Press Release courtesy of Funkita, a SwimSwam partner
Aussie swimmer and Funkita athlete Blair Evans is on a high after a successful Australian Short Course Championships. Evans won bronze in the 200 metres individual medley and swam a blistering 4.29.20 to win gold in the 400.
Evans is straight back into training with her coach Bud McAllister in preparation for Commonwealth Games Trials set for February 28 – March 3 on the Gold Coast. We caught up with the 26 year old medley swimmer to discuss her year and what she has in store in the months ahead.
What does your typical weekly training schedule look like?
It’s pretty chilled out being an older athlete. I just need to listen to my body. I’m doing about 8 or 9 pool sessions, 2 Pilates sessions and a physio session once or twice a week.
What element of your training are you enjoying most at the moment?
All of it. I lost my love of the sport a while ago but I’m loving it more than ever now. A break from the pool helped me feel refreshed and I’m loving every aspect of it. I’m really enjoying challenging myself.
How was your preparation for the Aussie SC Champs different from other event preparation? It was pretty interrupted. I had a small injury 3 weeks out so I pulled back training a bit. I had confidence moving forward with my coach, moving in and out of the pool.
Are you doing anything differently in your training that you haven’t done before?
I’m taking it day by day. Some days are good, some days aren’t. I’m try to get as much in between now and the Commonwealth Games Trials. I think consistency is important moving forward.
How did your results compare to your expectations and against your plan for the year?
They were definitely above my expectations. I had small PBs and was swimming faster than a month ago. My plan for the year is to get good training in.
Was Bud happy with your progress?
He’s a man of very few words, but he was happy. I think it gave him confidence in what he’s doing.
What were his words when he saw you after your swim?
He said, “That was good” and rattled off some stats. I know when he’s happy. We don’t need to spend much time talking about it.
Did you taper for this meet?
No, I don’t usually taper for many meets. I usually enjoy a 3-4 day taper but for this meet I did a 2.5 day taper, which I call a “drop taper”.
Did you approach it differently being a short course competition?
I’m terrible at short course. My skills don’t match up with the girls I’m racing but I did the same tapering.
How do you feel in the preparation for Comm Game Trials?
I feel confident. Moving forward I am going to trust my coach and enjoy training with the squad. If I can link these 2 things up, I think it will be successful for us.
Do you tend to put pressure on yourself and if so how do you manage it?
Sometimes I do. I have high expectations for myself and I have throughout my entire swimming career. I accept when things aren’t going my way and sometimes I have to step back and realise it’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows. I’m pretty laid back these days.
Tell us about your race plan for the 400IM, what plan did you have in place and how closely did you stick to it?
I didn’t really have a plan. I knew the first 200 had to be solid since my better half was the back half. I had to stay with the girls until the breaststroke and then I knew it was going to be a good race. The freestyle leg didn’t sting as much as I thought it would so I could pick it up a bit. The plan always changes for it. I just try to keep air in the butterfly, keep up the stroke rate for backstroke, for breaststroke I think “long and strong” and for freestyle it’s whatever I’ve got left!
How did you approach racing the 200IM compared with the 400IM? It was such a blur. I knew it was competitive so I thought “whatever happens, happens.” I told myself that I know I’m swimming well, so get up there. I wanted to stay with the girls in first 100 and then the last 100 would take care of itself.
Do you have a favourite?
I really enjoy the IM in general. It’s really tactical. I probably like the 200IM better because it’s shorter. But I do like the pain and the challenge of the 400IM.
What would you like to achieve in 2018?
I’d love to go to the Commonwealth Games and be successful there. I’m not sure what “successful” is just yet but being in front of a home crowd and doing my best is enough for me.
Have you overcome any injuries or are you dealing with any at the moment?
My shoulder. I’m getting cortizone and hydrodilation in my shoulder every 6-12 months to help with bursitis. It’s all about management now.
Is there a stroke you’re really working to improve at the moment?
Probably all of them! I have weaknesses in all 4 so I’m working on small things that will get me an edge to get better.
How are you modifying your training for it?
With small things like focussing on skills and making small stroke changes.
Good luck to Blair as she prepares for Commonwealth Games. You can see more of the Funkita swimwear that she wears at www.funkita.com.