Gregorio Paltrinieri & Co Extend Training Into A Go-The-Distance Race Test In Parma

Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) by Patrick B. Kraemer

World champion Gregorio Paltrinieri got his Olympic race-test season underway with three races from 100m to 1500m freestyle within a couple of hours at the short-course Parma meet over the weekend: 53.26 over four laps; 1:50.40 over eight laps and 14:59.70 over 60 laps.

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World champion Gregorio Paltrinieri got his Olympic race-test season underway with three races from 100m to 1500m freestyle within a couple of hours at the short-course Parma meet over the weekend: 53.26 over four laps; 1:50.40 over eight laps and 14:59.70 over 60 laps.

Comments

Eugene

53 seconds for 100 SCM? Wow, thats so slow for a world champion, even a distance swimmer.

Craig Lord

I think we can assume he was setting a pace for somewhere beyond his four straight laps, Euegene – though he was once pipped by Sarah Sjostrom in a fun 50, so quick-fibre reactions not his genetic speciality – all of that said with respect… we’d most of us men in the world lose to Sarah in a 50 test 🙂

Wez

Haha Craig too true, however I would have expected a little bit more. Distance swimmers should really capitalise on events such as this one. A great test of speed and endurance, combined with SCM racing to hone skills like turns, that may seem insignificant but add up to alot of time over 30/60 lengths.

Detti IMHO was better on this set. But how great it would be to let the best distance swimmers in the world stack up for a gruelling endurance session all in race format. The winner decided by time added up.

aswimfan

Also, not only that he may not have sufficient fast fiber muscle, but Paltrinieri’s technique is really suited only for distance.

ThereaLuigi

Aha, I’ve said more than once that the man does not have a single quick fiber in his body and I wasn’t sure he could crack 55 on 100 meters from the blocks. But he can go 30 laps at a pace of circa 59” per 100, from the water. Mysteries of nature.

Wez

@ThereaLuigi He was 55.9 on his first 100 of the 1500 final in Kazan. He is a very talented swimmer, but one should not rest on the fact he is consistent. If there is one thing swimming has taught over the last 8 years is that most races are now a sprint.

This can be seen throughout most longer races these days. His ability to tidy up technique and improve his upfront “easy” speed would benefit him immensely.

ThereaLuigi

At the same time, Wez, pure distance guys like Greg P. must put in an incredible effort for very marginal gains in shorter distances. At one point they are just spinning their arms around and killing their oxygen without really going faster. They are just geared towards longer distances, you can see this kind of swimmer in any pool, even among master swimmers.
I wish Greg P. could improve his technique (there is so much room for improving if you look at the footage of his races) but at his age and at elite level, to mess with one’s technique could do more harm than benefit.

Yozhik

@therealuigi. I remember very similar your comment about Ledecky. I agreed with you. But in Kazan I saw her style adjusted. And what was more important her tactical approach especially at 800 got changed. I know – don’t teach old dog new tricks, but I believe that GP has plenty room for improvement. Besides the stroke style there are many other factors in long distance race that can be adjusted without making harm to the basic of his style that he is comfortable with.

Craig Lord

One imagines that Stefano Morini will be working with it and understands where the athlete working under his guidance can make the biggest gains, Yozhik. (For example, a group of experts working with a coach I know looked into improving a certain swimmer’s push-offs at the turn… they concluded that a significant gain was unlikely to justify the change in the program that would have been required, one that might have negative knock-ons elsewhere in an area of strength – so a decision on risk had to be taken; it turned out to have been a good one – swimmer can’t turn any better but the results have been impressive of late). So, Gregorio – the question is, can he match Sun on this: last 50, 25.68 – and be capable of that kind of homecoming firepower by Aug 2016? No, forget it. Kazan – 28:25. So, the pathway to victory (for that is what he wants, even if any step of the podium would be a fine thing) must be found down a different route. Best lat lap in Kazan: Connor Jaeger, a terrific 27.13… 1.5sec comfort zone for Sun, off his London 2012 homecoming pace. Either he will not get there again or the others will have to defeat him in a different way. To imagine that they can swim with him to 1400 and win is folly – unless the earlier pace is beyond him …(and assuming all get to the final in Rio with their armouries intact).

