The idea of someone capturing a 56-point 100 LCM breaststroke is virtually a mind-combusting thought but, then again, we live in the time of British breaststroking legend Adam Peaty.
“It’s not a question of if I’ll do it, but when I’ll do it,” says the 23-year-old Loughborough-based athlete who continues to crush barriers and approach an almost 4-year streak of being undefeated in his signature 100m breaststroke event.
Calling the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow his entry into the door of his senior career, Peaty has been unstoppable since, culminating in a history-making time of 57.13 to crush the men’s field in Rio and clinch his first Olympic gold medal. He has since continued his tear, ripping another sub-58 in 57.79 at the British Championships in 2017, followed by World Championships gold in 57.47 while competing in Budapest.
Even under heavy training, as was the case at the Edinburgh International meet, which doubled as this year’s British Champiosnips, Peaty can produce big-time results. He won the 100m breast event in a swift 58.78 unrested, a mark that currently stands as number one in the world.
Now the breaststroking beast turns to the Commonwealth Games that kick-off next month in Australia. He and coach Mel Marshall are preparing mentally and physically for potentially even more history to be made.
“I’ll drop from about 94kg in the winter to about 88kg when I’m racing, which is a huge drop but is something we do very carefully over 10 weeks; if I just stopped eating I’d lose all my muscle. Training with all that bulk during the winter means that when I come to stripping it’s like going from a dumper truck to an F1 car.
“It’s all about fine tuning – like a race car you look at the engine and the computer and you fine tune it to get those extra performance benefits, and that’s what we try to do,” Peaty says of his pre-race planning.
For Marshall, she says the pair adhere to the mentality that, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten,” referring to new ways to approach both training and recovery strategies in order to continue evolving.
Goals-wise for the Gold Coast, Peaty says, “Winning the triple would be awesome. The 50m and the 100m breaststroke are my events and I’ll focus on those first and then we’ll see what happens in the relay.”
Grounded in reality, Peaty also states, “That isn’t enough when you’re the world record holder though, as people are always watching the clock to see if you can go even quicker.
“56 is definitely doable and it’s not a question of if I’ll do it but when I’ll do it. I’ve got to go out in 26.4, which 0.2 under what I’d usually go out in, and then I’d have to come back in the same as Rio. If I can get my body weight right, and I’m currently on track if not ahead, and I can get it right in the pool, then who knows.”
Video and quotes courtesy of Loughborough University.