Health and Fitness

Training Diary of an Elite Swimmer

Training for any sport at an elite level is tough but it also has plenty of benefits for your body, mind and lifestyle.

If you’re lucky enough to be involved with a sport that you can draw a full-time salary from, then your training diary will be pretty straightforward. Train. Eat. Train again. Eat again. Sleep. That’s pretty much it, except for Game Day or a competition. It seems like a great life! Unfortunately, for most of us, this is simply not possible. Whether you train for a sport with dreams of making it as a professional or just for fun, it’s super tough to balance the training required to compete at an elite level and elements of everyday life.

I never played any other sports at a high level, but I know from experience that the life of an elite swimmer is full-on. The training load is intense and, combined with any study, work and family commitments, makes for really long days.

I’m going to share with you my training diary that allowed me to stay in the best shape of my life, as well as compete at the highest level in Australian Swimming for more than five years. As well as my training diary, I’ll highlight the other commitments I had which I worked around my training. In doing this, I hope that you’ll take away the realisation that if you’re committed to your sport, you can still train at a high level while healthily balancing that with work, family, training, study and rest. Even if you’re not involved in sport, and just want to change your lifestyle to be healthier, if you are committed and can find an appropriate balance with training and other elements of your life, then you will be able to achieve all your goals.



Below, you’ll see I’ve drawn up an average weekly routine for me around the period of October 2016 – February 2018. It contains approximately:

  • 13 hours of Swimming sessions (In Blue).
  • 3 hours of Weights training (In Yellow).
  • 3 hours of Studio Pilates (SP) Workouts (In Silver).
  • 12 hours of Work at Studio Pilates (SP) (In Grey).
  • 12.5 hours of Work at Moreton Bay College (MBC) (In Pink).
  • 15 hours of University Study, which doubled as rest time in between training sessions as well (full-time workload depending on academic timetable) (In Green).
  • 16 hours of Family/Social Time (In Gold).
  • Plenty of free time on the weekends to catch up on study, see friends, and spend time with family (In Lilac).
  • Plus, associated travel, eating and general rest time included.

It was a complicated and busy routine I had, but it allowed me to focus on my competitive goals in the pool, on my future career goals with my study at University, on my current career as swim coach at Moreton Bay College and Instructor at Studio Pilates, as well as all the necessary recovery and social time that is essential for mind and body. With the proper mindset and attitude, you can have a well-balanced routine which supports your health and fitness goals as well as your work/study/life balance.

Image Credit – Stuart Rech / Instagram @_stugoodtobetrue

About the Author

Studio Pilates instructor, Stuart Rech, combines his experience in the health and fitness industry with more than 10 years as a national level, elite swimmer. He now devotes his time to ensuring his clients are the best people they can be, both physically and mentally.