Day in the life of a professional swimmer
Bruno Moreno Gutiérrez
Professional Sports Analyst & Journalist
How difficult is swimming?
Swimming is one of the most watched disciplines at the Olympics, however, people never realize how taxing it can be. To become a professional swimmer one requires character and a lot of discipline to be able to face the obstacles that the journey will bring.
Even though the process is long and difficult, it does not affect the mentality of most swimmers, because they know that the reward at the end will be priceless.
Swimmers can train more than 14 sessions per week:
Swimming is considered to be a low impact sport and a discipline that requires a lot of aerobic training, therefore swimmers’ training sessions can have a large volume of yards and can be up to 10k in some occasions.
Most of swimmers who achieved the Olympic dream, started to get involve in the sport at an early age and this definitely could have helped to get through to taxing training sessions.
The aerobic and anaerobic capacity in swimming are crucial, however, without the appropriate aerobic training a swimmer cannot develop power and explosiveness in the water.
This being said, high performance swimming sessions are hard and not all people have the facility and ability to do them. Training, as a swimmer, to compete at a World or Olympic level is not an easy task.
One must be very patient, because the journey will have tears and blood; and trust me, it will be more mentally taxing, than physically.
Sprinters & Distance Swimmers: Is there a big difference?
Even though all are called swimmers, that does not mean they are all doing the same type of sessions. According to the event, a swimmer will require a certain stimulus during training, therefore in most teams athletes are divided in short and long distance specialists.
On one hand the professional sprinters focused more on power, the reason being that these type of athletes compete in the 50`s, 100’s and in some occasions the 200’s.
On the other side, distance swimmers have sessions with a mix of both aerobic and anaerobic workouts.
Some people might argue that one is harder than other, nevertheless, the reality is that they are both very different training styles.
A swimmer, regarding if sprinter of distance specialist, is going to be positively affected when practicing these training methods because the athlete is receiving a different stimulus than the one he or she were already used to, and therefore the development of new physical capacities could be easier.
Sprinter Vs Distance Swimmer: A Week of kilometers in the pool:
The information given by the graph, is based on Michal Andrew’s swimming sessions prior to his participation at the Tokyo Olympics where he won Gold with team USA. These results are being compared with Paltrinieri’s, the Olympic Champion from Italy.
Andrew is a swimmer whose training is more focused in ultra-short race pace training (USRPT), therefore his sessions are around the 3,300 meter; while distance swimmer like Paltrinieri whose specialty in the pool are the 800 and 1500 freestyle tends to swim within the 7,000 km mark per session.
Ryan Lochte: Most difficult swimming workout
One of the most decorated Olympians of all time is Ryan Lochte, whose swimming technique and endurance are one of the most impressive of all time. This is due to the amount and high quality training that has done in the past few years.
The Olympic and World Champion Titles are no easy task at all, due to the amount of dedication that is needed; not only in the pool, but outside of it.
This being said, the water workouts are extremely important and some of them might seem impossible to get through, therefore the next swimming training will demonstrate that Ryan Lochte is out of this world. He is just capable of doing unique things!
The most challenging swimming workout of Ryan Lochte:
2x 100 fly @ 1:30 all out
2x 50 back @ :50 all out
100 free @ 1:20
400 IM @ 5:00 from the blocks
The 400 IM Olympic Champion of London 2012, Lochte, was capable of suffering the pain of this crazy workout. He averaged 4:28’s in the 400’s IM, which confirms that the American swimmers is not human.
Would you be able to do this swimming workout?
Let us know in the comments the hardest swimming workout you have done!