By Mike Watkins//Contributor | Monday, April 6, 2020
Editor’s Note: The following is a story about what some U.S. National Team athletes are doing to train during the COVID-19 epidemic. Each of the swimmers featured are aged 18 and over and are professional-level athletes. Any training should be done under adult supervision and under state and local guidelines and laws for Covid-19.
We’ve all been adjusting to the new normal caused by social distancing and quarantines as a result of COVID-19.
For the better part of the past few weeks, many of us are working from home. Some of us who perform essential roles are still commuting every day. Others have lost their jobs and await the end of this storm.
For competitive swimmers, its been a challenge to find ways to continue to train despite not having access to swimming pools.
Suffice it to say, many have found innovative ways to continue to stay in shape – while others have decided to take a much-needed break since the Olympic Trials have been postponed until 2021 and the timing for the next swim meet is yet unknown.
Following are some different (and not-so-different) ways athletes are keeping busy – and in shape – during these uncertain times.
“The IU pool has been closed for a couple weeks now. The closest pool I have had access to is two hours away in Evansville, Indiana. I never ended up driving all the way, but nevertheless the state of Indiana is now on a two-week shelter-in-place directive from the governor. I will be doing all that I can in the meantime to stay in shape including, running, body weight calisthenics, yoga/Pilates, abs, and anything else I can think of.”
“I took a little break from the water to reflect on this season. We do have a small pool we have been able to get in the water to do some technique in, but other than that, not a lot of time is being spent in the water. I have been working on yoga right now, stretching and doing core exercises.”
“Strapping on dive weights and doing lunges/jumps/squats (on land). Just ordered an exercise bike and a barbell with some weights. Getting creative.”
“It has been more than two weeks since I last had a swim practice. I’ve maintained a good attitude and tried to control everything I can such as my sleep, my nutrition, and fitness on land. I was able to rent a stationary bike and gym equipment to maintain strength for the time being. I also go on 30-minute walks with my dog, Kiwi, each day.”
“I’ve been doing as much as I can while in quarantine. I usually do a running workout in the morning and a workout with biking, rowing, and strength work in the afternoon. Nothing really replicates what swimming does, but I’m trying to make the best of it.”
“While shelter in place orders have been in effect, I’ve been just doing what I can at home – hill running, using my dumbbells, doing pull-ups on trees, etc. Gotta get creative!”
“I have had pretty limited pool space for the past few weeks, and I will have none starting on the (March) 28th. I have been trying to use this time to focus on my strength and endurance training. I love running and using other cardio machines, and I've been working closely with my strength coach.”
“I try to swim 6 days a week, lift twice. Austin has a lot of Texas swimming alumni that help us out, and I'm thankful for it. Other areas aren't so lucky, and that must be beyond frustrating.”
Emma Weyant (Pictured, above)
“I’m fortunate enough to live in Florida where we were able to swim some open water before the beaches started closing. Other than that, I have relied heavily on dry land workouts and stretching to maintain my routine as much as possible.”
“Lately, I have been swimming in an indoor 16-ish yard pool. Not much serious swimming has taken place, but I am more so just using it to retain my feel for the water. I have been supplementing running as cardio workout, running about 3-4miles on trails every two days. Lifting has stayed roughly the same, but I only have access to a home gym set-up.”
“I have been doing some Pilates at home and some walking to get outside every once in a while. I don't have access to a pool, but that is okay. I think that we don’t give ourselves enough rest throughout the year, and so this opportunity to take it has been a blessing.”
“I have done some swimming in private pools, and that has offered lots of challenges from transportation to and from to trying to do flip turns in 3 feet of water. I am thankful for those opportunities to stay in the water. I have also been participating in online dry-land classes featuring some equipment I have at home – sand bells, dumbbells and bands. Lots of pushups, pullups and abs. I look forward to getting back to my regular swim/fitness routine!”
“I was able to swim in the water the last two weeks, but now I am mentally and physically taking this quarantine as a blessing that I needed a small break. My physical activity during this time has included running every other day (about 2.5-3 miles), doing ab circuits, body weight circuits (pushups, burpees, jumps), and Yin Yoga.”
“I haven’t been able to get in the water since they locked California down. I had one pity party day, then got back into it and have been running and doing dryland. I’m having fun being creative with new workouts, but I’m also not cut out for running.”
Bethany Galat“I was at the Olympic Training Center when the news started coming in of all the cancellations. I was able to train there until March 17th when we suddenly had to book a flight the next day due to Colorado closing all pools and gyms. From March 17th-24th, I swam in four different pools, private and public. But once Texas issued an executive “stay at home order” on March 24th, I've been out of the water.”