Katie Grimes on Racing Katie Ledecky, Open Water, & Not Fully Tapering Until 2024

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman HodgesGarrett McCaffrey, and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

We sat down with Katie Grimes, the youngest Olympian from the 2020 Tokyo team and most recently the double silver medal winner in Budapest. Grimes admits that while she is pleased with her two 2nd place finishes in the 400 IM and 1500, she isn’t satisfied. Grimes is looking toward the 2024 Olympic Games and winning gold in Paris, with such a laser focus that she has decided with her coach, Ron Aitken, that she won’t fully taper for a meet until then (not even world championships).

Grimes also discusses how she improved in training and racing since last year at the Olympic Trials and the Games themself, where she placed 4th in the 800 free. The young distance swimmer has also started dipping her toes into open water, competing in the 10K in Budapest as well as preparing for the upcoming open water Jr World Champs in September.

SWIMSWAM PODCAST LINKS

Music: Otis McDonald
www.otismacmusic.com

Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

In This Story

91
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

91 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Formerswim
4 months ago

Y’all are crazy. Grimes is a great kid leave her alone jeez. How about we let her be a kid and marvel in her life right now, and let the swimming do the talking. Nothing like this comment section really slow ya down. You’d think people here would support our up and coming but again as always, air chair commentary that’s just not encouraging for our sport. Let’s support our future stars!

autonomous
Reply to  Formerswim
4 months ago

We care a lot about KG and support her fully. However the coaching decision to grind for 2 years and not taper for some major international meets is potentially dangerous to her well being as has been proven again and again by previous American swimmers whose careers were destroyed by overtraining syndrome. It is just as important to race well as it is to train hard.

Noise
Reply to  autonomous
4 months ago

Sharing is caring. KG was definitely rested just not at what she may see in 2024. A strategic quad plan is in place and the group rests 2x or more each year.

anonymous
Reply to  Noise
4 months ago

Shame she wasn’t fully tapered and allowed to win Gold at WC in the 400 IM. Summer only beat her by 0.6

Gina
4 months ago

I LOVEREE Katie Grimes!!! Always has a smile on face and so humble and so energetic and so sweet. Omg I cannot wait to see her beat Ledeky.

Spectatorn
4 months ago

Just from reading the summary, it is interesting to mentally compare Grimes and Ledecky in how they talk about training plans. Both are talented and confident distance swimmers, young KG is vocal about her plan and training for future big meets, while young KL always deferred to her coach about training and taper.

Awsi Dooger
4 months ago

The laughter from Coleman regarding her distaste for 15:44 at 1500 was inappropriate. Grimes is rightfully not satisfied with that time. Other than Katie Ledecky women’s distance swimming looks like women’s tennis back in the ’40s or ’50s if not earlier, the bloomers era where they bunted the ball back and forth.

Random123
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
4 months ago

lol get a grip

Awsi Dooger
4 months ago

I’ll take the language further than others. This is moronic. There’s no chance other meets and world championships should be devalued to that extent, while pointing and assuming toward one meet far in the future.

This coach is obviously oblivious to normal distribution. The athlete could be sick or injured at the time of the target meet. We had this discussion on track sites in regard to Cole Hocker and others. Hocker is a young American 1500m star who was qualified for world indoor championships in Belgrade this year but decided to skip it. He rationalized it by saying all his energy was toward Eugene in July, the more prestigious outdoor world championships on his home track from college.… Read more »

flyguy4910
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
4 months ago

Mr. Dooger, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Yozhik
4 months ago

I was always wondering what physiological processes are behind tapering effect. Is it like you push yourself close to the physical limits and your poor body is trying to mobilise all possible resources it can find to compensate and withstand the load. And then everything stops suddenly. But there is an inertia to realise that and your system still produces resources in anticipation of stress. So we have more than needed and we are ready to perform better than do under normal conditions. If it is so it is so artificial and brutal. Because with such swings the human body will get exhausted pretty soon with young years passing. I don’t see much difference between causing such over hyped conditions… Read more »

Time For Barta To Go
Reply to  Yozhik
4 months ago

“then everything stops suddenly”

No. It’s called Taper for a reason. Controlled reduction of workload while maintaining fitness to perform at even higher level.

And as for “using medicines” – ah, no.

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Yozhik
4 months ago

Ah.

Yozhik has a new target.

Another young female swimmer he thinks/feels could be threatening to Ledecky the GOAT

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
4 months ago

Yozhik’s shtick is getting old.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
4 months ago

Barring illness or injury, how many events will Katie Grimes qualify for the 2023 FINA World Aquatics Championships?

