Double for Katie Ledecky Includes Solid Showing in 400 Individual Medley (4:41.70)

Katie Ledeck in action at nationals in Irvine, by Peter Bick

Katie Ledecky collected two more victories in the Bucceto Open, prevailing in the 200 freestyle and 400 individual medley on Saturday night.

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Katie Ledecky collected two more victories in the Bucceto Open, prevailing in the 200 freestyle and 400 individual medley on Saturday night.

Comments

Bad Anon

Solid effort in the 400IM, one of the most technically complex event on the Olympic program. I think time will tell if KL will be serious about IMs though at present looks like she’s doing so for the training benefit. She’d have to be 10s faster and be able to improve backstroke and breast significantly. I’d maintain Missy Franklin probably has better IM prospects than KL as a stroke specialist

Bad Anon

200m backstroke swimmers for some reason do well at medley and I can cite several contemporary swimmers ; Lochte, Hagino, Clary, Coventry, Beisel ,the likes of Egerzegi etc and strongly believe Missy has enormous unlocked potential in the IMs

aswimfan

KL seems to be incorporating swimming 400 IM more and more regularly into her events at smaller meets these days, so we’ll see if she’s serious about it. But I think Evans’ 3 individual olympics golds must be on the back of her mind, in that she may attempt to swim 200/400/800 free and 400 IM next year to outdo Evans. After all, the 400 IM schedule next year won’t be in conflict with her free events. I am not saying she will be successful, but it seems she’s testing the water this year. And a 4:41 is tremendous for “testing the water” so to speak. But 4:41 to 4:30 (which will be required to win medal in Rio) is still a loong way to go. We’ll see.

As for Missy, I don’t think Missy will ever attempt 400 IM, it’s too long for her. Yes, I know that she was great in 500 yard, but it’s SCY where there are almost twice as many walls which blunt the distance. And 400 IM would expose her breaststroke weakness much more than in 200 IM. Although I also don’t think Missy will swim 200 IM next year, as its schedule clash with both 100 back and 200 free.

easyspeed

An untapered 4:41 could easily be a 4:30 or faster rested. It’s just a matter of how much Katie wants to stretch herself in Rio. Swimming multiple distance events is a lot different than swimming 200s or 100s.

easyspeed

ASF is right that 4IM is beyond Franklin but 2IM LC I’d like to see more of

aswimfan

easyspeed,

But this year Katie is already swimming 200-400-800-1500 with 1500 inconveniently in the middle of the schedule.
Next year there will be no 1,500 and 400 IM will be on day 1. I don’t think her potential 200/400/800 free and 400 IM next year is more taxing than the 200/400/800/1500 she is swimming this year.

Yozhik

Has Franklin ever compited at 400IM? Cannot find any records. If she hasn’t then where this confidence in her potential at this discipline comes from? Tnx

Craig Lord

There is nothing under 5mins, Yozhik… we will never see Missy Franklin race a major 400IM, in my view – bit like asking if Adam Peaty is going to take on the 200m backstroke 🙂

Craig Lord

easyspeed, untapered,KL goes 4:01 in the 400m free… she will not approach anything like a 3:50 in the 400m free in Kazan – I realise the relatively of comparing established and non-established events and that her 400IM can get much sharper but I can’t see anything right now to suggest a move from a 4:41 best to a sub-4:30, a speed that is truly shifting it, with no room for any serious weakness in a single stroke.

easyspeed

@CL: 400 IM and free are different; you are right about the free. Maybe women drop less with taper than men, but a world class male 400 imer can be 10 sec or more off best times in season vs rested. In 94 I saw Tom Dolan swim a 400 IM 20 sec slower at a meet untapered than what he did when he broke the world record just a few weeks later.

@ASF: good point. I’d love to see her do the 4IM, the most difficult event in the sport. Don’t think she will do it in Rio. Hope I’m wrong.

easyspeed

If KL swam a RESTED 4IM at 3:41, you would be right, no chance at medaling any time soon…

Craig Lord

easyspeed, I take your point about 400IM rested/unrested speed but every swimmer is different… KL can swim world-class times untapered that most struggle to achieve tapered. Tom Dolan’s situation was also very pertinent to his own experience, make-up and even medical condition.

