13-year old Michael Andrew is certainly not the first 13-year old to ever qualify for Senior Nationals; however, they are so few-and-far-between, especially on the men’s side of the pool, that it is a notable accomplishment indeed.
Andrew swam a 1:50.54 in the 200 IM at the Jenks Sectional Championship meet last weekend to hit his first Winter Senior Nationals qualifying time. He’s still two seconds away from Gray Umbach’s 1:48.08 National Age Group Record in the race, but even in the bottom-half of the age group, Andrew has become just the third 13-14 under 1:51 in this race (Gunnar Bents was a 1:50.34 in 2010). Andrew’s swim is far-and-away the best by a 13-year old, and is about five seconds better than Umbach was at the same age.
Andrew swam at the Winter Junior Nationals last year, and has now graduated to Winter Senior Nationals; he will have to wait until the long course season for a shot at Summer Nationals cuts.
Andrew, when in the younger 12 & under age groups, focused mostly on shorter 50’s (though he had a handful of 100 and 200 National Age Group Records as well). Now that he’s progressed into 13-14’s, he and his father/coach Peter Andrew have shown the ability to adapt their ultra-low yardage, ultra-race-pace training techniques to longer races like this 200 IM.
In other races, Andrew this weekend nearly matched his best time in the 50 free with a 20.96, and also swam best times in the 100 free (46.06), 100 back (51.05), 100 breast (57.03), and 100 fly (49.72), all of which rank him very high on the National Age Group All-Time lists.
These swims are already huge improvements from his times just a week ago at the Missouri Valley Championship meet.
Braden we do not do any routine dry land training. In the summer Michael loves to wake board which would have roughly the same effect as dry land. We do other fun land activities like swinging on rings, trampoline, riding bike etc. but all this is more a break from swim training.
I would speak to someone like Dr Thompson above about using dry land training for injury prevention as he would be more of an expert on this. We attempt to swim correctly thus preventing any overuse injuries for example a high elbow freestyle as opposed to a straight arm freestyle etc.
I used some of his ideas this year, but knew that i couldn’t get away with just doing 25’s and 50’s all the time so I used Dave Salos’s “sprint Salo” as a guide while keeping the focus on “race pace” I was generally, pretty happy with our results. The biggest think holding us back was bad attendance. The kids that put in the work did well.
I think it is important to realize that no one is going to be right all the time. So if you disagree with Rushall on certain things ie. Lifting, kicking , equipment, technique or anything like that, it doesn’t matter. Take what makes sense to you and run with it.
PS It… Read more »
I’ve read the studies….but where does the rubber eventually meet the road? Science is great – but does it actually work in the pool? In real life? For every study like the one above there are 10 women out there making drastic improvements from strength training….So who is right? That study sounds like it used well trained males who’s strength gains had already been realized…thus the diminishing returns from my first post. Why should we take that study and paint such a broad brush and say stength training doesn’t help swimming? Why should we apply it to all populations?
Rushall has yet to answer the following questions and explain how they relate to strength and swimming –
1.… Read more »
Thank you for your comments.
– Land strength is not the same thing as pool strength. Every activity has its own “strength”… and the more skillful the activity (ex swimming) the more specific training has to be in order to improve it. This is true because of the physiological Principle of Specificity (SAID Principle, Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands). It is a very basic principle of exercise physiology.
For those interested in learning more about the evidence behind strength training, here is a review of the literature from 1981. I have not seen anything to contradict Sale and MacDougall’s findings published since… the evidence supporting the specificity of strength is overwhelming. http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/dept/coachsci/csa/vol21/sale.htm… Read more »
Cam, Peter, et al. What are your thoughts about dryland training being used for the purpose of injury prevention, rather than specifically performance improvement? Or, with the ultra-low yardage training, is the injury prevention reduced to such a point that even that purpose of dryland training becomes unnecessary?
Great question. I believe that dry-land training can be used to reduce risk of injury. Swimming Science has run several features on optimizing neck, shoulder, lower back, hip, knee, and ankle health. It is not just a matter of “grabbing the tubing and doing external rotations” anymore.
