Diary of an athlete

A shot of where the magic happens/ Brett Nielsen

A shot of where the magic happens/ Brett Nielsen

The first in a continuing series that profiles an athlete’s typical training day

Author: Daniel Gomez – contributor

Well, the life of a swimmer might be simple, but it can be hard, and you need to be very organized. Our day starts much earlier than many other people’s. First, I wake up at 4:30 a.m. to start getting ready to go for swim practice. Morning practice starts at 5:15, so I have 45 minutes to have breakfast, get dressed, and drive to the pool. Practice starts with fifteen minutes of activation, which includes various rotational exercises with your arms and legs. We also put in some light dry-land to warm up our core, so it can be expected that some push-ups and abdominal work will be thrown into the mix. Finally, around five minutes of cardio to finish it up are key to being completely warmed up, and we choose to do some skipping. Our swim workout is from 5:30 to 7:30 in the morning, which varies from day-to-day, but is usually between six and seven kilometers.

Some days we might do technique work, some days we might do race-pace work, and some days we might do threshold pace; it all depends where we are in the season. From 7:30 to 8:00, we do some dry-land, almost every day we do 200 abs (a whole bunch of different exercises that work on your abs, we just generalize the word to mean all of the different exercises) and three sets of ten pull-ups. We end with stretching.

In the sport of swimming, it is very important to be very flexible, as you gain many advantages over other swimmers in the water. From here, some of us go to school, (some of us have school later on in the day), but not before we have our second breakfast. We eat snacks throughout the day, lunch at noon, then we keep eating snacks throughout the day until we all have to be back at the pool for afternoon practice, which starts at 5 p.m.

This practice starts with the same fifteen minutes of activation that includes the same kind of exercises we did in the morning, again, to get warmed up. This swim workout will be different, though. It will be harder and faster, but we still do six to seven kilometers in the pool. The swim workout goes until 6:00 p.m. and a dry-land workout follows it.

Here, we do a TRX workout, which is all about your core and it is HARD. We usually do TRX for about an hour, so we end at 7 p.m., and again we finish with some stretching. Then it is time to go home and eat a big supper. I personally try to go to sleep by 9:30 p.m. to be ready for the next morning’s workout. So, in my one hour of spare time, I either do some homework, study, or watch swimming videos on YouTube. (editor’s note: once an athlete, always an athlete – JL)


Daniel Gomez is a student-athlete and was born and raised in Mexico. He is a fourth-year student at the University of Regina, focusing on police studies. He hopes to one day become an RCMP officer. Daniel holds the school record in the 800-meter freestyle event.

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