Following 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.