Josefin Lillhage was born in Gothenburg (Sweden) in 1980 and she has an extended list of titles as World Champion, Olympian and several times part of the Swedish Team. Now, she is a personal trainer with a high focus on mental training.
It’s not very common talk to a swimmer who has been in 4 Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008) but Josefine has made it.
One of his rules is that if you want to be successful in anything you want, enjoy what you do!
During last weeks, Josefin has been at Playitas offering some training sessions. Although she is 27 weeks pregnant, she is still very active and do not hesitate to swim as you can see at the pictures we took her on Monday morning.
On her 4th visit, she reserved some time to talk to us what we really appreciated it.
Hi Josefine. Thanks for giving us some of your free time. How are you?
Fine, thanks. It’s a pleasure for me to be here at Playitas.
When did you start to swim?
I started to swim when I was 5 years old, in a small swim school. Then when I was 8 I started in the swim club and since then I’ve been continuining because I love it. I’ve never been afraid of water so when I was 3 years I was jumping from the pool into the water. I always liked water because of my older sister was swimming and I always followed her.
Who was your idol when you were a teeneger?
I didn’t have any idol. It was only the girls from the Swedish Swim Team that I looked at to and I discovered that I wanted to be part of the National Team.
What’s your favourite style?
200 meters freestyle was my main event but I really liked breaststroke and butterfly.
You are a personal training. Ready to combine your job with your baby?
Yes, of course. The baby is coming in 3 months and after that I’ll be away from training and any job for a while but later on it’s gonna be nice to combine both. As a personal trainer, I’ll be able to adjust my schedule to take care of my baby and my job.
You always are involved with swimming. Are you planning to organize training camps at Playitas?
Yes, I really like training camps because you focus on the place and you really do good trainings so we are gonna have swimming weeks once a week during next year.
Would you like that your baby became a swimmer?
Of course, I really like sports so swimming is a very nice sport. It is very good to train your whole body at the same time and when you are a little baby it helps you to grow strong and have a healthy life.
What do you usually eat when you had a competition?
Kind a normal food like a lot of proteines, some carbohydrates and greens also. It’s a combination. I do not eat some sugar and things like that. Your body doesn’t need it.
Can you give us some tips for training?
First of all, the practise of breathing. A lot of people have problems with the breathing when they start swimming so you should work with that from the beginning, specially when you start swimming breaststroke, go under the water and really blow out so you can start to feel comfortable in the water. That’s very important. If you are comfortable in the water you can do even more laps and feel better. I recommend to start with breaststroke because you will practise breathing up and down, again up and down with your head because breathing is quite important in the freestyle and that is gonna be easier so you should do more relaxing breathing. Another important thing to swim in the freestyle is the rotation. A lot of people forget the rotation in the freestyle. You have to turn your body in the water all the time and not only when you breath, side by side from left to right. And also the kicking. It’s important than you will have your legs further up at the surface. Remember… breathing, rotation and kicking.
What can you say to women about swimming when you are pregnant?
Swimming is very good when you are pregnant. You feel light in the water and it is easy to move yourself in the water so I’d really recommend the training like swimming when you are pregnant. Specially the freestyle.
Why should you recommend Playitas?
I really like Playitas because you can get a lot of everything, you can train, you can go to the beach, you can be in the sun, the food is very good. I really love the place. For example, if you come for a training camp, you get all you need at the same place, with fantastic facilities as your olympic pool, the gym… everything is great for sports or just for holiday.
Thanks for your time and all the best for you, your baby and your family. See you soon!
Thank you. I will really come back soon. Bye 🙂