What’s in My Gym Bag: Olympic Swimmer Katie Ledecky

Photograph of Ledecky by Long Photography

Who: Katie Ledecky, 22, from Bethesda
Does: Olympic swimmer and six-time Olympic medalist
Approach to fitness: “My training schedule keeps me on-the-go. Every workout has its own challenge, and I try to attack each workout with full effort and focus. My best racing and competing occurs when I am most confident in my preparation, knowing that I am very fit and have put a lot of hard work in the bank.”

The Bag

“At a swim meet, my swim bag includes my training suit (for warm-up), racing suits, towel, caps, goggles, extra clothes, water, chocolate milk, [and] snacks,” says Ledecky. She opts for a rose gold metallic backpack to carry it all around. The bag comes with adjustable straps, a laptop sleeve, and, of course, it’s water resistant. Get Down 23L Backpack; $90; TYR



When Ledecky is training, she opts for a sleek suit that is made with four-way stretch technology and 100-percent polyester for durability. On race days, Ledecky wears a fuller swimsuit that prevents water from entering the suit, keeping her body higher in the water; it also supports her core, which helps to increase stroke distance. Top: Venzo Genesis Open Back Swimsuit; $550; TYR; Bottom: Penello Cutoutfit Swimsuit; $60; TYR

Swim cap

“My favorite is the American flag swim cap with my name that I wear when I represent Team USA at international competitions,” says Ledecky. Even if you can’t get your hands on an Olympic original, this TYR version is pretty close. USA Silicone Adult Swim Cap; $15; TYR

Chocolate milk

While she doesn’t favor a particular brand, Ledecky always keeps chocolate milk in the locker room refrigerator for post-workout recovery. “I learned early on that it has the nutrients my body needs, like protein, carbs, and electrolytes, and that the recovery benefits are backed by science,” she says. “Plus, it’s easy and tastes great.”


Granola is Ledecky’s favorite snack, and you can usually find it in her backpack. She doesn’t stick to one brand (“I mix up my choices,” she says), but she always opts for something with almonds or other nuts added in for extra protein.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.