Inside the Daily Routines of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Athletes

In order to be world class, these five U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes have to put in some serious work — day in and day out. Although they all have their go-to ways to unwind on their off days, find out what a typical training day is like for an elite performer …

Gwen Jorgensen … a two-time world champion triathlete and the only U.S. woman to win back-to-back elite world titles in triathlon. In 2015, she became the first triathlete — man or woman — to complete an undefeated season.

“When I wake up in the morning, I usually go on a 30 to 40-minute run. When I come home, my husband Patrick has made me breakfast, which consists of a big bowl of oats with fruit and an egg on top. Then I head to the pool and swim for about an hour-and-a-half with my training group and coach. When I get home from that, Patrick has a huge lunch on the table, with lots of carbs, red meat and vegetables. After lunch, I sit down and do a few emails and respond to things on social media, then I watch Netflix and take a nap. I do my third and final workout session around 4 o’clock, and that’s usually a bike ride for anywhere from an hour to four hours. In the evening, I do a little gym work while Patrick cooks dinner. Then we have dinner and go to bed.”

Cortney Jordan … a two-time U.S. Paralympic swimmer with medals from both the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games.

“I wake up at 4:30 a.m. typically on the weekdays. Then I get ready and go to school. I’m a first grade student teacher right now, so I spend all day with my amazing first graders. After school, I go straight to the pool and swim for two hours, then I go to the gym. I usually get home around 8 p.m., but the day isn’t over. Once I’m home, I grade papers and review my lesson plans for the next day, then I go to sleep and get ready to do it all over again.”

Conor Dwyer … an elite swimmer, who has won 14 medals in international competitions, including an Olympic gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics as part of the winning U.S. freestyle relay team.

“I wake up at 5 a.m. and take a look at my goals written on my mirror. Then I have a coffee and eat an oatmeal bar while I’m checking out the surf (I live near the beach). From there, I head to my first practice of the day at 6 a.m., and I swim for two hours. After that, I head back home to Manhattan Beach, and I’ll usually go out for breakfast and have three eggs with vegetables, and an avocado and chocolate milk. Once I’ve eaten, it’s time to get a little rest. Then I head out to Whole Foods for a salad, maybe a smoothie and another protein drink (I drink several throughout the day). In the afternoon, I go to practice for another two-to-three hours. Finally, in the evening, I get dinner with my roommate, which is usually healthy take-out in Manhattan Beach, because I don’t cook often. After we eat, I hang out and relax until I go to sleep and repeat it all the next day.”

Lex Gillette … fully blind and one of the top visually impaired long-jumpers in the world, winning the silver medal at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games.

“For me, a typical day goes like this: I wake up, grab some breakfast, let myself digest that food for about an hour or so and then head down to the track at 11 a.m. I work out for an hour-and-a-half to two hours, then take a break for lunch and go to the weight-room. I stay there for around an hour-and-a-half, then grab a snack and go to sports medicine for foam rolling, acupuncture or a massage. After that, I head home to put my feet up and begin the recovery process.”

Alysia Montaño … a middle-distance runner and seven-time U.S. outdoor national champion. She has represented the U.S. at numerous international championships including the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“I get up every morning, we make breakfast, and we eat together as a family [my husband and my daughter]. We try to pack as much family time as possible wherever we can, and mealtime is huge for our family. Then I get out to practice in the morning, and I’ll hit a heavy track session or gym session, followed by going home for lunch. I try to be home by noon, so we can all have lunch together. I play with my daughter for a little, then we all nap together. If I have a double day, then I usually take my daughter with me back to the track and she loves watching. At the end of the day, we have a meal and then we sleep. I sleep for nine hours a night.”

Jorgensen, Jordan, Dwyer, Gillette and Montaño are all Team 24 Hour Fitness-sponsored athletes. Jorgensen and Dwyer are heading to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and Jordan and Gillette are heading to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.