Olympic Blog: A typical day for Hans Struzyna

Prepping for the Olympics

Hans Struzyna takes us through a training day

Hans Struzyna profile picture
Source: U.S.Rowing

WAC member Hans Struzyna is in the final stretch of preparing for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Hans will be blogging for us as he gets ready for and competes in the Games. He and the rest of the U.S. eight-oar men’s crew team are making their final preparations in Princeton, New Jersey.

A typical training day

My typical day starts at 5:30 am with the alarm on my iPhone going off. After getting up, I start my morning routine, which consists of coffee, a protein shake, and some quiet time to gather my thoughts for the day and go over—and write down—my goals.

At 6:10 am, it’s off to practice. I spend 30 minutes warming up and preparing for our morning session. At 7 am, we have a quick briefing and then shove off the dock at Lake Carnegie to begin our workout. This session could consist of anything from long and low steady-state to high-intensity race prep. The morning session usually lasts between 90 and 110 minutes.

—Read our Olympics feature in the July/August issue of WAC Magazine—

Once we hit the dock, wash up, and store everything away, the name of the game is recovery. We have a deal with a local restaurant. They deliver breakfast sandwiches (bagel with egg, bacon, avocado) to us every morning so we can begin to refuel minutes after the session. I call this “first breakfast.” I say “first” because when I return home I typically consume an egg scramble consisting of between 800 to 1,000 calories of eggs, brown rice, onion, tomato, avocado, cheese, and whatever else I can pile on top.

Naps are particularly important, so we try to get at least 45 minutes of sleep between sessions. My second alarm of the day goes of around 12:30 pm. I pop up and consume a double-decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich and as much water as I can stomach to prepare for our 2 pm session. At this point in the day, the humidity has risen to a level that makes a native Seattleite like myself cringe.

The second session of the day is typically done by 4 pm. Then it’s rinse and repeat from the morning. Recovery is once again critical. I return home for first and second dinner and often a pre-bed snack. All told, I consume 5,000 to 6,000 calories daily. It feels like I burn all of those during our two workouts.

I’m asleep by 9:30 pm. Tomorrow, we do it again.

—Posted July 1, 2016. Photos by U.S. Rowing

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