she respects her recovery time. She makes her easy days incredibly easy; the words “minimal” and “nothing” came flying out of her mouth. She’s also a fan of ice baths for aches and contrasts (hot bath followed by an iced bath, repeat) when she needs to flush out the lactic acid. You’d think no one would intentionally want to do push their bodies to such extremes, but this one-time Olympic bronze winner loves it up. In fact, she’s the first Cuban-American to ever win a Winter Olympics medal, and she’s shown no evidence of slowing down. Watch Jennifer put retirement talk on ice and go for the gold when women’s speed skating starts on Saturday, Feb. 14. —Tish

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