Nathan Adrian Pops 48.00 in 100 Free; Best Nine All-Time For Katie Ledecky in 800 Free

Nathan Adrian prepares for  a title chase that turned out to be slower than expected [By Peter Bick]
Nathan Adrian prepares for a title chase that turned out to be slower than expected [By Peter Bick]

Nathan Adrian clocked 48.00 to win the 100 free at the Mesa stop of the USA Swimming Pro Series while Katie Ledecky raced to the seventh-fastest time in history in the 800 free. Michael Phelps of 1:57 200IM; Maya DiRado takes a brace, on 2:11 200IM and 2:08 200 back

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Comments

Yozhik

What is more surprising and needs explanation : 4:29.89 (March 4) or 4:35.81 (April 16)?

Yozhik

I would never believe that in Olympic season at the end of April just two months prior Olympic Trials Ledecky would be still at #1 position among American sprinters.

Bad Anon

Me thinks Hosszu; just like Franklin; Lochte, Phelps etc is in the middle of tough training; certainly Rio wont be a mission for pretenders. Everyone’s aim to be at their absolute best at the Olympics where it matters most

aswimfan

Hosszu’s performance in this meet is actually more in line with performances for most top swimmers in heavy training. And since she has never won an Olympics medal I’m sure she’s training like she never did before, throwing truck tyres and all that.

The questioning should have been directed to how did she do it in 2014-2015?

aswimfan

Again, I felt a tinge of disappointment when I saw that 8:13 lol

aswimfan

Yoszhik,

It is very telling of US female sprinters landscape when their current fastest 100 free was done by a distance swimmer.

Yozhik

Sure it makes sense what you said, Bad Anon. But then where did this 4:29 come from in early March. Maybe her heavy training just started after that – make some money first at the beginning of the season and only after that begin preparation for OG. It is possible, but sounds kind of unnatural. The most natural explanation is she just didn’t feel well at this meet. By now there was no such references made.

aswimfan

Yozhik,

It seems Weitzeil is trying a new approach as you suggested:
She swam a slower first 50 here than she did a month ago in Texas:
25.89 28.33 54.22

Her second 50 remains the same and her overall time is half second slower (which coincides with a half second slower first 50).

I think it’s quite clear to for a swimmer like her who is a pure 50-100 sprinter (Like Campbells), it does not make a lot of sense to slow down first 50, which is their main weapon. The way for Weitzeil to get faster is not to slow down first 50, but to strengthen endurance so she can finish in sub 28.

aswimfan

On a better news:
The other day I wrote about improved endurance of Manuel, and I think we saw that in the 100 free final where she finished quite strongly. Her second 50 was even faster than Ledecky’s 27.87 to 28.27, granted Ledecky just swam 800 earlier in the session.
This kind of strong finish is needed when she anchor 4×100 free and USA has to chase after a medal.

Yozhik

I think it is time, asf to stop using this cliché – “long distance swimmer” – when referring to Ledecky. Why not to call her at least a middle distance swimmer to be more accurate. She holds world record at 400 and no doubts will hold another one at 200 this summer. If to take Australian sprinting weirdness from the picture then who is ahead of her this season at 100 by far – two sweden, one Dutch and one Canadian girls. That’s it. As I recommended once to DDias in order to avoid confusion think of Ledecky as 100m sprinter who also managed to break world record at 1500m distance. Then you may come up with better term to identify this phenomenon in swimming.

easyspeed

I just hope the top three finishers in the 200 IM, Phelps, Kalisz and Nolan, get out of the Bowman training squad before it’s too late.

😉

easyspeed

I think the Arena Pro series meets are a great idea. The only annoying thing is how everyone jumps to all kinds of conclusions based on the results. The meet was designed so pros (et al) get a chance to practice racing. And so fans can see some world class swimming in person (and video). It’s just a training meet tho, so I wouldn’t read too much into anything. I guess people need stuff to talk about..

Yozhik

I think, asf that you have to telegraph Weitzeil urgently to stop listening to Yozhik’s recommendations and immediately begin following your advice until it gets too late. 🙂

Yozhik

Easyspeed, is it any other reason to be at this forum then to “talk about…” ? 🙂
Oh, I am sorry I almost forgot about another one mentioned by Robbos – to contribute 🙂

aswimfan

Yozhik,
I don’t know what you mean by cliche when referring to Ledecky as distance swimmer. It’s not to try to downplay her prowess, but actually enhancing her legendary skills when a mostly distance swimmer can be so successful in shorter distances. She did start her legendary career by winning 800, though, and her core events are 400-800-1,500.

I kept calling Grant Hackett distance swimmer, and not even middle distance swimmer, although he broke 200 free WR and medaled in 200 free. I kept calling Thorpe a middle distance freestyler and not a distance swimmer although he broke 800 WR multiple times and won world championships title in the distance; I never called him a sprinter either, although he won 100 free medals in both Worlds and Olympics and anchored Austalia to 4×100 free Olympics title. I never called Janet Evans anything else but distance swimmer although she broke 400 free WR multiple times, winning multiple 400 free world titles and olympics golds, and medaled in 200 free worlds. Ledecky’s phenomenon is extremely rare, but it is not the first time.

So what do you propose we should call her as?

aswimfan

easyspeed,

Touche.

Phelps with Bowman we can never question the results.
Nolan and Kalisz is interesting that they flourished, interestingly they are all Americans.

Mellouli, Agnel, Tranter, Hackett who did not so much flourish are not Americans. Of course, this have absolutely nothing to do with their performances and training at all.

aswimfan

By the way, despite talk about Nolan flourishing, has he ever actually gone sub 2:00 in 200 IM?

aswimfan

But I digress with the question about who’s flourishing and who’s not. The question will be answered in Omaha and/or their respective country’s Olympics trials.

A question, I thought Denmark trials were this past week, but I saw Friis swimming in Mesa. How does Denmark Olympics qualifying process work?

Patrick S

aswimfan:

Danish swimmers have three meets where they can qualify for the olympics. The world championships in Kazan, the Danish Open, and the European championships. Those who qualified in Kazan also have to show “proof of fitness” in meets this spring/summer.

The danish qualifying process is similar to the swedish one, but Sweden have a few more meets where swimmers can qualify (six , i think). Sweden also have a special qualifying critera for young and promising athletes. These don´t necessarily have to swim the times the swedish olympic committee´s set up. Sophie Hansson and Erik Persson are two swimmers who have been selected via this criteria (they have both done FINA’s A-time but not the tougher swedish qualification time).

aswimfan

Patrick S,

Thank you for the explanation. Does this mean Friis are already qualified, or does she need to swim in Euro champs?

Patrick S

Friis is qualified because of her fifth place in the 800m freestyle in Kazan. The meets where she can prove “proof of fitness” is the European championships, The Mare Nostrum series or The Arena Pro Swim Series. I don´t know if there´s a specific time she´s got to do or if it´s more of a subjective thing.

RSASprinter

Phelps Crushed that swim. He talks in the post race interview about the fact that he has some things he still wants to do in that race. I am sure two of those things are:
1. Regain the WR, first man sub 1:54
2. The fourpeat in that event in Rio.

He looked so smooth on the fly, really relaxed and always going forward, just as you would expect.

The backstroke was good, i feel he could have had a more solid breakout on that leg, and in the instant replay, his back to breast turn looked a little dodgy, in can improve.

Not the fastest legs on the last 2 50’s but the work had been done, race was over.

His breast looked smooth, and with a bit of rest, i can see it becoming 33.

The free still looks odd, really. That is not 2007/2008 Phelps on free. That will have to get right by Rio in order for him to have a shot at the WR.

I think he will do it, 6 weeks of huge prep is going to see him well for Omaha.

Ger

It’s odd to see Hosszu swimming so slowly; it’s not what we’re used to. As noted above, it looks like she is in a period of heavy training. But why change her training at this point, when it’s not the way she has approached matters in recent seasons? 4:32 for the 400im heat and nothing of note after that.
Maya Dirado is swimming well and could well earn a spot on the 200 back if she chooses to contest it at trials.

beachmouse

Given that Katinka went well heats of the 400 IM, my first guess would be the same bug that forced Missy Franklin out of the meet early.

DiRado has a lot of good options for trials beyond the IMs. The hard part is figuring out an optimal schedule. She’s also probably sitting in a position to get a 4th-6th place or so in the 200 free and a relay pool spot is typically a big goal for the Americans.

aswimfan

Hosszu only swam one event on the first day, but gradually increased to more events in the next two days.
Her best swim was actually the very first swim and then got worse and worse in the next two days.

Where was she before Mesa, was she in Florida? California? Hungary?
Maybe she had just flown in the day before the first day? jet lag? flu that got worsened?

Yozhik

Beachmouse, you were more suggestive at some other site 🙂
I agree that W4x200 is the most attractive race for American swimmers. The race that guarantees Olympic medal. The following is the list of 4-7 contenders:
1:58.01 – Margalis
1:58.32 – Smith
1:58.64 – DiRado
1:58.80 – Manuel

Tough crowd. And we haven’t seen yet Katie McLaughlin.

aswimfan

Yozhik, don’t count out Vollmer when it’s time.

beachmouse

I don’t want to get Craig in trouble now.

While Vollmer has been a quite good 200 swimmer in the past, it seems like it’s easier to regain form in the sprints after time away than a 200 where you have to rebuild more of an endurance base. The coemback folks also seem to plateau a little once the aches and pains of regular training fully set in, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vollmer not much faster come summer time than now. Granted where she is right now could still be very helpful indeed for the American women medal chances.

ThereaLuigi

I am sorry for American swimming fans, but 48 flat is the new 48.3 …

Craig Lord

ThereaL – very true (though Adrian’s 48 in-season is not quite the same thing)

ThereaLuigi

I know a 48 flat in April by Adrian is ominous, Craig; nevertheless, I can’t help thinking that with his 47.04 McEvoy has raised the bar and forced everyone to step up their game. They were scratching their heads trying to figure out how to swim a 24high/25 flat on their way back from a 22-high. Now they must go back to formula, because that ain’t enough no more.

Craig Lord

I know what you mean ThereaL but the same was true with James M and 47.10 and James R not far back in 2012. Rio will be something else (look at Kazan, many thought we might be looking at a 47.5 podium… trials one thing; our knees knock in the press stands come the Olympic final, let alone what it’s like when the names are called out and the guys and gals walk out under the lights. It is a form guide decided on the day 🙂

ThereaLuigi

I dont believe there will be a textile WR in the Olympic final, Craig. When has that happened the last time, I cant even remember, 1976? No, but at the same time, you need to be capable of swimming 47-mid, exactly because you will be probably slower than that in final; unless you are one of those few guys who swim out of the skin in the final, like Adrian and Hayden in 2012

ThereaLuigi

ps and I know it’s not classy on my part, but before Kazan I wrote more than once that just dipping under 48 would be enough to medal … it was a slow year and one could tell it

Craig Lord

I don’t disagree, ThereaL 🙂

aswimfan

TL,
You are correct, the last time 100 free textile WR broken in Olympics final was in 1976 when Jim Montgomery became the first person to swim below 50 in 49.99

As for Nathan, he hasn’t been sub 48 in since 2013 Barcelona. Of course he can swim out of his skin again in Rio. But it will be a first that a sprinter swim his two best swims in two consecutive Olympics finals, while not swimming within half second in between.

Also I see interesting pattern with Nathan since 2013: He didn’t improve much between Grand Prix series (Santa Clara, Mesa, Austin) and the major championships in the summer. In his last Mesa swim (2014) he went 48.23 and then he went 48.05 in 2014 Pan Pacs.
But this year being Olympics year, I’m sure he will improve much more than that. The question is how much.

I’ve also just found out that Nathan Adrian has very interesting middle name: Ghar-Jun, which means “little pony” in Cantonese.

aswimfan

Disregarding 2009 Rome circus, men 100 free WR (textile or rubber) also has never been broken at any stage a World Championships – prelims semis or final, with the exception of Magnussen’s 47.49 in 2011 Shanghai.

ThereaLuigi

Adrian is at that point in his career where it would be more logic to see improvements in the 50 free than in the 100. He still is a thoroughbred racer and nobody in their sane mind would rule him out as a medalist in the 100. But personally, and barring doped cheaters, I expect surprises to come either from a very young gun or from someone like Brent Hayden in 2012, at the end and at the same time at the pinnacle of their career. Someone like Stravius, for example.

John Lohn

Therea, agreed that 48.00 isn’t what it used to be. However, for Adrian to put down that kind of time two months before U.S. Trials makes it a little more noteworthy.

aswimfan

I think Adrian still sees himself as a 100 free man, and regards the 50 as “auxiliary” event. Imo, he has more upside potential in 50 that can be developed if he focuses more in it. And if he really focuses his training on 50, I am highly optimistic he can beat Florent.

DDias

aswimfan,
I have my doubts if Adrian is capable to beat Florent IF Florent delivers his best.Adrian would need a 0.2s drop, and in 50, at high level, is a lot.
I agree Adrian 48flat is great, but Adrian told in recent interview he likes to swim relatively rested because he can see better where he really is at(in his training).

Rafael

But can Adrian do a 47 and 21 low like Mcevoy? He never showed he can do that.. his 48 was his best of last year, but his 50 got over 21,5 and it was said it was wind assisted, when he got the 21,3 he managed a 48,3 only.

aswimfan

Rafael,
That’s what I meant. In an interview with USA swimming a while ago, he said that 100 free is his main event and 50 is an auxiliary event, which led me to believe that he can improve still in 50 free if he shifts the focus of his training.
And judging by the fact that he swam 21.3 while mostly training for 100, it does seem to me he could beat Florent.

Rafael

aswimfan, tomorrow we will Brazil 100 free (Finally) and we could gauge Cielo and Fratus actual level.. We can see who can beat Manadou.. Also Santana might have something good, he was 48:25 at 18 with Diabetes, last year he got it out of control.. if he can control that he might put a 47 mid..

Robbos

DDias,

I have my doubts if Adrian is capable to beat Cameron if Cameron delivers his best.Adrian would need a 0.5s drop, and in 100, at high level, is a lot.

Robbos

CL, I think you will find that Magnussen is a very different beast to McEvoy.

Magnussen is very confident, with chest puffed out & like to blow everyone apart, his confidence was shot in the relay & did very well to recover for the individual & only lose by 1/100th of a second.
McEvoy, swims with a curtain in his lane, he strives to swim the perfect race, to beat his best.

Craig Lord

I found a while ago, Robbos – fairly obvious, without judgement on either man 🙂 They are who they are. It is my belief that if good form meets happy circumstance (health and so on) and the application of skills on the day, Cameron McEvoy will be unbeatable come the hour. But I also believe it will be an awful lot closer than a second and even half a second, champion to chasers 🙂

Robbos

Cannot agree more Craig, this is the Men’s 100 metres Olympic final, the BLUE RIBAND event of the swimming program, the most competitive event. No-one will will by a second. McEvoy has put the time out & others, 2 Americans, 1 Canadian, a couple of French, 1 Chinese & 1Russian (pending other issues) & even another Aussie will all be chasing hard.

Magnussen after 2012 swim says of his competitors, ‘be afraid, be very afraid’.

McEvoy after 2014 swim says ‘This swim will inspire all my competition to get up at 5 am & train even harder’.

Yozhik

If it is a surprise that there is a swimmer who can swim at world class time from the 100m distance to the 1500m then it is even a greater surprise that there is a coach that can be professionally excellent working with top sprinters and long distance swimmers. I would expect the specialization among coaches to be even stronger than we can meet among swimmers. Were there any changes in Ledecky’s coaching staff. Was it extended by including someone who knows how to train sprinters? I think nobody has doubts that Ledecky is focusing on short distances this season. Her significant progress at 200 and 100 shown recently supports this supposition. At the same time her coach Bruce Gemmell repeatedly denies this, saying that she goes through regular training procedures that do not emphasize on improving her sprinting abilities at 100. If it is so then I find it so silly that I don’t believe it.

aswimfan

I doubt specialization is stronger among coaches, but what do I know. Great coaches like Gregg Troy, Dave Salo and Eddie Reese have trained great sprinters as well as mid-d and distance swimmers. Some coaches indeed appear to have specialization, but it may have to do mostly with the kind of talents that ended up at their pool.

Speaking about a swimmer who can swim well across all distances, it reminds me of Park Tae-Hwan who swam a 22 seconds in 50 free and sub 15 mins in 1,500 within an hour in a meet in Australia few years back. That was only a mild surprise to those unfamiliar with Park.

ThereaLuigi

Some American coaches seem to specialize. Mike Bottom, for example, is known for his sprinting program, between 2000 and 2004 he put I don’t know how many athletes on Olympic finals.

aswimfan

It’s true, TL.
My theory is that coaches also learn from their swimmers that they train. And it reinforces their accumulative skills, the more they train certain types of swimmers the better they become at certain set of training skills.
I guess then, the rare coaches are those who are very good in training swimmers, regardless of swimmers’ specialization. So maybe in this case, the coaches that I have mentioned above could be as rare as the swimmers such as Ledecky, they are just too good at coaching/swimming all distances.

Yozhik

Yes, asf. I also think same way. The coaching is not a science. The knowledge is empirical coming from experience. To me the most of coaches are like my primary physician doctor. He knows a lot about human body and is helpful most of the time in wide variety of cases. From headache to constipation 🙂 . But when something serious is happening he sends me to special doctor. I don’t think that Bruce Gemmell as responsible professional will agree to coach Cate Campbell for instance.
I have nothing against Bruce. It can happen that he is talented as a coach as Ledecky is as a swimmer. Maybe he knows how to coach same swimmer from 100 to 1500. I was thinking that Ledecky is very rare case and may need concilium but not one coach.

gheko

Its very tough to be the best from 100m to 1500m, the last was the great Shane Gould, but even she had a tough games in Munich 1972, Where her training was geared to 200m, 400m, because in those days you were either a sprinter or distance swimmer, still won a bronze in the 100m and silver in the 800m after golds in the 200m IM, 200m free and 400m free, Five medals 3 world records and retired a year later aged 16!

ThereaLuigi

“in those days you were either a sprinter or distance swimmer”. With all due respect to Ms Gould, who is a legend, it is in these days that we see iper-specialization, not the past. There are very few swimmers who are competitive in the 50, 100 and 200 of a stroke, very few competitive from 400 up to 1500 free, only one competitive from 200 up to 1500 free. And it’s not because there is no talent around.

aswimfan

There is certainly more competition now compared to the 70s, but we must also remember that in 1972 there was also only one woman who was competitive from 100 to 1,500. No one else was close. And we must realize that girls in early 1970s had their own challenges too.
Specialization already existed too, even in the 50s: Dawn Fraser was a sprinter.
Even Debbie Meyer who peaked in 1968, where they should have been even less competition, was not competitive at all in 100 free.
Kornelia Ender, who was one of swimming greatest talent ever and fully supported by East German pharmaceutical, could not even medal in anything above 200.

Ledecky is a very rare talent, and someday from now we will see another talent like her, just like there were similar talent in the past. And when that happens, we shouldn’t say “with all due respect to ms. Ledecky, competition in 2015 was very easy compared to now, year 2050”.

Yozhik

Guys, I had no intentions to start this never ending conversation of who is greater. My point was very simple. Is the style of let say 200m swimmer is different from the one of 50m . Is it possible nowadays for 200m swimmer to win 50 without making any changes to the length of stroke, breathing technic, kicks, walls, underwater, whatever…. Everything that constitutes the style and gets very specialised not allowing 50m champ to win 100 and visa versa. If we take Sjostrom for example, is her dislike of 200 is actually based on necessity to learn two styles of racing? And even if it is possible to do does her coach have enough understanding how to teach one swimmer to have two personality the way that neither of which interferes with each other?
The situation with Ledecky may not that extreme as with Sjostrom, but still is very unusual. My original question was do we know coaches who can train swimmer from 100 to 1500. Not the coach who has knowledge how to teach swimmer A to race long distance and how to teach swimmer B to be a sprinter. But how to teach same giirl to be among 20 best ever sprinters and at the same time to be elite middle and long distance racer. That is I would say my friends is the incredibly unique coaching ability. I well remember how Bruce Gemmell was uncomfortable with Ledecky’s desire to race 200m in Kazan and his euphoria when everything ended successfully. Now she pushes even farther. Is he still up to the challenge or it is reasonable to look for extra help.

Yozhik

I think that one of the examples of victims of specialization is Femke Heemskerk. The excellent swimmer who is capable of 1:54.6 at 200. She had a great performance in Kazan as 100m sprinter and she miserably failed at 200m (1:56.79). She didn’t switch from one type of race to another.

gheko

Forbes Carlile was the coach who trained Gould to the 100m -1500m world records, at the training camp in the 8weeks before Munich another coach took over, (Forbes was not even on the coaching staff) and geared her training towards the middle distance, she was not sharp enough in the 100m.

Yozhik

Interesting info, gheko. Thanks. Especially the point that she wasn’t trained as universal swimmer, but there was a need to gear her for particular type of races.

aswimfan

Yozhik,
Heemskerk wasn’t a victim of specialization in Kazan. She was a victim of her own inability to deliver when it counts. Kazan was not her first time. She did it in 2011 Shanghai too.
In Kazan, Heemskerk didn’t have a good result in 100 free either, unless you call 53.58 is a good result for a sprinter who went 52.69 a few months before.

aswimfan

Yozhik,

I think what Gheko meant is that the change in coaching just before the Olympics contributed in Gould’s decreased performance in Munich (If you can call Olympics’ greatest ever individual female performance as a “decrease”).

She did break 100-1500 WRs under Forbes Carlile coaching, whether you interpreted that as “wasn’t trained as universal swimmer” as up to you, I don’t know anything about how Forbes trained her.

If you want good example of a swimmer who shifted gear/focus in the 1970s to avoid specialization, it was Shirley Babashoff.
In 1972, she was mostly a sprinter (100–200), but to avoid competition with Kornelia Ender, who was unbeatable in sprint events, for 1976 Munich preparation, her coach focused her on longer distances.
Imo, Babashoff was a victim of specialization.

aswimfan

I forgot to mention, in case anyone jump on me, yes, above all, Babashoff was a victim of East german pharmaceutical.

aswimfan

Yozhik,
FYI, Heemsker was able to switch from one type of race to another as she swam both 52.69 and 1:54 in two separate days in 2015 Eindhoven cup. She just cannot deliver her best in the most important meet. She is always good in relays, though.

Yozhik

Asf, you are just stating the fact. I’m looking for explanations. “Inability to deliver” is a very general term that can be said about any failure to succeed. Sorry, it is of no help to me. Heemskerk was first after 150 and then finished 8th. My opinion is that she approached 200 as long sprint and was very fast at first half of the distance. That mentality was a mistake. Should she specialised on 200m race she did it differently. That is what I called victim of specialisation.
P.s. when you evaluate Heemskerk performance in Kazan don’t miss next time that she swam under 52sec in relay. That may change your opinion.

Yozhik

200 race in Eindhoven is a bad example. It was a big surprize first of all for Heemskerk. It can be clearly observed when watching this race.
It can be hardly considered as a well executed strategy , because never before and never after she’s swum first 100m at 57sec. I have already talked about that many times. No reason to return to this discussion again.

aswimfan

Yozhik,

I think you have missed my next comment: she is always good in relays.

Her Eindhoven cup results just a few months before Kazan refuted your claim that she was the victim of specialization. Because she was able to produce both 52.6 and 1:54 within two days. Noe “explain” to me how she was able to shift gear in Eindhoven but not in Kazan.

Would you also care to “explain” what happened in 2011 Shanghai?
She was fastest in 100 free prelims and semis, but swam her slowest in the final.
She was fastest in 200 free semis, swimming 1:55.54, which, should she had been able to replicate in the final, she would have won gold ahead of Pellegrini. But she ended 7th, swimming 1:57.6

My explanation is: she’s just couldn’t deliver when it counts. In relays, the pressure is shared among all relay members.

Yozhik

I was talking about coaching challenge to prepare world class swimmer at the range of 100-1500 or 50-200. Not summer’s ability to do so.

Gheko’s comment let me think that we have to stop talking about Gould only as a legend but start to look at details of her short career. Who was she as a swimmer? What was her preferences? What was her weakness? Why there was a need to train her for two months with different coach just immediately prior Olympic Games? Answering these questions may help to understand her early retirement.

aswimfan

You may have undermined psychological elements in determining performance of an athlete, but it has been well established that it is equally as important as psychical preparation. Otherwise there would have been no such thing as sports psychologist.

Yozhik

Yes, asf we are typing simultaneously. And don’t give each other the opportunity to finish the point. 🙂

aswimfan

Yozhik,
IIRC, please some correct me if I’m wrong, but Forbes Carlile trained her as endurance athlete, even though they knew she would be also great in sprint as well, not unlike Ledecky is today.

FORBES CARLILE: She was very good when she came to us. She was a 12- or 13-year-old that had done well. As a matter of fact, when she first got into the pool with us, it was a question of whether she’d break Dawn Fraser’s record, not if she’d break it. We trained her as an endurance athlete, and it carried her through, both in sprints and in distances. That was a new idea.
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/talkingheads/txt/s2316987.htm

aswimfan

physical preparation, not psychical preparation

Yozhik

Thank you, asf. I think that this new idea almost immediately became an old one. I would be very surprised if someone follows it nowadays not realizing that different distances require different training approach. Just endurance is not enough. But I understand that when you have 13-14 years girl on hands the first thing you are thinking about is improving her endurance.

aswimfan

Yozhik,
I agree with you that the “new” idea at that time has became an old one. Although it seems it is still working quite well for Ledecky. Although I am quite sure that in training camps, Ledecky is also receiving sprint clinic.

On Femke, I forgot to also mention another datum: in 2011 she split 52.5 in 4×100 free but crumbled in her individual event.
This is another fact that support my hypothesis she just couldn’t deliver her best when pressure is at highest.

Yozhik

Ok, asf. The sport psychology is well away from original discussion and is too much for me at midnight. We may return to this conversation some other day in different thread.

aswimfan

In 2012 London, Femke Heemskerk dropped 200 free in order to focus and specialize in 100 free.
She did ok in the 4×100 relay but flopped badly in the 100 free semis, swimming 54 something.

I hope she got herself better mentally prepared for Rio.

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