Lindsey Vonn Shares Her Post-Ski Recovery Routine

And the recovery regimen she swears by.

Originally Published: 
How Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn works out, recovers, and keeps her skin protected on the slopes.
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

You know Lindsey Vonn as an Olympic champion alpine ski racer, author, and correspondent. And now, you can add another title to the list: director. She just finished making a documentary about Picabo Street, a fellow alpine ski racer who actually inspired her to get into the sport.

The documentary, Picabo, is part of a series of Olympic Channel documentaries highlighting winter sports ahead of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. “Picabo's been my idol since I was 9 and I met her at an autograph signing in Minnesota,” the 37-year-old tells Bustle. “She was the reason why I wanted to become an Olympian.”

When the Olympic Channel asked Vonn to join up with co-director Frank Marshall, she jumped at the chance. “There are so many components to the documentary that are relatable to anyone, not just ski racers,” Vonn says. “Picabo has such an amazing story, like the American dream. And she's had a lot of bumps in the road to get there.” And if you’re wondering, yes — Picabo has seen Picabo. “She loved it,” Vonn says. “And her kids loved it, too. That was the most important thing.”

Now that the 2022 Winter Olympics are here, Vonn will be busy working with the NBC broadcast team as a correspondent. But even though she has a jam-packed schedule, the Olympic champion still finds time to ski. Here, Vonn shares her ski playlist, pre-ski skin care routine, and how she relaxes once she’s finally home on a Friday night.

How often are you skiing these days?

I've been skiing quite a lot, actually! And I just went on my first skiing vacation since I was 9 this past month. So that was really fun.

Besides skiing, do you have a favorite workout?

Cleans [lifting a barbell] was always my favorite when I was racing. I don't know why! They’re just something that I liked to do. Now I mainly love to do HIIT workouts about four days a week. I've got my Tempo at home and I just do whatever I have time for. I like to cram as much as I can into a short period of time, so HIIT's the best way to do that for me.

I like to work out first thing in the morning. It stimulates me for the rest of the day. If I wait till the end of the day, I'm usually tired from working, so it's harder for me to motivate myself to get it done. The more I can work out in the morning, the better.

What else do you do to get ready in the morning?

When I was racing I had a long morning routine because my knees are so bad. I had to do this whole warmup. But now that I'm skiing for fun, my mornings are a lot easier.

The main thing I do, just like when I was racing, is make sure I have enough food. I tend to not be super hungry in the mornings, but it's important for me to eat some oatmeal so that I don't get hangry while I'm on the mountain.

Being hangry is the worst! What about hydration? Do you have any tricks for drinking enough water?

Honestly, I'm really bad at drinking water. I always have to have a giant, 2-liter water jug with me and I keep trying to get to the bottom of it, which is really difficult. If I don't have a water bottle around, then I'm not going to drink.

Do you have any favorite skin care products?

Generally, I like to use Vintner's Daughter because my skin gets so dry when I ski. That provides a good base, and then I put a layer of sunscreen on top, which is so important. I always use Supergoop with SPF 45.

What do you like to listen to? Is there anything that pumps you up before skiing?

I have a race playlist that I always listen to before I go skiing. It's basically a lot of rap music. A lot of Lil Wayne, Kanye, Jay-Z, and Eminem.

How do you push through a tough workout, especially if you’re tired?

Back when I was racing, if I was tired I’d try to find different ways to motivate myself. I’d think about what my competitors were doing and think about how much better I wanted to ski that season. Now, I definitely try to manage myself and keep a good balance because I'm always working so hard. If I need a break, I take it.

Do you have any post-ski recovery tips?

I use my Normatec, which is like a compression sleeve that you put on your legs. It helps flush my legs out so my muscles can recover. It's really great, especially for my knee, which gets swollen. But honestly, sleep is the best way to recover. And it's the hardest thing to get.

I feel that! Do you have a nighttime routine that helps at all?

It really depends on if my dogs are jumping on me or not. If I can keep them calm, then I get a great night’s sleep. But it’s mainly just about finding the time. I really try to prioritize it.

If I can’t get enough sleep at night I’ll try for a 20-minute nap in the afternoon during my lunch break. That’s always helpful. I also try not to watch TV in bed. I feel like it helps me sleep better, even though it's hard because I really do enjoy it.

Is there anything else you do for self-care, maybe on a Friday night?

I'm pretty basic. I’ll literally curl up on the couch with my dogs and some ice cream and watch Law & Order. Once I do that, everything’s better!

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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