An Interview With Record-Breaking Swimmer Jason Lezak!

Jason Lezak is back into the swing of things, preparing and participating in the World Championship trials, where he did really well! Read below to learn more.

[ Q ] Are you busy with training?


      I'm back into the full-time routine as far as training goes, I swim 5x a week for about 2 hours, I lift 3x a week for about an hour and I do some


    about 3x a week for about half an hour.

[ Q ] So you just finished with the World Championship trials and you were in the 100-meter free style final, were you in any other finals?


      In addition to finishing 2nd in the 100-meter freestyle, I won the 50-meter freestyle.

[ Q ] What was your professional assessment of how you raced?


      I felt good, I wasn't really training full time since the Olympics and I was only going 2x-3x a week. Right before the trials I went to full-time so I was a little tired from trying to get back into shape so quickly.

I was happy with my times considering all that, and I knew that I wouldn't race my best times. But my goal was just to qualify for the world championships in both my races, which I did. So I accomplished my goals.

[ Q ] Are there aspects of racing that you could advise the public to watch so we know when someone is racing well as opposed to not so well?


      You can tell when they are high up in the water, if you've seen me swim, if I'm high up in the water, like a boat, when it's high up in the water you know they are swimming fast.

[ Q ] What are the most technical aspects of the sport?


    It's weird because swimming is evolving so much; the improvements in the stroke are the major reason why swimming is getting faster and faster.

[ Q ] It seems like every meet you see a world record broken, how is that always happening?


      I just think that it took a long time but people are starting to realize how important technique is and they are starting to watch under water videos and be a student of the sport as opposed to just going out and doing it.

That studying of the game has just came around in the last eight years or so and that's why the world records have dropped by as much as 2 seconds as opposed to 2 tenths of a second as you see in track and field.

[ Q ] Are there any easy parts of swimming?


      For me I would say it is the racing part. That's the easy part, it comes natural, there's nothing to think about, all the hard training that you put toward that, when you get out there to race there's nothing that's going to change the outcome, you've already done everything you can in the training pool to win the race.

[ Q ] Are swimmers born or made?


      I think both, when you see natural talents such as Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps and guys who are doing so well so young, obviously those guys had great training, but there's so much talent there that regardless of what they've done they are going to succeed.

In some cases the talent may exceed the hard work, but much of the time good old fashioned hard work does the job.

[ Q ] What do most people not understand about swimming and swimmers?


      I think growing up through high school and college that a typical swimmer will train up to 5 hours a day.

The workouts are pretty intense and we're working out the whole time, there's no standing around, it takes a lot of dedication because it's hard to keep coming back to do those workouts.

Swimming is so much different from other sports in that respect.

[ Q ] What's your daily training schedule like?


      I got up today about 7:30 a.m. ate breakfast, went to the gym about 8:30, got done about 10 a.m. then got ready and went to work around 11 a.m. I'll stay here until 3 p.m. then go home and get ready to head to the pool from 4-6 p.m. At this point I will come home eat dinner, relax and get ready for the next day.

My Average Week of Training:


7:30: Eat breakfast
8-9: Go to the gym
9:30: Eat second breakfast
11-3: Work
12:00: Eat lunch
3:30: Eat snack
4:30-6:30: Swim practice
7:00: Eat dinner
9:00: Eat small snack
10:30: Go to bed

Read My Full Workout In Weight Training For Sprint Swimmers!

[ Q ] What's your diet like?


      I don't really count calories. I do eat a lot. I eat about 5 times per day. Not all meals are huge meals. I eat before and after workouts. I have a snack before workout, I'll eat dinner after and then maybe a snack before bed.

Learn More About Pre & Post Workout Nutrition...

[ Q ] Is there anything that you eat before or after a competition?


    I like to stick to a balanced meal before competition. I'm not into carb loading or anything like that.

[ Q ] What supplements do you take.


A lot of them! I get vitamins, amino acids, arginine, creatine.


[ Q ] What's your take on the steroid scandal? Are there rumors in swimming?


      We're tested all the time. I'm randomly tested at home, in the pool, and at competitions. Nevertheless, as far as steroids go, it's hard to tell if people are doing it.

One thing that got me about Victor Conte was when he said there are hundreds of people like him out there. It's one of those things where they can't catch everyone because you can't detect everything.

      It's unfortunate because we want our sport to be clean. But it's real hard because someone that's honest like myself you will think well, what do I have to do to keep up with someone who is cheating? They go out there and try all these supplements that they think are legal just to get that little edge to keep up with the guy that's cheating.

You see people who drop tons of time real quick and the first assumption in someone's head is ... what is that guy on. Some people can improve. It's hard to make judgments because you think how that guy is able to do that.

[ Q ] Do people assume that you are on steroids being that you are the world record holder?


      I don't know. I'm typically a bigger guy than a lot of the swimmers so being big it's always something that people will say that guy is big he must be on something.

I'm sure people think it, I don't care what people think. I know I'm an honest guy. I know I would never do anything to hurt myself. I care more about my life than a gold medal or a world record.

That's why I'm always on the [Internet] researching the new supplements trying to find something that's going to take off that tenth of a second.

[ Q ] How many times in your career have you been tested?


    Wow, I'd probably say on the average I get tested 12 times a year for the past 7-8 years and then there's those swim meets where your tested 3 or 4 times at one particular meet. So, I've probably been tested more than 100 times in my career.

[ Q ] Do swimmers make a lot of money?


    We can make enough to get by and there are some that do really well.

[ Q ] What do those body suits feel like?


      They are supposed to be faster than skin. I've never felt comfortable in the full body suit so I just wear the leg suit. They aren't supposed to be buoyant but every time I wear one I feel like I'm on top the water.

[ Q ] What are your goals and predictions for the World Championships?


    I'd like to get back down to how I swam last summer and maybe even improve my times and I feel like I'm starting to get into good shape again so it's time to fine tune some things to finish my race a little better and I'll be able to be back on top.

[ Q ] Any smack talk for Australia for the duel in the pool?


      They have some superstars but they don't have the depth that we do. So we're going to put the smackdown on them.

[ Q ] How about Michael Phelps?


      Phelps got lucky at the World Championship trials, but I am now training again full time and I'll show him at World's when it counts, not to mess around in events where he doesn't belong.