How to Be an Olympic Athlete
Pointers on what it takes to go for the gold
By Green Point,  Newser User
Posted Jul 9, 2008 12:45 PM CDT
In this July 5, 2008 file photo, swimmer Dara Torres celebrates setting a US record time of 24.38 in the women's 50-meter freestyle semifinal.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file)
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(Newser) – Before you clear a spot on the mantle for that gold medal, you may need a quick reality check: Forbes runs down the numbers behind the blood, sweat, and tears of an Olympic athlete's training.

  1. Training: 4 to 8 years to maximize lung capacity and heart strength
  2. Sessions: up to 3 a day, 6 days a week
  3. Goal setting: beyond annual benchmarks, some athletes plan 4 years out

  1. Pain: suck it up in 55-degree toxin-flushing baths
  2. Sleep: clock 10 hours a an afternoon nap to rebuild muscle
  3. Eat, eat, eat: up to 5,000 calories a day during intense training
Click the link below for the complete list.