On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
In 2021, Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus made headlines around the globe when she beat seven-time Olympic gold medallist Katie Ledecky in the women’s 400 metre freestyle event at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Titmus edged the legendary US swimmer by just half a second to capture the gold medal and become the first person to defeat Ledecky in an individual event at the Olympics.
She went on to win another gold medal in the 200-metre freestyle event, where she also posted a new Olympic record of 1:53.50. The Australian swimmer capped off her first Olympics with a silver medal in the 800-metre freestyle final as well as a bronze for the 4 x 200 metre women’s freestyle relay. Quite the achievement for a 20-year old.
Born and raised in Launceston, Tasmania, Titmus fell in love with swimming early on. “I still remember her first swimming lesson,” her dad Steve recalled in an interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly. “Ariarne kept putting her head under the water. The instructor got really annoyed, and kept saying, ‘Ariarne, stop putting your head under the water, we’ll get to that shortly.’”
“I remember it as if it were yesterday because it was one of those light-bulb moments,” he continued. “You knew that Arnie loved being in the water, so her early swimming lessons were quite a joy.”
With her heart set on swimming, Titmus and her family decided to move from Tasmania to Queensland to pursue better swimming opportunities. “If one goes, we all go,” her mum Robyn recalled. “We were united on that.”
After settling into Brisbane, Titmus began training with South African-born Dean Boxall at the St Peters Western Swim Club in Indooroopilly, the same swim club that trained former Australian gold medallists Leisel Jones and Stephanie Rice.
It wasn’t long before she started making waves on the world stage. In 2016, at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships hosted in Hawaii, Titmus won a silver medal in the 4×200 metre freestyle relay and a bronze medal in the 400 metre freestyle.
A couple of years later, at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, she would win three gold medals — in the 400 metre freestyle, 800 metre freestyle and the 4 x 200-metre freestyle relay — as well as a silver medal in the 200 metre freestyle. This was just the beginning of Titmus’ journey on the swimming world stage that would lead to her gold medal victories at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
I loved swimming ever since I was little. I remember I was never afraid of the water and I started training in a squad when I was seven. And I still love the sport, maybe even more than what I did when I was little. And then just the added bonus of getting to be able to travel and represent my country and do great things also drives me and obviously making friends as well. Now that I’m in the thick of it, obviously I want to achieve amazing things and I set big goals for myself and that’s something that also motivates me. But, you know, underneath all that, I think just loving my sport is the reason why I do it.Ariarne Titmus on fame and battling Katie Ledecky | Olympics
Ariarne Titmus’ training routine & diet
In a 2021 interview with CODE Sports, Ariarne Titmus revealed that she sets her alarm clock for 5.49am every day. She’s admitted in the past that she was never really a morning person but has since adapted to the early mornings and struggles to sleep-in. Once she’s up, the Australian gold medallist will have a pre-training breakfast that consists of two pieces of gluten-free toast with vegemite and a cup of black coffee, before heading off to training at just after 6am.
In addition to her rigorous daily schedule — which often has the Australian swimmer training in the water twice a day, 5 days a week — Titmus also puts in a lot of work at the gym. “I do 3 weights sessions a week, and a couple of spin bike and core exercises almost every day,” she said in an interview with Speedo. “Not only does this stuff complement my swimming, but it’s good for my mind too.”
After her first training session in the morning, Titmus will usually have a gluten-free porridge with some yoghurt, honey, kiwi fruit and berries, before moving onto lunch — “usually either a chicken or ham, cheese and salad gluten-free wrap or sandwich.”
In between her training sessions throughout the day, the Olympic gold medallist will also keep her fuel topped up with lots of water, energy gels and protein shakes. Dinner is typically a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables – for example, “steak with roast potatoes and a Greek salad, or satay chicken stir fry with loads of veggies and rice.”
On competition day, Titmus doesn’t vary her nutrition too much from her day-to-day diet — it’s all about nourishing her body with the best food for racing. She described an example race day meal plan in her interview with Speedo.
On race day, I’m not superstitious about what I eat, I just try to get a good fuel source into me. Usually, I have a fried rice or pasta meal the night before, and I try to avoid meat as I feel it sits heavy in my tummy. The morning of a race I will either have my typical training day oats, or eggs on toast if I feel like that. I try to eat the last bit of food 3 hours before I race so it’s not sitting in my tummy. The only thing I’ll have after that is an energy gel after my warmup.What does Ariarne Titmus eat in a day? | Speedo
After her training is wrapped up for the day, Titmus will head home and start winding down for bed. On most nights, she’ll lounge around after dinner watching television with her family, before heading off to get an early night’s rest at around 8.30-9pm.
A lot of people don’t actually understand how much time goes into being a professional athlete and not just training at the pool, but going home and recovering and also doing other things that kind of get your mind away from the sport.Ariarne Titmus on fame and battling Katie Ledecky | Olympics
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