Q&A with U.S. Swimmer Jessica Hardy: How I Train
This summer, the World’s elite athletes are in their most intense training as they aim to go stronger, further and faster. U.S. swimmer Jessica Hardy—winner of 10 World Championship long course meters medals, including three golds; member of the Gold Medal-winning 4x100m medley relay team at the 2012 London Olympic Games; and current holder of two American records in 50m and 100m breaststroke—spends most days hard at work. Not only does she swim 10 or more times a week, this elite swimmer also lifts weights and adds rigorous dryland workouts to her extensive training regimen. After long, grueling days packed with intense exercise, it’s important to refuel and replenish muscles quickly so they’re at peak potential for her next workout or race. So, what helps this top athlete recover?
We caught up with Jessica Hardy to learn how this freestyle and breaststroke specialist trains.
Built With Chocolate Milk: How Do You Prepare To Swim For Your Upcoming Races?
Jessica Hardy: Right now I’m in the aerobic phase where I’m staring at the black line at the bottom of the pool all day, and the time in my training when my body is the most beat up. I’m working hard every day.
Built With Chocolate Milk: What Does A Typical Week of Training Entail?
JH: I lift weights three times a week, Pilates twice a week and yoga once a week. I don’t do as much water swimming as other swimmers do because I’m a sprinter, so I’ve cut that down and increased outside-of-the-pool work. In the off-season I’ll run, cycle and box – I like to do it all.
Built With Chocolate Milk: That’s an Intense Week. How Many Hours a Day Do You Train?
JH: Total training time is anywhere from five to six hours a day. It’s definitely a full-time commitment – just like a full-time job.
Built With Chocolate Milk: How Important Is Nutrition and Recovery For Your Training?
JH: As I’ve become more established in my swimming career I’ve realized how important nutrition is for fueling my body. I just feel a difference, I feel so much more energetic as I’m eating clean and eating my fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. But more important for me is recovery. When I’m traveling and in between competitions, every single day I’m mindful of it and lowfat chocolate milk is the first thing I drink right after practice.
Built With Chocolate Milk: You Trust Lowfat Chocolate Milk to Help You Recover. Why?
JH: Athletic trainers within our sport have been fans of chocolate milk for years. And science also backs it up. It has the right carb-to-protein ratio to help replace muscle fuel (glycogen) that you lose in practice. So the sugars in chocolate milk are actually good for you after a tough workout, plus the protein helps repair and rebuild lean muscle. I definitely feel that a lot of my successes and a lot of my performances have been built with chocolate milk. Plus it tastes good!
Built With Chocolate Milk: How Long Has Drinking Chocolate Milk Been a Part of Your Training Regimen?
JH: Most of my career I’ve been drinking it consistently after every single practice and every single race that I’ve done. It’s the thing I look forward to most after practice.
Built With Chocolate Milk: What Advice You Would Give Athletes Who Want to Succeed in Their Sport?
If I had one piece of advice it would be: Never stop dreaming, and never give up on your dreams.
Learn More About How Top Athletes Are Built With Chocolate Milk
Jessica Hardy has joined forces with BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK™ to share the benefits of drinking chocolate milk after demanding exercise and to give an up-close look at how training regimens are BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK™. Learn more about the recovery benefits of lowfat chocolate milk after working out here.