Olympic training secrets

Published On: Jul 19 2012 09:28:22 PM EDT
CLERMONT, Fla. -

Only 9.69 seconds. That's how long it took Jamaica's Usain Bolt to become the fastest man on earth back in 2008. Since then Olympic track and field stars have spent countless hours training for critical seconds.

We take you inside the gym and inside the minds of track stars to get their training tips and hints.

What looks like an Olympic photo shoot is a rare rest-day with fans, but for a glimpse into their daily grind, all you have to do is ask.

Interval runs, sprinting, hurdling -- it's what coach Dennis Mitchell calls, "Hard work and hard work."

While your work may never get you to the Olympics, there are ways to improve your training, starting in your own backyard.

For 100/200 meter sprinter Curtis Mitchell, "The most important thing as a runner is that you have to push through on your down days. The days you don't feel good are the most important days."

To push through, do what you love.

"I love abs. I love the weight room.," said Damu Cherry-Mitchell, an Olympic hurdler.

World champ Tyson Gay runs for a living…but there are two other "R" words on his mind.

"I believe in rest," said Gay.

He also believes in rehydration, so don't forget to fuel up!

"You're a Ferrari, the fuel you put in your Ferrari dictates how that car runs from day to day," Coach Mitchell explained.

It's something Justin Gatlin preaches.  Gatlin won gold in 2004 but lean meats and portioned meals helped him trim more than just his run time.

"I was like 210, 205 pounds, now I'm down to 182," Gatlin said.

And gold isn't the only reward their after.

"That one cheat day of the week where I eat whatever I want," said Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, an Olympic gold medalist.

"Oh my gosh I love gummies and cupcakes," Cherry-Mitchell laughed.

So what's former Olympian, and current coach, Dennis Mitchell's best training secret?

"Well I'd tell ya, but as everyone says I'd have to kill ya," Coach Mitchell said.

The opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic games kicks off Friday, July 27.  For a full schedule of the Olympic games go to london2012.com.

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