Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Email From Sean Baker at Mare Nostrum

The following is an email from Sean Baker of the Oakville Aquatic club. Sean was one of the coaches that was selected to the Mare Nostrum tour. He sent this email earlier today with his observations of world swimming during this tour. The thing I found most interesting was point #3 below; a harsh but honest truth. Please read!


date: Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 6:16 AM
subject: Mare Nostrum tour
Today we finished our last practice here in Canet en Rousillon.  The group did well; all made second swims and got alot out of the trip.  We were able to watch incredible performances as well as incredible athletes...all good to fuel our fire towards July.

Here are my top 3 observations while on the Mare Nostrum tour...

1-The best athletes are reliable from one meet to the other and from one performance to another.  They have the ability to stand up and deliver tough swims in tough circumstances.
Most notably:

Belemonte (Spain) swam a negative split 800 (4:15/4:10) and then within 10 minutes, got up and raced a 4:39 400im finishing in 1:01-1:02

Hirai (Japan) swam heats, then came in to the B final warm up at 3pm, did 2 rounds of:

6x100@1:15 holding 1:00s
4x50@:50 (1-EZ 3-fast) at :29 seconds/31sc and second round at :28/:27s

Then swam another warm up at 5 pm and raced the 1500 in 15:01!

Chad LeClos (South Africa) the day before he raced, went 8.5km in the am (60x50@:40 holding. :30s) and 5km in the evening for 13.5km and the next day swam 100 Fly in :51!  Next day 200 fly in 1:55.  He now goes to Hungary for two weeks of 100km training/week and then will try to go 1:55 again BEFORE tapering.

2-Watch out for the Danish women...they are strong, lean and very fit.  Every day they did some sort of Dryland routine before & after to keep toned.  Pederson went 2:21 with a final split of :35 and 17sc!  I talked to her coach and he is aiming to get her to go all the last three 50s at :35... Add it up and she may go 2:17-2:18 soon...new WR.

3-It's not enough to be talented and dedicated if you want to win on the international stage.  It requires an incredible amount of work in and out of the pool...More than I think most realize (myself included) Athletes have to be extremely fit and lean in addition to being masters of their craft.  PRECISION jumps to mind...in every technical element.  Even in the women's 100Free final, Jeannette Ottesen Grey destroyed everyone in the first 15-20m just on underwater break out precision...it was over by the 30m mark and she was building into the 50!!!