Yozhik

I thought that GP’s case is similar to the Evans’ one. Her windmill style looked very weird and insufficient. But it was probably optimal for her internal biodynamic. It will be interesting to know if there were attempts by her coach to make her style “nice” looking. So I thought that whenever the swimmer gets to elite level his style and racing psychology found their optimal form and any changes to it will be harmful as Luigi said. I thought this way until I saw the work of Bruce Gemmell.

Craig Lord

Yes, to a degree, Yozhik, is how I feel about that. When I compare KL of 2012, 2013 and KL of 2015, I see a swimmer not transformed but matured, matryoska like…

ThereaLuigi

Yes, Craig, neither GP nor anyone else in the world will beat Sun with a strong last lap, that is a fact (if he is still swimming 1500, I am not convinced). Strong finishers are beaten otherwise, see Crocker with Phelps in 2005 or Missy with Federica in 2013 and countless other examples.
As for the glitches in his technique, I believe they come from his early days as a swimmer, Italy being a second-tier swimming country which is well beyond the powerhouses, technique-wise (look at the turns and underwaters of our swimmers, even the best ..). KL was already much more technically proficient at an early age, coming from the best “academy” in the world, and is younger than he is; plus, she is in my opinion more naturally versatile, distance-wise; so a totally different scenario. I agree with Yozhik that she is now a much better 200 freestyler than she used to be, probably a much better sprinter. I don’t think GP could undergo similar improvements. We will see.

Yozhik

Thank you Luigi. But as you mentioned earlier there is some mystery about Paltrinieri. So if his coaching team is mystery solvers then there is room for surprises. Has actually Sun Yang shown faster time since he stopped using banned drugs? What has happened to FINA ranking service? Cannot find it any more on FINa’s website. Is it not free any more or they stopped to run it?

Craig Lord

No, Yozhik, Sun has not been faster – since 2012, then since 2013
You must go through FINA to ask FINA questions – certainly not this site.

Yozhik

I did it, Craig. But they are not that responsive as you are 🙂 So I thought that someone from this forum was more lucky. But if you think it is inappropriate thing to do it here I will take it under consideration.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, I think that what FINA might tell you if they could be bothered to answer questions from swimming folk and media is that you have to register in the GMS. I haven’t looked as yet but the intention 2 years ago was to have everything in the GMS, which is organised by Omega. The rankings at FINA, since the year before Nick Thierry’s death, has been run not by FINA but USA Swimming (they took the job on knowing it would hurt Nick and justified their action behind Nick’s back – I still have the emails to show how much he was hurt after years of helping USA Swimming – because Cornel Marculescu decided that Nick was no longer someone he could do business with, according to people at USA Swimming that should have behaved better … but there you have it). Any which way, they, FINA, just don’t like to advertise that USA Swimming runs everyone’s rankings for FINA, so all info flows through one federation (in same database as the USA keeps its own stats, I believe). In 2014 I offered to work with FINA and to make sure FINA had access to 40 years of world rankings many hundreds deep, with context attached. They declined. Their loss. Now a private database, which was Nick’s wish under certain circumstances. USA Swimming recently named Nick as one of the X most influential folk in the sport; shame they didn’t let him realise how they felt before he died.
Hope that helps and explains a little of why when FINA and rankings are mentioned, I’d rather look away. They never cared enough and even now they don’t update in timely fashion (doesn’t work for media) and miss far too much. That shouldn’t happen with the official source.

Yozhik

I’m sorry, Craig. I really am. I wasn’t aware about all these circumstances.

Craig Lord

No problem, Yozhik, you couldn’t have known and I’m happy to explain where I stand on the matter.

Yozhik

Luigi, I think that in average a strong starter gets less advantage than a weak finisher loses. If your definition of strong finisher is the swimmer who at the end of the race can show the speed close to one at first lags, but not the one who just doesn’t die at the end then I would say that strong finisher has more chances to win. Your example with Franklin and Pellegrini is the interesting one. If you watch this race again you will see that it was actually a race between Franklin and Mufat. Franklin’ve never checked on Pellegrini. She even changed the hand to breath at after each turns to control Mufat during the entire race. Franklin should be greatful Mufat for that winning pace. If it would be Franklin just against Pellegrini she will never beat Federica.

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