Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Olympic Training Center

I met with my friend Joe at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Joe is a resident triathlete and is pretty busy as you can imagine. I think a typical workout for him is all three sports every day, varying intensity. Someone like me would do a bike workout, and then rest. Joe would do a hard bike, and "rest" by swimming and running easy. Anyway, he had a little time in between swimming and running and he graciously took me around the complex for about 45 minutes.

This is frustrating, I can't seem to link to Joe's bio. If you want to see it you have to go to the elite athlete bio page and then select "Joe Umphenour" from the dropdown box.

We went into the Athlete Performance Lab, the scientific lab where oxygen consumption and blood lactic acid and all sorts of stuff like that are measured. In the middle of the room was a treadmill that can go up to 25 mph. Yes, 25 mph. Maybe only my running friends will relate to that, but let's just say that is really fast for a human! The lab director said that some sprinters can hit that briefly, which is why the treadmill can support that speed. This must be one of the fastest treadmills in the world.

Fast Treadmill

We walked by the gymnastics area and watched two men on the pommel horse for a few minutes. Then, we went through the indoor shooting range, by the volleyball court, and over to the swimming pool and peeked in through the windows. On one side of the pool was a synchronized swim team, apparently getting chewed out, since Joe said the coach didn't look happy. On the other side were four or five lanes of swimmers. Since I'm a tri geek, I couldn't help but time some of them. ;) I watched one swimmer complete a 50 meter length in about 35 seconds, which is about twice as fast as I can do it. Plus, the swimmer didn't look like she was pushing hard at all, just there doing some "easy" yardage!

Then we walked to the Athlete's Residence Hall, and I followed Joe past the large "NO VISITORS BEYOND THIS POINT" sign. He pointed out their cafeteria and I noticed the menu was quite expansive.

Athlete's Residence Entrance Hall

We went up to his room, which was the model of efficient storage: neatly stacked bike helmets, running shoes, and bikes on stands. Plus, he's got one of the best views in the building - Pike's Peak!

It was a very interesting tour. The Olympic Training Center is much like a college, except the people there are studying an athletic discipline instead of adademics. I'm grateful Joe could take the time to show me around, especially the areas the regular tour doesn't visit.

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