Typically if someone doesn’t start homework until 8:30 p.m., they’re probably wasting time, but that’s the earliest chance Purdue swimmers get.
The swimming and diving teams undergo possibly the most rigorous workout regimens of any Purdue team. Trish Regan, a senior swimmer for Purdue, began her swimming career at a young age and has only increased her level of fitness since. She says taking breaks from staying in top shape can really interrupt a swimmer’s progress.
“If I were to take a week off, I would feel like I hadn’t swam in three months,” Regan said. “It’s hard to understand unless you know what it’s like. Taking a week off is nice, but getting back in shape is really hard.”
Head women’s swimming coach John Klinge stressed the importance of his swimmers spending a lot of time in the water.
”The amount of time we spend in the water is so important because swimming is a lot different than a land-based sport because of the environment,” Klinge said. “You’re walking and running your whole life, but swimming is something you have to adapt to.”
However, the swimming team has to also spend a lot of time out of the pool to maintain strong bodies. Klinge has implemented a session called “dry land” three times a week, which gets his swimmers out of the water and doing things such as running, and pull-ups and push-ups.
”Dry land” is also accompanied with weight lifting sessions twice a week.
”When you’re in the water, it’s obviously great conditioning, but it’s difficult to really build muscle in the pool,” Klinge said. “You have to get on land to really build your body.”
Regan’s typical Monday is tremendously busy. She wakes up at 5:50 a.m. for a 6:30 to 8 a.m. practice, four hours of class, another two hour practice in the afternoon followed by cardio. This means she doesn’t get home until well after 6 p.m. when she has to make a healthy dinner. Afterwards, she starts her homework around 8:30 p.m.
This is undoubtedly what most would call a busy schedule, but Regan said it pays off.
”Swimming will teach you a lot of life lessons. It’s a long process that takes a lot of devotion, hard work and drive, but you learn time management, perseverance and commitment,” Regan said. “It gives you a lot more out of it than you put into it, which is hard to believe for some.”