Kim Vandenberg is one of the fastest butterfly swimmers in the world. She's not quite the fastest (she's ranked second), but she's aiming to change that this summer in Beijing. Until then? A meticulous training program, and lots and lots of laps.
What are your goals for the Olympics?
Definitely to medal. At Worlds I got to race the world record holder, Jessicah Schipper. She won gold, and I got silver. I'd love to beat her. Just the opportunity to race her again would be great. She'll bring out the best in me again I hope.
How do you handle the stress of it all?
I just try to think of the process and not so much the end result. If I'm working hard and doing everything I can, in the end it will all come together. I'm taking care of the small details: sleeping, drinking water, and eating healthy foods. Having that knowledge that I'm preparing well gives me comfort and confidence.
What's your schedule like right now?
My typical day is to wake up at 5:15 a.m., and grab some coffee and toast. I head to the pool from 6 to 8 a.m., then go to the weight room from 8:15 to 9:15 (a.m.). I lift and do lots of stretching then. In the springtime we swim again from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., then sometimes I'll do cardio, on an elliptical, for 30 to 40 minutes. Once or twice a week I do pilates at night.
I try to go to bed around 9 (p.m.), but I have a hard time sleeping that early. Usually it's closer to 10.
Wow. You must get sore a lot. What do you do to relieve sore muscles?
I take hot showers—that usually helps. I have a great body oil that I use from Dr. Hauschka's skin care line. It warms my muscles up. I'll use that or go get a massage from a trainer. Stretching on a daily basis really helps me too, and drinking lots of water.