Once again, staying within scope of practice is important. It may be wise to form a good team relationship with a sports medicine specialist/physical therapist. As the aphorism goes, an ounce of prevention = a pound of cure.
On another level, kids are getting fewer and fewer opportunities to engage in varied physical activity as they are developing (e.g. less playing outside due to concerns about learning to read earlier, not trusting… Read more »
Whoops !!!! I thought I posted who performed the above study.
Tanaka,H.,Costill,D.L.,Thomas,R.,Fink,W.J.,& Widrick,J.J. (1993). Dry-land resistance training for competitive swimming . Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise , 25, 952-959
Hi Indie Coach,
Here is a link to the source:
the Swimming Science Journal http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/dept/coachsci/swim/training/tanaka.htm
I have had quite a bit of success with Doc’s ultra short race pace swimming…It is not much different than normal race pace training albeit is much shorter. We limit our race pace work to 25’s and 50’s for anyone swimming 200 and under.
I do have one huge, huge disagreement with Rushall and that deals with strength training for swimmers. I find it appalling that in the 21st century we still have people saying that swimmers shouldn’t lift weights. I do agree that the point of diminishing returns hits the men much sooner, but for women…I don’t know that we get to that ceiling quickly if at all.
Some questions for the “swimmers shouldn’t lift weights crowd”… Read more »
A collegiate men’s swimming team was divided into two groups: one group performed swimming training alone, while the other performed the same training plus resistance training. The resistance training simulated the muscle and swimming actions of the crawlstroke using resistance machines and free weights. It was intended to improve upper body strength.
A 14 week swimming program was performed with resistance training being conducted from weeks 3-10. Both groups tapered in weeks 12 and 13. The resistance work was supervised by a strength training coach.
Both groups demonstrated similar power gains on swim bench and tethered swimming tests. There were no changes in distance per stroke, or performance over 100 or 400 yards. Dry-land resistance training did not improve swimming… Read more »
Easy answer is , it can’t be done as it wouldn’t be legal . The head has to break surface on each cycle .
But I will always go for streamline as apposed to high , resistance in water is not your friend.
What I said about not using the legs for propulsion obviously doesn’t apply to the breaststroke. I tried to use the example of seals and I forgot to stipulate that I didn’t see any of them doing breaststroke.
To answer you’re question of staying flat and still having an effective pull . I speak with the Doc all the time about these things and its because of him that we are working harder to get lower and lower. So I can tell you that the Doc would never agree with your lift theory. I am not familiar with Dr Salo’s work but from what you say, I like the sound of it. Sure I have watched Soni swim and… Read more »
>Again we may disagree here but I do believe the most propulsive part in the stroke is when >those arms are already in streamline and in comes the kick.
Sorry for pushing this hard but you still did not answer my question: if most propulsive part of the stroke is kicking streamline, wouldn’t swimming it all by kicking streamline (if legal) then be faster than swimming legal and “staying high” breaststroke?
Quoted: “if most propulsive part of the stroke is kicking streamline, wouldn’t swimming it all by kicking streamline (if legal) then be faster than swimming legal and “staying high” breaststroke?”
– Swimming is a cyclic activity. Changing the kick from having brief rest periods to continuously pumping would change the physiology of the activity.
– Optimal stroke would be smooth velocity graph the whole way. Something has to provide a measure of acceleration while the legs recover and set up for the next stroke to minimize those valleys, and that something is provided by the arms.
-As you already noted, such an activity would probably not be legal, and you would need to get oxygen at some point during… Read more »
Braden, Phelps is a fish – you cannot compare otehr swimmers to him.
About breaststroke, I believe mastering the use of gravity to push you forward in combination with streamlined position for that short kick period of time is the way to swim breaststroke, not staying low with a bobbing head, and little arm pull.
Sorry, I guess it’s the swim coach in me, but I just don’t buy the argument that “Phelps is this vague idea of some perfect human being that can never be match, replicated, or even approached, let alone described with any real-world physiology beyond ‘oh he’s just wonderful’.”
You’re going to have to give me something better than that, especially if the things that you’re using to detract from other swimmers are similar physical qualities to the GOAT.