Caeleb Dressel is back on YouTube with a new Dressel Dissect, this time breaking down his 100 IM World Record from the 2020 ISL Grand Final in Budapest. Dressel chose the video in spite of, or maybe because of, it not being an Olympic event, with the Tokyo Games just under 2 months away.
When Dressel broke the World Record, he lowered his own mark of 49.88, set in the second semifinal of the 2020 ISL season. During the Grand Final, Dressel lobbed another 0.60 from his best time, clocking a 49.28 to annihilate the field and steal points from every competitor except his Cali Condor teammate Marcin Cieslak.
Before going into the analysis of the 49-second swim, Dressel mentions that he had to learn how to swim the 100 IM while in Budapest. He states that he believes he started the ISL season “around maybe 51, I think 51.8 was my first swim, and then [in] six weeks I had to figure it out too, I mean of course I got a little bit of rest in there, but 51 down to 49-low, and every time I feel like I learned something new in this race,” says Dressel.
Dressel’s slowest 100 IM of the 2020 ISL season was actually a 51.36 from the very first match of the season on October 17th, 2020. Even so, a 2.08 second improvement over the course of the season is enough to make most swimmers quite happy.
Dressel decided to treat the first 25 of this 100 IM like a 50 fly instead of a 100 fly as he had in previous competitions, meaning in the Final he took 6 stroke instead of 5, which he thinks was a major improvement.
Dressel, the former American Record holder in the 100 yard breaststroke, refers to himself as “not a super-strong breaststroker.” He gives himself a little more credit on the backstroke where he says that he thinks he “did such a good job” on his backstroke tempo despite what he describes as a bad breakout at the start of the backstroke.
Though Dressel does not care for his breaststroke breakout, he describes his breaststroke in this race as “the best my breaststroke has ever looked. Everything moving forward, head’s leading throughout the whole stroke,” he says. Dressel continues to say that he was “constantly trying new things” and asking teammate Lilly King lots of questions about breaststroke throughout the season. Dressel also says that he could have been 8 strokes on the breaststroke but he’s glad he kept it at 7 strokes.
“This is the best my freestyle has looked swimming tired,” says Dressel, as he watches the final meters of the race. Being his own toughest critic, Dressel says he “started spinning real bad” in the final few strokes of his freestyle.
Dressel makes an interesting observation about the IM, saying “the IM’s interesting–so your body’s tired, but not one specific stroke gets tired. So, like at the end of a 2-free, your body gets tired and your freestyle gets tired, but the IM, your body’s tired but you haven’t done freestyle yet. So I thought this was the best my freestyle’s looked swimming tired, and I think that has something to do with because I wasn’t swimming freestyle for the first 75 of this race. So I thought I held together my stroke really well, because not one specific stroke was fatigued.”
Dressel finishes by saying he “wanted to jackpot Marcin, but he did let me,” and that it was a “super fun race.” Given his total dominance over the field and the margin by which he lowered the World Record, this swim was distinguished among our 2020 Swammy Awards asthe #1 Swim of the Year.