The 2016 Summer Olympics are just around the corner, and Ryan Lochte is ready for Rio.
The Team USA swimmer, who has taken home 11 Olympic medals to date, is training nonstop in preparation for heading to Brazil come August. But when he’s not busy practicing in the pool, Lochte is all about relaxing—and that includes getting a good night’s sleep.
We caught up with the swimmer on Thursday in New York City, where he was discussing his new partnership with bedding brand and official U.S. Olympic committee sponsor, Airweave. While Lochte credits the Japanese company’s innovative breathable mattress toppers with helping him achieve a better and deeper slumber, he revealed that there’s one bedtime ritual that helps him fall asleep in the first place.
“I always pet my dog before I go to bed,” he told InStyle. “He’s a Doberman named Carter, and he sleeps with me. I think he actually sleeps in my bed more than I do, because that’s where he stays while I’m at practice.”
While Carter revels in his canine beauty rest, Lochte isn’t wasting any time sleeping in with the Olympics only months away. “I wake up around 7 a.m. to train every day except for Sundays, which is the only day of the week we don’t have practice,” he said, adding that he makes up for his early mornings later on in the afternoon. “I do take a nap every day,” he said. “So I usually try to get an extra hour or two then.”
No matter the time of day, Lochte dozes off quite easily. “I could really sleep for days and days straight,” he said. “But I know that if I don’t get up early and go to practice, I’ll fall short of the goals that I want to accomplish in the sport of swimming.” And for the five-time gold medalist, that’s simply not an option. “When I hang up my Speedo at the end of the day, I don’t want to be the person thinking, ‘What if I had changed this?’” he explained.
But since competing at his last Olympics in 2012, Lochte has made a few subtle tweaks to his lifestyle. “When I was younger, I just wanted to have fun and swim,” he said. “But now that I’m older, everything has changed—and I don’t really party that much anymore, because I’m constantly focusing on my recovery after swimming.”
Lochte has changed his eating habits, too. “I really watch what I eat now,” he said. “I’m starting to eat greens, which I never did before, and I’m watching my protein.” Following a strict diet is a full-time commitment in itself. “I’m consuming about 6,000 to 8,000 thousand calories a day, so I’m eating constantly!” he said. His guilty pleasure? “I’ve had pizza and wings every Friday since I was eight years old.”