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Olympic god of the sea Michael Phelps may possess an aquatically perfect body, but no athlete succeeds without discipline and a kickass warm-up regimen.
"I do the same exact warm-up now that I've done for the last 14 years, 13 years," he once told Speedo in a promotional documentary video. "800, 600, 400, 200, swim-kick-pull drill, then I do a couple 25s. That's it."
OK, OK, all well and good. As a former (decidedly un-Olympic) swimmer, I get that all of those numbers refer to distances in a pool. An Olympic-sized swimming pool is 50 meters in length, so an 800 is 16 laps. And pulling and kicking refer to those things you do with your arms and legs, respectively, when moving with purpose in an aquatic environment. It makes a lot of sense that Michael Phelps would do these things before every race.