DT: I met with a trainer that specializes in personal training for pregnant women who, along with my doctor, determined my aerobic exercise limits. Once I knew my limits, I was able to work on my body in a way that was sensible for me and my daughter.
MBG: What’s the key to great abs?
DT: The secret to great abs is to incorporate core work into other exercises. My exercises are 90% core and balls.
MBG: What’s a typical training day for you now? How often do you workout and for how long?
DT: I do a 45 minute aerobic workout, followed by an hour to an hour and fifteen minute dry land strength training. I also meet for 30 to 45 minutes for knee rehabilitation. I have taken a year off from swimming.
MBG: How has this changed since your first Olympics?
I workout less, but take part in more innovative training styles in place of old-school training. My trainer Andy O’Brien’s approach to strength training made a world of difference after my first Olympics by helping me to strengthen the muscles around my joints, making them more stable while focusing on my core and realigning my skeleton. He designed five groups of three exercises that enabled me to train more efficiently. I have also discovered Ki-Hara, a series of resistance stretches developed by Steve Sierra and Anne Tierney of Innovative Body Solutions. I have become faster in the pool and I am more in balance with my skeleton, joints and muscles. In my book, Gold Medal Fitness, A Revolutionary 5-Week Program, I detail both my cardio and strength training workouts.
MBG: Do you need more recovery time?
DT: Yes, I need more recovery time as I get older. I had always believed that in order to be the best, I needed to work and train hard. Rest was synonymous with sleep and recovery. I have since learned the value of rest for both mental and physical acuity. My body needs recovery time in order for optimal performance and in order to avoid injury and build strength, my muscles need to rest. My bones, tendons and ligaments need to realign with those muscles so that they don’t become too tight or overstretched. The mental and emotional value of rest can’t be underestimated. Carving out additional "me time" and extra sleep are powerful training tools.
MBG: How do you incorporate stretching into your fitness routine?
DT: I use stretching as a recovery method from training, but not really a warm-up. Resistance stretching is most effective for me.