Comments: 185 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

the_tza212 karma

On a scale of dumpster fire to 10, how would you say this AMA is going?

ebeisel34-70 karma


mixer99137 karma

Do you and Dan Spilo keep in touch?

ebeisel34-107 karma


fionasmom96-27 karma


ebeisel34-11 karma

I swim all the time during the summer but hardly ever during the winter.

mchan1217-30 karma

Hi Elizabeth! In the swimming world, it seems like no record is safe (maybe except for Phelp's 400 IM). In your opinion, how are swimmers consistently breaking limits, setting records, and going faster than previous generations? Is it an evolution in training, change in race strategy, genetics, etc.?

ebeisel34-15 karma

I think training methodologies are constantly changing and technology is advancing every day. We are always striving to get better, even if it's by hundreths of a second, and that drives us to push limits through training, recovery, tools, nutrition, sleep, etc. There is definitely a limit that exists, I just don't know when we'll get there or how soon.

Apprehensive-Sky3455-34 karma

What is your favorite event you have ever swam?

ebeisel34-9 karma

400IM London 2012 Olympics

YellowExpresso-34 karma

how can I not be bothered by the water going up my nose during backstroke WITHOUT using a nose plug?

ebeisel34-12 karma

Tilt your chin further back so your eye level is directly above and exhale your air out of your nose!

Disastrous_Sea_37-35 karma

I've just got my son into swim lessons. What's the progression from lessons to swim team? How did your parents support you during this transition?

ebeisel34-12 karma

That's amazing and I'm so happy for your son! I took lessons from the time I was 6 months old to 5 years old, learning strokes and how to swim the length of a pool during those ~4.5 years. Then, I joined a team officially and started swimming a few days a week! Local YMCA's and Boys & Girls clubs are great resources to visit.

Aquabullet-35 karma

Unlike football where contracts and income are generally known about, swimming elites and their income is generally a dark area.

Without giving a number or anything away, did you make enough from your career to retire or is a job still something you will need for the foreseeable future? (From an economic viewpoint)

ebeisel34-8 karma

I didn't make nearly enough money to retire...swimmers are low profile athletes (with a few exceptions of course), but the majority of us go on to work normal jobs in the real world!

1stoftheLast-36 karma

When you're training how many calories do you burn in a day?

ebeisel34-16 karma

Probably around 5,000? I never kept track of calories though so that's a very rough estimation.

Disastrous_Sea_37-38 karma

Can you talk about your open water swim to support cancer? How long did it take you? What did it mean to you to represent your dad during that swim?

ebeisel34-8 karma

The swim took 5 hours 18 minutes! It meant a lot, losing someone to cancer is never easy and for me to be able to do something in his honor was really really special.

fionasmom96-38 karma

If you weren’t swimming, what other sport would you play?

ebeisel34-13 karma

Surfing :)

UndersizedSandwich-38 karma

What age did you start swimming, and at what age did you begin to believe that the Olympics were possible for you?

ebeisel34-9 karma

I started swimming at 5 years old! I dreamed of becoming an Olympian at an early age but I don't think I truly believed I could do it until I was 15.

sgrams04-39 karma

What advice do you have for kids interested in the sport? I understand the training involved takes a bit away from living a full childhood. How did you cope with that or what can kids do to remember to live a little?

I ask because I have kids who really want to get into the sport they love, but I know what that will do to their “work/life” balance.

Edit: I have no idea why I’m drowning in downvotes right now. Did I say something wrong?

ebeisel34-22 karma

I had a great balance as an athlete thanks to my parents. I made sure I was never biting off more than I could chew, and my family was always there for me if I ever felt overwhelmed. My best friends were from swimming so my team became my family.

I'd say if your kids want to dream big and pursue anything, let them lead the way. I was a very goal oriented person who was lucky enough to have the parental support to make it happen. There were a lot of sacrifices but I'd make them all again in a heartbeat.

IwantCrisis3-39 karma


ebeisel34-2 karma

Rowdy is the GOAT. One of the best people I know...he's taught me so much and is an incredible mentor and friend.

fionasmom96-41 karma

Do you have any pets? If so, can you tell us about them?

ebeisel34-12 karma

My mom has two dogs and they are the cutest little guys in the world

mywifemademegetthis-43 karma

How long do you figure you could survive in a pool, given a steady supply of food and fresh water, and a single king-sized air mattress?

ebeisel34-13 karma

An outdoor pool? Probably forever. Indoor is a different story

wildhickboi-43 karma

Do you like to swim?

(Actually a good question imho). I’ve heard Michael Phelps came to hate swimming because he was just constantly in a pool training!

ebeisel34-6 karma

Sure do

Exemplarius-46 karma

I was considering to start swimming in the public pool as a form of exercise. Any tips for total beginners who know the basics and that‘s it?

ebeisel34-9 karma

There are a lot of great resources at usaswimming.org to find a club/lesson finder near you! Take it slow and enjoy the learning process. Swimming is one of the only sports you can do for your entire life since it's so low impact

rcuadro-47 karma

Do you ever frequent local swim meets? Young kids would surely get a kick out of meeting someone who is able to be great at swimming. I know most young kids either LOVE swimming or are there because their parents make them. Hard to find kids in between 😂

ebeisel34-5 karma

I do! I really enjoy the grassroots of our sport because they represent the future. Anything I can do to get more people into the sport means the world.

klekaelly-48 karma


ebeisel34-7 karma

It's extremely important. I never used any metrics to keep track when training but I knew how my body felt and the training I needed to do in order to be where I needed to be

darthbeaver-49 karma

What’s your typical diet when training?

ebeisel34-24 karma

Typical diet is balanced and I try to listen to what my body needs day to day. Some days I eat a lot more than others based on volume of training. Lots of fish, lentils, veggies, and grains. I try to limit the amount of processed foods I eat because they don't make my body feel the best.

Actuarial_Husker-50 karma

When is a good age to start kids in swim lessons/swimming?

ebeisel34-5 karma

I was in swim lessons with my mom at 6 months old and I joined my first team at 5! There's never a "right" time, but the earlier the better.

Mittenlove4eva-50 karma

What is the best thing about being retired from swimming?

ebeisel340 karma

Traveling and saying yes to things I wasn't able to do while training.

Bammer7-50 karma

Elizabeth, is there really as much pee in the pool as people say?

ebeisel34-9 karma

yes, so much pee.

Mittenlove4eva-50 karma

Do you meditate?

ebeisel34-6 karma

Yes! Meditating is one of the best ways to help calm nerves before a big race. I try to meditate at least 10 minutes per day

fionasmom96-58 karma

What tips do you have for an adult who wants to learn how to swim?

ebeisel34-51 karma

Learning to swim is a lifesaving skill and it's never too early or too late to learn. You can find local learn to swim lessons for adults here: https://www.usaswimming.org/foundation#adult-learn-to-swim

acg7-68 karma

What was it like in Olympic Village? Is there really as much sex as the media claims? What is the craziest story you have from Olympic village?

ebeisel34-46 karma

The Olympic Village is crazy in the best way. There's definitely a lot of mingling between athletes after competition...but nothing too crazy happens actually in the village, it's mostly at the parties afterwards in the host city.