Day in the Life:
Lindsey Vonn is a force to be reckoned with in the sphere of alpine skiing, otherwise known as downhill skiing. Not only does she stand as the sole American Woman to have achieved four World Cup overall titles, but she has also attained a total of 81 World Cup wins, surpassing the most wins ever secured by a woman by 13. Further, she is only five wins away from tying the men’s record of 86 World Cup wins, held by Ingemar Stenmark. With all that she has achieved, Vonn is considered to be the most accomplished female ski racer in the world.
Vonn’s World Cup Victories and Olympic History
In spite of her abundant successes, her Olympic expeditions have not come without their share of tribulations. She first carved her way onto the Olympic scene as a 17-year-old youngster, when she participated in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and gave Americans something to smile about when she earned sixth place in a race. At that Olympics, the American women’s ski team was weak, and Vonn was the pillar of hope that held it up.
At the next Winter Olympics held in Turin, Italy, in 2006, Vonn was favored to win several medals. However, injury struck and derailed her hopes of standing on the podium. In training a mere couple of days prior to the opening ceremony, she experienced a horrific crash in which she somersaulted, went airborne backward on a jump, and hit the snow hard on a brutal landing. Though she experienced terrible pain and her back was badly bruised, it was not broken. Determined to still race despite the pain, she participated in four events and managed to finish seventh in one of them.
Next came the 2010 Winter Olympic Games at Vancouver, in which she garnered a gold medal in the downhill and achieved the status of first American to triumph in the women’s downhill. Additionally, she earned a bronze in the women’s super-G. She intended to qualify for and compete in the 2014 Sochi Games, but repeat knee injuries at the 2013 World Championships and in training prevented her from doing so. In November 2016, she experienced yet another injury while in training: a terribly splintered humerous bone. Vonn admits:
“That was an injury that scared me more than any other because for a long time I couldn’t feel my arm. I was terrified it would be permanent.”
Lindsey Vonn in 2018
After an eight-year Olympic hiatus, Vonn is back, ready to vie for more medals in Pyeong Chang. Though the women’s super-G did not go well for her last Friday (Saturday in Korea), as she skied off line, she will strive to medal in the downhill and alpine combined events this week.
Certainly, Vonn’s voyage as a skier has consisted of mountains of wins and valleys of injuries. Yet, the steadfastness she has exhibited throughout it suggests that she may best be described as tenacious. Her successes and ability to return to skiing after multiple injuries can be accredited to her consistent daily routine. Over time, the work she puts in day in and day out–as well as her careful attention to sleep and nutrition each day–have melded her into the decorated World Cup and Olympic skier she has been over the years and is today.
Lindsey Vonn’s Daily Routine
5:30 AM Wake Up
6:00 AM Breakfast
7:00 AM First Workout of the Day Begins
10:00 AM Protein Shake/Nutrition
11:00 AM Naptime
12:00 AM Lunch
1:00 PM Second Workout Begins
4:00 PM Physical Therapy Begins
5:30 PM Dinnertime
6:30 PM Relax with Dogs, Watch Law and Order, and/or Read
7:30 PM Bedtime
Six Hours of Workouts
Vonn has an intense training regimen that requires a great deal of discipline. Yet, with the sheer amount of willpower she boasts, she is the right woman for the job. For five to six days a week during the summer months, she works in the gym for as many as six hours a day and wakes up before nature does to get her training started. Unique to her training is time spent on the spin bike, which gears her quad muscles up for skiing. Exercising on this bike really gives her the competitive edge she is known for and helps her maintain her stamina. Says her private trainer Alex Bunt,
“It just gives her that fitness to continually perform for five months on the hill.”
Sleep: A Priority for Vonn
Sleep is an activity that Lindsey Vonn is big on and sees as essential to her well-being and recovery. Vonn declares,
“I love sleep. I am a good sleeper, I take naps every day, I try to sleep at least 10 hours at night. The more I sleep, the better recovered I am.”
With her 10 hours of sleep, she acquires every night and her hour to hour-and-a-half naps that she fits in every day, nearly half of her 24-hour day is comprised of sleep. For those of us who put sleep on the back burner, Lindsey Vonn’s sleep schedule serves as a powerful reminder that sleep is an integral part of our day and we cannot keep working and working without adequate periods of rest.
Vonn’s Typical Meals
Examples of meals that Vonn typically consumes in a day include the following.
Scrambled eggs with peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach
Buttered whole wheat toast
Her healthy, varied diet keeps her going and gives her the energy to train hard. In addition to the standard meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner above, Vonn has a protein shake after her first three-hour workout of the day to give her body a much-needed boost.
Vonn is one active woman, as her hobbies outside of skiing include cycling, tennis, and golf. Yet, she does take time to be sedentary, not only via the high amount of sleeping she does each day but also through the relaxing she does before bed each night. To unwind, Vonn enjoys watching Law and Order, reading, and spending time with her three canine friends, Lucy, Leo, and Bear.
Lessons Learned From Vonn
To be sure, Vonn has an exemplary work ethic and drive, as she fits six hours of fitness in per day for training purposes. Most of us probably do not have six hours to dedicate to exercise each day, unless we are high-performing athletes or employed in a job that requires high levels of physical activity. Still, her ability to work out six hours per day encourages us to squeeze in at least an hour of physical activity, the minimum recommended by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Additionally, her total accumulation of Zs and daily naps prompt us to take a step back and look more critically at our sleep patterns. Do we give sleep the time and attention it deserves in our lives?
Vonn merits recognition not just for her outstanding skiing, but also for the way she manages her time to get the most out of her day and achieve a high standard of health and well-being in the process.
Owaves 101 is a blog series showcasing daily plans of Olympians, Ironman triathletes, inspiring yoga teachers, physicians, and clinical dietitians, among others. Join our international movement to revolutionize time for health and well-being. Download our Day Planner for Health in iTunes, and follow our social media channels: