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Training of Top US Middle Distance Swimmers

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Presentation on theme: "Training of Top US Middle Distance Swimmers"— Presentation transcript:

1 Training of Top US Middle Distance Swimmers
Genadijus Sokolovas, Ph.D.

2 Successful Middle Distance Clubs
Colorado Stars (coach Todd Schmitz) University of Michigan (coaches Jon Urbanchek, Mike Bottom) North Baltimore Aquatic Club (coach Bob Bowman)

3 Success in Middle Distance Swimming
Moderate to high volumes training, especially at young age Anaerobic and strength training in college Competition from swim clubs in US Training in short course and long course pools Great kicking technique Dives and turns Efficient swimming technique NCAA

4 Coach Todd Schmitz (Colorado Stars)
The most decorated swimmer from Colorado Stars is multiple Olympic Champion, world record holder Missy Franklin. Besides Missy, there are several National Junior Team members training at the same club. Missy is the first Olympian from the state of Colorado since Amy Van Dyken ( )

5 Training Environment at Colorado Stars
The Colorado Stars is team is the only team that developed National Team swimmers without having access to the long course pool The team is using 25-yard pool and a 15-meter bath pool for training There is one full-time coach and 4 part-time coaches There are about 170 swimmers on the team

6 Colorado Stars Training Philosophy
Swimmers have to have fun every day, at competitions and at practices Swimmers should be engaged in practices Kids have to be excited Positive attitude Coaches challenge swimmers every practice Swim fast

7 Training at Colorado Stars
Train primarily in short course, sometimes in 15 m pool Sundays swim in long course Tuesday and Thursday morning workouts Trying to be creative – swimming 15 m underwater in 15 m pool “Fun Friday” competition with parachutes, stretch cords, etc

8 Underwater Swimming (Colorado Stars)
Future of fast swimming is underwater Coach uses race analysis statistics to see improvements in underwater swimming (breakout times, turns) Underwater training is done in 15-meter pool after the practice Emphasis on kicking (with and without fins, with and without kick board)

9 Dryland Training Strong emphasis on dryland training
Use a physical therapist to evaluate any disbalance in the muscles development Dryland program is based on athleticism Group stretch after the warm up Using performance test – “Presidential fitness test” (shuttle around, sit-and-reach, vertical jump) Core awareness Every workout starts with 60 min dryland

10 Climbing the Rope Video

11 Swim Workouts ( Colorado Stars)
6300 yd on average in 2 hour workout (no longer) Include high speed sets all the time Some kind of sprint every day – kick, pull, 15 m etc Writes workouts the same day or a night before based on feedback from athletes Coach wants athletes to be engaged in every set, think about every set (for example, work on breathing pattern, throw 50 fast, stronger kick, etc)

12 Swim Workouts ( Colorado Stars)
Writes workouts the same day or a night before based on feedback from athletes Every day is different warm up HR based training Competitive environment – race each other every day Kick at the end of the practice Keep athletes hydrated

13 Long Course Training (Colorado Stars)
Access to the 50-meter pool only on Sundays Sometimes has to drive to Colorado Springs (90 km) to swim at the 50-meter pool Coach thinks that training in long course pool may lead to sloppy swimming and less focus A lot of 50s in long course mixing with kick: 8 x 50 fly kick + 6 x 50 desc 1-4 and hold 5-6 Opportunity to be filmed in Colorado Springs

14 Examples of Swim Sets (Colorado Stars)
Warm-up: 400 (75 swim, 25 catch up), 14 x drills/IM 9-16 (25 scull, 25 underwater) XYZ set: 6 x 50 on 3:00 or 6 x 100 on 3:00 or 6 x 150 on 3:00 Swimmers select the distance in the set, the rest interval is the same for all Max quality in this set

15 Examples of Swim Sets (Colorado Stars)
In 15-meter pool: 3 x (6 x 30 on 40s with no more than 6 strokes + 6 x 30 kick) 1 min swim all-out, what distance can cover in 1 min Uses parachutes with and without fins, stretch cords for resistance and assistance Swimming with fins, especially when athletes are tired. It keeps their technique better and body position higher in the water.




19 Taper (Colorado Stars)
During the taper swimmers swim every day, a lot of taper is mental, based on feel, asking kids how they feel. If you feel bad 5 days before the race, it is great! You don’t want to feel great 5 days before the race. Normally taper is 7-9 days Duration of taper based on the number of races during the meet, athletes recovery, muscle mass.

20 Michigan University Swim Team
Head coach Mike Bottom – sprint coach Former head coaches Bob Bowman and Jon Urbanchek – distance and middle distance coaches Currently, good mixture of sprint and distance program Women and men programs are combined since 2010 (coach Jim Richardson retired) Michigan University team won NCAA title in 2013

21 Swimming Volumes (Michigan University)
10 swim workouts a week Coach Mike Bottom started to write training plans when working at Michigan, training plans even for sprinters Coaches have to changes plans based on swimmers’ feedback Swimming volumes for middles distance swimmers 40-50K a week 6-9K daily volumes

22 Training Environment (Michigan University)
It is important to build team training environment All athletes train together, sharing their strength, learning from each other Aerobic conditioning is important background for speed and performances in shorter and middle distances In college, swimmers don’t have as much time to develop aerobic conditioning

23 Training Equipment (Michigan University)
Using the bands (stretch cords) hooked to the blocks Different types of fins and paddles Swimming with broken kick board as a paddle Use of tennis balls keeping them in hands Chutes, Power Racks, buckets as resistance training Mirrors on the bottom of the pool to watch technique Towing machines are very good or assisted swimming

24 Technique Development (Michigan University)
First, it is important to identify necessary improvements in technique Second, build right muscle strength and power Third, to put technique in the water, develop power in the water Doing a lot of underwater video analysis, including Swim Power tests Variety of drills to improve swimming technique Most of work on technique is done at the beginning of the season

25 Kicking (Michigan University)
Kicking is a primary area of improvement in college Swimmers don’t have too much time to improve aerobic conditioning There are at least two kicking practices with yd kicking sets: 20 x 100 kick, 10 x 50 kick + 10 x 100 kick + 10 x 50 kick, 2 x x x x 100, etc Kicking against resistance (cords, Power Racks) Kicking with fins at the end of the practice

26 North Baltimore Aquatic Club
Founder of the club Murray Stephens (strong believer of long distance training) Current owners are Bob Bowman and Michael Phelps Two 50-meter pools – an indoor and an outdoor. Indoor pool can be converted to two short course pools. Strength training facilities (strength and conditioning coach Keenan Robinson)

27 North Baltimore Aquatic Club
Bob Bowman and his coaching staff are strong believers in structured training plan and sport science support Doing many tests, such as lactate test, blood screen, underwater video, and muscular balance Hydration and energy bars are always present during the practices.

28 North Baltimore Aquatic Club
Bob Bowman assembled strong international squad to train for 2016 Olympics: USA – Michael Phelps, Allison Schmitt, Chase Kalisz, Tom Luchsinger France – Yannick Agnel Denmark – Tunisia – Ous Mellouli Turkey – 5-10 swimmers Swimmers from other US clubs are visiting NBAC for camps (Megan Romano, etc)

29 North Baltimore Aquatic Club
Bob Bowman loves altitude training NBAC swimmers train at altitude in Colorado Springs 2-3 times a year Duration of every altitude camp is days Training volumes at altitude may reach up to K a week Strong aerobic background Strength training and body balance on land

30 Kicking at NBAC Swimmers at NBAC practice kicking 3-4 times a week.
Good powerful kick improves body position. Kick is more important than pull – fishes don’t have arms to pull. Kicking sets against resistance: Vertical kick with and without weights Kicking against stretch cord underwater and on the surface Kicking against vertical kickboard

31 Training Volumes (NBAC)
The number of weekly swimming practices – It depends on the phase of season. Total weekly swimming volumes – gradual increase from 60K to 90K (may reach 100+K at altitude). Total number of weekly strength practices on land – 3. It doesn’t include daily stretching before and after practices.

32 North Baltimore Aquatic Club, Middle Distance Swimmers (Fall-Winter)
Competition/ Recovery Weeks Peak Competition

33 North Baltimore Aquatic Club, Middle Distance Swimmers (Spring-Summer)
Increase Volumes Competition/ Recovery Weeks Summer Nationals

34 Dives at NBAC Use a track start by placing stronger leg forward
Lean forward on the diving block if you are not explosive and powerful (younger athletes) Lean back and lift hips high on the diving block if you are explosive and powerful Don’t jump high and too far. Dive has to be short. Always watch down during the jump Gain horizontal velocity, but not vertical Keep your arms and body strong/ rigid when entering the water

35 Dives at NBAC Keep arms still and start generating fly kicks at a small amplitude, Larger amplitude kicks create more drag because of bending knees too much. Emphasize up-kick during the underwater dolphin kick. Stay underwater as long as your speed is higher than you speed on the surface. Most of swimmers are faster underwater than on the surface during the first 15 m. Match breaking the surface with the end of the first stroke. Keep your head low and neck extended during the underwater kick.

36 Turns at NBAC Approach the turn fast with strong kick. The faster you will swim before the turn, the faster you will leave the wall. Compact rotation (flip turn or open turn) Be in streamline before feet hit the wall Push down slightly to stay longer underwater if you are good underwater kicker You are faster if deeper Open turn: lead arm bent, other arm goes close to the head, seeing the ceiling before push

37 Practicing Finishes at NBAC
Swimmers often missing the finish because they don’t match arms extension and touch of the wall, especially in short-axis strokes (butterfly and breaststroke). Practice finish from various distances for fly and breast. Start finish from 8-10 m to know the number of strokes to the finish (fly and breast). If you have a goof dolphin kick, you finish backstroke with a dolphin kick.

38 Training After Trials and Before Major Competition (NBAC)
Goal is to improve times at an international competition after stressful trials Most of US coaches agree that Trials are more stressful than World Championships or Olympics Games It is important to have detailed structure of training, logistic, and mental preparation Check with home coaches what their swimmers need to do between Trials and major international competition

39 Training between Trials and Major Competition (NBAC)
Swimmers needed about 3 day recovery after trials They still swim during these 3 days of recovery Back to training immediately (water and dryland) For women, it is important to start dryland right after trials Intensity is low for the first week after trials

40 Training between Trials and Major Competition (NBAC)
Start with hard kicking in the SCY after trials (3rd day after trials) + weights, varied the training course (SCY and LCM) Mainly aerobic training (10 x 300) + technique for the first 5 days Lactate: 16 x 50 on 45s every 4th fast, 12 x 50 on 50s every 3rd fast, etc Endurance: 4 x 300 descending 1-4, 8 x 50 drills, 4 x 200 descending 1-4, 8 x 50 drills Power: 4 x (30 kick in the wall on the back + 25 kick fast)

41 Training between Trials and Major Competition (NBAC)
Too much rest between Trials and Olympics (World Championships) may lead to disastrous results (we learnt from mistakes in 2000 and 2004, when sprinters swam lower at Olympics than at Trials) Build 75% of your volumes with normal intensity from the peak in the last season (Phelps and Schmitt reached 8,000 m a day during the pre-Olympic camp in 2008) Vary training groups and environment during the pre-Olympic/World Championships camp Two days a week big threshold training with various groups, mentally easier

42 Training between Trials and Major Competition (NBAC)
Two days a week all stroke swimmers trained together (flyers with flyers etc.) Athletes have to enjoy their time together, smile most of the time before competition Keep athletes happy and smiling Do visualization every day (watch videos of your races, start 6 weeks before the competition), visualize what to do when the race doesn’t go as expected Set 1 week before meet: 3 x 100 fly ez desc 1-3, lactate clearance protocol, 300 abdominal

43 Training before Travel to Major Competition (NBAC)
More rested before Olympics/World Championships than during the previous competition (Trials) Last quality work 7 days before the first race Remove pressure from athletes before the competition (taper) , more happy swimmers Don’t transmit nervousness to your athletes Easier practices 2 days before the trip and 2 days after the trip, only easy workouts

44 Preparing for the Trip (NBAC)
Detailed plan for each day, including logistics Manage and prepare for the trip Be ready for any challenges (logistics, training, etc.) Be flexible and adaptable Prepare your biological clock before the trip Get on the time zone as soon you arrive (or on the plane) Team environment, all athletes and staff support each other


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