W 4 x 200 FR-R
W 800 FR
W 1500 FR
W 400 IM

As for the W 4 x 200 FR-R, a number of teenagers will be vying for a slot at the 2023 USA Swimming International Team Trials (alphabetical order):

Gemmell
Grimes
Sims
Weinstein

Meanwhile, Ledecky will be Ledecky, a finely tuned Porsche 911 under the maintenance of Anthony Nesty.

autonomous
4 months ago

USA has plenty examples of distance world record holders whose coaches also thought training harder would give better results. It led to overtraining syndrome and disastrous results. Also at her age making a 2 year training cycle commitment is not a good idea. Her body is not mature yet.

Taa
Reply to  autonomous
4 months ago

Simone and Missy both imploded in recent years. I’m not one to tell a coach of Aitken’s stature what to do and hopefully he is skilled enough to guide his swimmers through this without damaging them.

I also believe its better to be swimming fast in the run up to the meet. It’s also more fun for the swimmer.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Taa
4 months ago

Missy Franklin was diagnosed with bursitis in her shoulders and required double shoulder surgery.

https://swimswam.com/missy-franklin-wont-swim-us-nationals-double-shoulder-surgery/

autonomous
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
4 months ago

I don’t think she actually got the surgery though.

Taa
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
4 months ago

Caused by overtraining? Probably a contributing factor she trained until her arms fell off. Another no one wants to mention is Erica Sullivan struggling right now. Do we think what she went through this year is fallout from the Aitken years? Will be interesting to see how people view it after she retires.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Taa
4 months ago

Erica Sullivan suffered a shoulder injury while swimming for the University of Texas. To blame Ron Aitken is completely disingenuous.

Taa
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
4 months ago

I don’t believe she provided any details of the injury and how it occurred. Usually shoulder stuff in swimming is cumulative

Anonymous
Reply to  Taa
4 months ago

It is unbelievable that an elite coach let her swim with such straight arms as if she has no trapezius muscles. Swims like Palterini and we know he has had shoulder issues leading to surgery.

oxyswim
Reply to  Anonymous
4 months ago

Leah Smith and Janet Evans both used straight arms for distance FR. Leah has been doing it for a decade with no serious shoulder issues

autonomous
Reply to  oxyswim
4 months ago

Yes but she windmills overhead vertically. Erica windmills straight out or horizontal. Going out horizontal puts massive load on the minor shoulder muscles.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Taa
4 months ago

What has imploded is the post graduate contingent at Stanford University:

Drabot
Eastin
Forde
Ledecky
Manuel
Neal

Gone!

Taa
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
4 months ago

Old news. Good example of the struggles post grad swimmers go through

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Taa
4 months ago

That’s bull.

Former Stanford Cardinal Maya DiRado really “struggled” as a post graduate at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Taa
4 months ago

Bull!

Hali Flickinger posted personal best times as a post graduate in the W 200 FL (07/24/2021) and W 400 IM (06/13/2021) under Bob Bowman.

Tokyo 2021 Olympics
Hali Flickinger
W 200 FL – bronze medal
W 400 IM – bronze medal

No one is buying what you are selling.

Taa
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
4 months ago

Most of them struggle look at Comerford. Dirado immediately quit after the Olympics for a real job. I don’t disagree with you its just a little old at this point. They can give it another try with Huske and Curzan hope they give them good support.

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Taa
4 months ago

Manuel, Weitzeil, Comerford in the women’s 100 meter freestyle may have burned out or fizzled out. However, the does not apply to the rest of the women’s events.

Calvin
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
4 months ago

Weitzel? She literally dipped under 53 for the first time after graduating. She didn’t qualify to WC this year but she had an amazing Olympic campaign.(hitting 2 PBs).

autonomous
Reply to  Taa
4 months ago

Tim Shaw overtrained. Troy said he overtrained Caleb when he had a so so summer. There is no reason to overstress a teenager’s mind and body. Let’s not forget that there should be successful/ fun stepping stones to the final goal.

Thezwimmer
Reply to  autonomous
4 months ago

Tim Shaw also didn’t take care of his body. He had a horrendous diet of cornbread and polish sausages through his late teens and into college, per Chuck Warner’s book Four Champions, One Gold Medal

Last edited 4 months ago by Thezwimmer
autonomous
Reply to  Thezwimmer
4 months ago

All the more reason to not overtrain him and send him to a nutritionist for counseling.

NB1
Reply to  autonomous
4 months ago

Eastern European swimmers back in the 80s were trained hard, some doped too, broke World records, won Olympics. all that. can you put a price on a gold medal? work-life balance, I guess

anonymous
Reply to  NB1
4 months ago

They doped so that they could train harder than would naturally be possible. The dope often aides the recovery process.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

Read More »