Train Like A Pro Swimmer To Run Like A Champion: Jessica Hardy

Current holder of three American records and winner of 28 medals (14 gold) in major international competition, elite swimmer Jessica Hardy isn’t afraid to push the boundaries. With her sights set on international competition this summer, Jessica discusses her workouts outside the pool that can help you improve as a runner.

Q:           What does a typical training week look like for you?

A:            During training season, I currently swim six days a week, for two to three hours a day. In the offseason, I run once or twice a week, lift weights three times a week and do Pilates once a week religiously. If I have time, I will squeeze in some yoga and try to mix up my cross training with new exercises like boxing, spinning, etc. Swimming has been a constant throughout my life, but changing up my cross-training has helped keep training challenging and interesting!

Q:           What is your “go-to” core workout?*


  1. With your feet in a suspension trainer, hold onto an upside down exercise ball and bicycle curl your legs into your belly button
  2. Rope climb an invisible rope while lying on the ground, lifting your hands one at a time toward the sky
  3. Tap a medicine ball on each side of you while sitting on the ground, keeping your feet off the ground in front of you
  4. In a sitting position with your feet off the ground, extend your upper body straight off the ground, then crunch up to touch your toes
  5. Laying on your back, lift your feet straight up in the air using your lower abs
  6. Laying on an exercise ball, place your feet against the wall and keep one leg in the air, while doing crunches
  7. Leg V sit-ups while sitting on a exercise ball
  8. Bicycle crunches one leg at a time on the ground

Q:           What are your recommended tips for chasing your fitness goals?

A:            Take one day at a time, one workout at a time, one rep at a time, one movement at a time. Living in the moment relieves you from being overwhelmed by a workout, reduces stress/anxiety and allows you to be more engaged in what you’re doing. I also like to set two different types of goals: a short-term goal that is attainable within the month, and a long-term goal that I’d like to achieve by the end of a year (or four years in my case). For me, I keep focus on my husband, my dog and going to the beach – I soak up that energy and rely on those things to keep me positive. It helps me be stronger when I’m back in the pool.

Q:           How do you recover after workouts, and why is it key to your performance?

A:            I’ve learned a lot throughout my career – recovery, nutrition and taking care of my body is so important. Being one of the oldest in my sport, recovery is key so lowfat chocolate milk is my go-to because it helps my body rebound quickly. I might not feel the effect of chocolate milk when I drink it, but I sure feel it if I don’t have it! I will freak out if I don’t have it at a race.  I make sure to drink it within 20 minutes after tough workouts to help replace fluids and electrolytes that are lost in sweat, build lean-muscle and refuel exhausted muscles. The protein also helps to repair the damage done to your muscles. I also try to keep a clean nutritional plan, with lots of veggies, chicken and fish. Foam rolling, massage, cryotherapy (or ice baths) are also some tools I use to help keep me prepared for the next workout!

For more on Jessica Hardy’s training journey to international competition, watch here:

To learn more about the science behind recovering with chocolate milk, visit

*Core workouts are a key complement to running. A strong core increases running efficiency and speed, while maintaining a healthy support system for your heart and lungs to prevent injuries.