You can forget anything ordinary if you aspire to be an Olympic swim medalist. It takes a superhuman mindset to get to the point when you can cover 50 meters in 26 seconds or less, or forge your way over 400 meters in the mixed freestyle in under four minutes.
To be in contention for a swimming podium finish in the 2020 Tokyo Games takes total mental and physical commitment, more than average talent, a strong belief in yourself, the ability to shrug off disappointment and stay in the game, and, yes, a fair bit of luck!
As I write this blog for Bluewater, I’m still a second or so away from the times I need to get onto the Swedish Olympic team. Elite swimming is all about time. About shaving away micro-seconds. Get a breathe wrong can cost not only a race but also my Olympic place. So, I’m basically living in the pool and gym right now.
A typical day involves two workout sessions in the pool, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. And those workouts are intense, believe me. Swimming up to 20,000 meters per session (that’s 200 lengths of a 50-meter pool), doing kick sets to strengthen my legs, and arm sets to build shoulder muscle. I also focus on getting my breathing working for me, limiting breaths as I power through the water.
I may be a water babe, but dry training in a gym is almost just as important to my performance. So, when I am not swimming, you’ll find me running, lifting weights, and doing stuff like yoga. Here’s the thing: while I need to be strong in the pool, I also need to stay as lean as I can because muscle mass makes me heavier in the water, which isn’t good. Lean and mean and powerful, that’s me.
Then there is the food. I am burning over 7,000 calories a day during intensive training. Which means I need to eat a lot to maintain weight. I eat a mixed balanced diet of meat and vegetables, grains and yogurt, lots of eggs, and plenty of fruit. And I make sure to stay well hydrated, preferably drinking the purified water I get from Bluewater that I can trust to be free of contaminants.
Play hard, relax hard is my motto. Because I start my training early, often around 4AM, I go to bed early to ensure I get eight hours of sleep, which helps me stay healthy and active. I also meditate quite a bit to calm my mind.
Wanna join me in a bid to become an Olympian? Let’s dive in together for those gold medals