These international Olympians are famous for going all out. Here, they take a rare time-out to talk beauty obsessions, diet secrets, and intense workouts. By Gina Way
Natalie CoughlinNatalie Coughlin, Swimmer (USA)
California girl Coughlin, 29, is an 11-time Olympic medalist and two gold medals shy of being the most decorated female U.S. Olympian in history.
TRAINING SCHEDULE: I train at least six days a week. I'm at the pool by 5 a.m. and do a Pilates mat routine to warm up before I get in the water. I swim from 6 to 8 a.m., lift weights from 8 to 9:30, then rest and have something to eat. In the afternoon, it's more swimming followed by power circuit training and Pilates again.
SECRET TO LEAN MUSCLES: It's important to do the entire range of motion when you're lifting weights, as opposed to short, little reps, which build bulky, tight muscles.
RUBDOWN REHAB: I see a physical therapist once a week and a Swedish massage therapist once a month. The masseuse inflicts bruises with deep pressure-and it's very painful-but I feel great afterward.
ACTIVE R&R: When I'm not training for competition, I love to run (up to 10 miles a day). And I hike on trails near my home outside of San Francisco with my high-energy dogs: SheRa, a Border terrier, and Dozer, an American bulldog.
MORNING JUMP START: I'll have Birchir muesli and coffee before training. It's part of my meditative ritual before I warm up for competition.
SMART SNACKS: I always have almonds, dried plums, and herbal teas in my bag.
GUILTY PLEASURE: A really good hot dog and Vosges' Barcelona Bar with sea salt and almonds.
RECEIVING THE MEDAL: After a race, I'll put my hair in a chignon, and I might put on eyebrow gel and some lip gloss, but that's it. You have less than half an hour after a race to warm down, do press interviews, and get to the medal ceremony.
SKIN SAVIORS: Since I worry about discoloration from being in the sun so much, I also use Pevonia Botanica Vitamin C serum. On my arms and legs, I apply something super-moisturizing, like cocoa butter. I've been in the sun my whole life, and fortunately, I've been obsessed with wearing sunscreen since I was a kid. For my face, my favorite is Vertra Stick SPF 50. It's ultra-waterproof and gives some coverage like makeup.
PERFUME PICK-ME-UP: Jo Malone Cologne with lemon verbena. I like to spray on this clean citrus scent, otherwise I end up smelling like chlorine.
HAIR RX: I rinse my hair with tap water before jumping in the pool, so my strands soak up less chlorine. To keep them hydrated, I use Pantene Split End Repair Creme. I also put a little Pantene Silky Moisture Whip in my hair whether I style it straight or wear it naturally wavy.Victoria PendletonVictoria Pendleton, Track Cyclist (U.K.)
English beauty Pendleton, 31, is a nine-time world champion and was an Olympic gold medalist in individual sprint at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
TRAINING SCHEDULE: I train twice a day, five days a week, and once on the weekend. I have two-and-a-half-hour strength sessions at the gym three times a week, working with a range of weights, resistance, conditioning, and core stability. Twice a week, I train on the cycle ergometer [a high-tech stationary bike] for leg speed and strength. I'm on the velodrome track four times a week from 2 to 5 p.m. doing cycle training. And on the weekend, I'll do a two-hour road ride for recovery.
PILATES REHAB: I've been doing Pilates for more than a year, and for me, it's been a real breakthrough in managing back pain and building my postural muscles. I have lots of lumbar spine issues from spending my life hunched over a bike.
MORNING JUMP START: For breakfast, I'll usually have whole-grain toast with honey. I cut my fruit juice with equal parts water. (Too much acid in my diet affects my energy.)
SMART SNACKS: I carry packets of instant oatmeal that I can make with boiling water. It's nutritious and provides a slow energy release.
GUILTY PLEASURE: I cook from scratch at home, but my meal isn't complete without something sweet at the end-typically chocolate.
RECEIVING THE MEDAL: I always wear mascara-Max Factor Masterpiece with a coat of Clarins Double Fix (a waterproof seal) over it. I might also wear a bit of Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and Vaseline pink-tinted lip balm.
OFF-DUTY ESSENTIALS: I'm a big fan of Shu Uemura's false eyelashes. I have some pretty crazy ones that I haven't actually had the confidence to wear yet. I've also been experimenting with MAC Russian Red lipstick, which takes confidence, too.
SKIN SAVIORS: Everything from Elemis feels really light and natural, and they don't irritate my sensitive skin. I use the Tri-Enzyme face wash and serum and the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. My go-to sunscreen for my face is Elemis Liquid Layer SPF 30. For my body, I like to use a sunscreen from Soleil Organique.
HELMET-HAIR FIX: A bike helmet plays havoc with your hair, and my natural wave tends to get frizzy. Pantene 24 Hour Frizz Fighter Serum prevents it from looking like crazy-professor hair and keeps it smooth and shiny.
PERFUME PICK-ME-UP: I wear Elie Saab, which is a gorgeous, womanly fragrance. It's the first scent I've ever had that's not sporty!Paola EspinosaPaola Espinosa, Diver (Mexico)
The petite 5'1" Espinosa, 25, is a two-time Olympian, winning bronze in Beijing in 2008. She's been Mexican national champion in the 10-meter platform for nine years running.
TRAINING SCHEDULE: I train Monday through Saturday, seven to eight hours per day. On a normal day, I wake up at 8 a.m., eat a light breakfast of fruit or cereal, and then head to the gym from 9 a.m. to noon to do dry training (lots of work with weights, core exercises, practicing gymnastics). We go to the pool for a diving session from 12 to 2 p.m. Then there's lunch and a rest break until 4 p.m., when it's back to training until 7:30 or 8 p.m.
SMART SNACKS: Herbalife smoothies are a staple for me.
GUILTY PLEASURE: My favorite is potatoes with chili peppers.
GAME DAY ROUTINE: I don't wear any makeup when I'm competing. When I'm diving, I tie my hair back into a ponytail or a bun.
OFF-DUTY ESSENTIALS: I love to put on makeup, but I like it to look natural. My go-to makeup products are mostly from MAC-especially its face and body foundation and Lipglass. And I can't live without Bobbi Brown mascara.
SKIN SAVIORS: Vasenol body lotion is key because my skin is exposed all the time and gets so dry from hours of training in a chlorinated pool.
PERFUME PICK-ME-UP: CH by Carolina Herrera.
NECESSARY INDULGENCE: Baths with rose water. HAIR RX: When I go out, I wear my hair down and either straighten it or wear extensions. My hair tends to do what it wants, but I like it when it's frizz-free and shiny. Using the Pantene 3-Minute Miracle Treatment at night helps make it more manageable.
Find out more Olympic beauty tips at MarieClaire.com
More from MarieClaire.com:Become a fan of Marie Claire on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!