Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Michael's blog

Michael JamiesonFollowing yesterday's blog post about Michael Jamieson's upcoming Olympic Trials, he's just sent us his own account of how training's been going...

We are now coming to the end of our training camp on the Gold Coast, Australia. It doesn’t feel like we have been here for seven weeks but it’s been a great trip and a very productive training block.

A few weeks ago, we travelled to Melbourne for a competition. The meet was the last before the National Champs next month so it was important to fine tune any technical aspects. I posted my fastest in season times which hopefully means I’m heading towards some personal best times when it counts in March.

Post competition, we had a day of training and sightseeing before flying back to the Gold Coast, which we made the most of! I and a few of my teammates went to the Australia Open for the day! It has definitely been my highlight of the camp, the atmosphere inside the grounds was amazing and there was some great tennis to boot!

The end of the camp signals the start of our taper* and resting period for the Olympic Trials next month in London. As a swimmer, the taper is the most exciting part of the season. Due to the high aerobic, conditioning nature of the sport, swimmers only taper twice throughout the year. This would generally be for the National Championships in March and then the major meet of the calendar in the summer. The tapering period is three – four weeks long, a steady decrease in volume and intensity, aimed at peaking on the day of my main events at the National Champs.

The taper is also seen as a period where an athlete doesn’t make many physiological improvements, the training and conditioning is done and the focus is now on the psychological aspects. I feel like I have some experience in pressured situations like this after the past few seasons and hopefully this will help me through the next few weeks.

In order to qualify for the Olympic Games, I would need to finish in the top two places. I will be going for qualification in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke. This year has always been the target for me; eight of nine years of training will come down to two races over five days. The preparation has been done and I can’t wait to race!

A fantastic post Michael - it's great to have your personal account of what's been happening, especially during what must be a very busy time for you. We wish you every success at the Olympic Trials next month.

* = tapering is part of the final preparations for a major championships, where the volume of training is reduced significantly to allow the body to recover from its training workload so peak performance can be achieved on competition day. Endurance athletics and swimming are two of the key sports where this is practised. The above link takes you to more information if you're interested.

In his blog post above, Michael talks about his training switching from physical to psychological preparation during this time. There's also quite a change in diet - as this very telling tweet from him on Monday said:

Taper diet has started - no bread...or midget gems allowed! :(

Here's hoping the lack of midget gems makes all the difference ;)

We'll be catching up with Michael again after the Olympic Trials. Don't forget, we'll be passing on any messages of support for him you leave in the Comments below.


  1. Michael that sounds like a fantastic trip.
    I also have a new excuse for my lack of training - I'm on a taper!
    The very best of luck with your trials.

  2. A training camp on the Gold Coast in Australia. I'm very envious already.
    Good luck with the trials, getting to the Olympics would be a fantastic achievement.

  3. Great to hear your training is going to plan Michael. You will have 6000+ staff and a small army of Merchandisers cheering for you during the trials !.

    I've been tapering since my mid 20's so if you need any tips just ask .......

  4. Mark Cashmore, Chief Executive17 February 2012 at 02:06

    Well done Michael and the very best of luck from everyone here at Smiths News PLC - we will all be cheering for you. Go for it!

  5. Having been on a trip to Oz a couple of times, I know how hard swimmers have to work! The swimming setup in Australia is amazing - swimmers there are the celebrity athletes. It's the best place for Michael and the rest of the GB squad to do their winter training.

  6. Good luck with the trials Michael - we're all behind you.

  7. Hi Michael - I like the sound of the sightseeing best! Very best of luck for next months trials - don't forget to let us know how you get on. We'll all be rooting for you!


  8. Hi Michael, Tim and I we are getting really excited about the swimming and that's because of you!!! Enjoy every minute of it - it will fly by. Deb Ferreira

  9. Hi Michael - Good luck :)

  10. Michael
    Good to hear the training is going well, not sure about the tapering, big question... is chocolate in or out of the diet?

    More importantly - Good luck with the trials, I'm sure the dedication you've shown will pay off plus you have the added support from us all pushing you through the water.

  11. Best of luck Michael!
    Here's hoping you reach a PB in March : ) We'll be keeping track of your progress. Go for it!

  12. Hi Michael,
    Great to hear your training is going well and best of luck with your trials.
    We have our fingers crossed for you. Keep us posted!

  13. Hi Michael,

    Glad to hear everythings going well and you are on track. Not long to go now we are all really excited. We know how hard you work and the dedication it takes. It will all be worth it!

    Good Luck
    Lynn and family

  14. Good luck with the trials, we at Bertrams also have our fingers crossed for you. Keep us up to date with your progress.

  15. Good luck for the weekend, Michael - swim the fastest of your life!

    I'm looking forward to posting the good news on Dispatches next week that you've successfully made Team GB :)