After the Olympics: Staying Fit On and Off the Ice
It goes without saying that Olympic-level skaters have to train hard and stay fit to challenge such elite competititors. In the months before Paul Wylie took to the ice at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, he was no exception, skating four hours a day or more in addition to other types of training in preparation for the competition.
That work paid off for him as he dazzled all at the Olympics that winter, locking in the silver medal during the final free skate competition after nailing a triple flip, followed by a triple axel.
These days, Wylie no longer skates competitively but stays plenty busy running his own sports-related travel business, coaching figure skaters, and raising three kids. He continues to work out regularly on the ice and performs every now and then, including at the Musselman’s Apple Sauce Family Skating Tribute on November 3.
Recently, Musselman’s heard from Wylie about how he stays healthy and fit as an Olympian turned entrepreneur, coach, and dad. Here’s what he shared.
Q: What does your training regimen look like these days?
A: Now that I’m working, and not necessarily preparing for competitions, my training is very different. I have to maintain my strength and flexibility, but I can’t work out four hours a day on the ice like I did when I was training for the Olympics. Instead, I try to make sure that I skate, at least a little, three to five times a week. I warm-up carefully and try to execute my jumps and spins.
Since I don’t always have the time or luxury to skate for my training, I’ve developed off-the-ice workouts. I do several days of cardiovascular exercise (whether using the elliptical or jogging) and several days of resistance training exercise with weights and bands.
It’s good to stretch after a workout, and sometimes I forget, but it’s really essential. I like to do yoga poses like downward facing dog, triangle pose, cat-cow, and warrior.
I’ve recently joined a group called F3 that exercises early in the morning and does a lot of military style workouts. I enjoy the cameraderie very much, but the workouts are at 5:30 a.m., so it’s pretty early!
Q: What do you eat to refuel and stay healthy?
A: I try to eat three smaller than usual meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then mid-morning and mid-afternoon, I have a small snack that includes high-protein, high-fiber, and low-sugar foods, and things like fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and the occasional protein bar. Apple sauce is great!
Q: What exercises do you do off the ice to stay fit?
A: I really enjoy getting outdoors and going mountain biking, road biking, skiing (my favorite), and hiking. I also do swimming, yoga, and other kinds of stretching.
See Paul Wylie perform live – with your whole family – at the Musselman’s Apple Sauce Family Skating Tribute on November 3 at Penn State University’s Pegula Ice Arena. Purchase tickets here. Can’t make the show? Mark your calendar for November 24, 4 to 6 p.m., and watch it on NBC.