Craig Lord

4.41 – the men of the world have got to hope 🙂

easyspeed

Good point, it varies from swimmer to swimmer. Lochte used to go VERY slow untapered. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t think it is a good idea to make predictions on in season times only. I think a Ledecky 4IM in Rio will only happen if she puts down a rested time in that event that is best in the world or close to it; I don’t think she will swim it to get 5th place. Therein lies a problem. WHEN will she do that? Even at 2016 trials I don’t think Katie will be fully rested. Anyway, some day she will be #1 in the long IM. She has too good an aerobic base to not have that translate into the IM; it’s just a matter of when. The Janet Evans comparison in the article is a good one.

Craig Lord

You may well be right – one day…

Steve Friederang

Katie is really great. For quite a while I kept saying she might struggle to beat Evans in a real swim suit instead of these current oddities (that have become the norm thanks to advertising and Fina’s greed). But a friend told me he saw her go 16×100’s @1:05 long course at the altitude at the OTC in Colorado averaging 1:00 in a swim suit. Just amazing toughness and talent. Swimming the 400 I.M. is a manifestation of that toughness and great coaches watch that final split progress with the added challenge of the shift of best fit improvements of the other strokes. Bruce is as smart as Bud as they prepared their swimmers for this level of greatness. Other coaches and swimmers should follow suit and many more than people recognize do. In Janet’s case (and also in her contemporary Jeff Kostoff’s) she got so fit that even though there were people who might have beat them, they go so fit no one could beat them in the 400 I.M. so they swam it and won it. This points to the potential of our sport to continue to improve as we continue to learn, continue to build character, and continue to draw more and more talented athletes into our great sport. The present and the future as as exciting as our past and Katie is a beacon of this hope every age grouper and coach is blessed to watch and follow.

roy

I think ledecky can drop down to say a 4:35 in the 400IM but only if she drops the 800 and 1500 freestyles in the future. She could swim the 200free, 400 free and 400IM as well as the 4×200 relay.

Easyspeed the fact that ledecky swam a 4:41 in the 400IM unrested doesn’t mean that she,ll swim a 4:30 rested. Ledecky swims fast whether rested and unrested. And most of the time her rested times are marginally faster than her unrested times especially in the 200 and 400 freestyles. In the 800 free, she is usually in the 8:11-8:16 range whether rested or unrested.
The only race where her rested times are consistently faster than her unrested times is the 1500 free. When unrested or untapered, she is usually in the 15:40 range but drops down to the 15:30-15:35 range rested or tapered.

Craig Lord

Thanks for the comment Steve. I think a fair few swimmers and coaches around the world are using (and have done for a while) the 400IM as a general toughener beyond main events. Haley Anderson did a 4:44 this past week, too, I noticed. Of course, none of those closest to cracking 4:30 approached that status by wiping more than 10sec off their pb 🙂 A very serious time 4:30, one that requires more than supreme fitness – it requires world-class strokes every two laps…

aswimfan

I agree with Craig’s point above.
Until Ledecky vastly improves her back and breast, she would not be able to scorch the free leg in under 1:00 as she would have to spend much more energy in those two strokes than other top 400 IMers, regardless of whether her aerobic base is off the chart.

easyspeed

I don’t mean to imply that a 4:41 in season automatically drops to a 4:30 rested. It seems within striking range tho. But as I said, would like to see a tapered 400 IM LCM from KL.

Good reminders above that Katie doesn’t usually drop much rested.

As an aside, I heard K in an interview once say that she “never tapers.” That is likely an exaggeration, but I suspect it might be partially true too. I don’t think we will see a major taper until Rio.

aswimfan

easyspeed,

or.
Ledecky actually trains USRPT, just like some great freestyle female swimmers before her: Shane Gould, Karen Morass, Tracy Wickham.

It makes all sense now.

easyspeed

I wish I could get a link to that quote but too lazy to search, just off the top. It was around 2012 and may have been under her previous coach.

I’m not privy to Katie’s exact means of training. From what I understand, it is not USRPT. She does do a lot of broken repeats at r/p, but too much volume to be considered USRPT. In full disclosure, I’m not a fan of USRPT so don’t even get me started lol.

aswimfan

easyspeed,

I’m not sure if I was a fan of USRPT but after reading Forbes Carlisle piece in the swimming world magazine, I understood it more.
And hey, if it worked for Shane Gould, Karen Morass and Tracy Wickham, why not?

easyspeed

I don’t really want to set off another USRPT debate. I think the topic has been beaten to death already by myself and others. Suffice to say I think it’s too lopsided a training method to produce world record breakers. History will show USRPT to be a passing fad.

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