Schooling Opts For Only 200 IM To Test Out Focus On Middle Distance Training


Day 1 of the FINA World Cup stop in Singapore heated up with powerful swims by Russia’s Vlad Morozov in the men’s 50m free, Andrew Wilson in the men’s 100m breast and Cate Campbell in the women’s 50m free, to name just a few eye-catching performances.

Host nation swimmer Joseph Schooling is hoping to continue the trend on day 2, where the 24-year-old former Texas Longhorn will be taking on his one and only event of this World Cup in the men’s 200m IM.

Situated in lane 1 of the first of four heats of the men’s 200 IM, Schooling is hoping to make the top 8 in this event against the likes of Aussies Mitch Larkin and Thomas Fraser-Holmes and China’s Wang Yizhe. In fact, Schooling’s participation in this event, as opposed to his bread-and-butter 100m fly, is indicative of where the Singaporean Olympic champion wants to take his swim training directionally in the final year before the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Speaking to The Straits Times this week, Schooling said, “I think the most important thing is (that) I need to get my volume up in practice, I need to start doing longer and more sustained, intense sets.”

He continued, “The IM trains a lot of different things, like fitness and different strokes, and it taps on different muscle systems and energy systems.

“Eddie (Reese, his former coach at the University of Texas, Austin) told me (in 2016) that I need to stay in a middle distance to do well, but middle distance hurts a lot more than a sprint. And so I just wasn’t ready for it until this year to keep pushing that middle distance like I had been. That’s what won me the gold in Rio, and that’s why I need to go back to it.”

Schooling owns Singapore’s National Record in the 200m IM with his time of 1:59.99 logged way back in 2013. Schooling most recently found himself out of the 100m fly semi-finals in Gwangju, ending his World Championships campaign early with a 24th place time of 52.93.

But, Schooling and his coach Gary Tan are hoping to change the tide, devoting about 80% of Schoolnig’s training now for middle-distance events, up from about 40% ahead of this year’s Worlds.

Tan told The Straits Times, “We felt there was a need to change it a bit and do a bit more conditioning on the legs, so that’s where the middle-distance stuff comes in – we can focus on mileage and the intensity of his kicking sets, but we want to build on it progressively and get him into the best shape possible.

“If you condition your legs and your lungs, there’s a lot of good that will come out of it.”

The men’s 200m IM heats are scheduled to begin at 10:23 am local time on Friday, August 16th at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

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But can he rival Tom Shields’s 2:06?


Wrong event


It is, but can he?


Favorite comment on swimswam right here


Dressel freaked him out a little too much


i mean… what he is doing is scary. he is a monster.

Ol' Longhorn

When Dressel no-breathed the last 25 of the 100 fly at NCAAs, Schooling said “no mas.”


“But middle distance hurts a lot more than sprint.” Lol so he changed how he trained so that it would be more convenient and easier in practice? You can’t be scared to work hard

6-beat kick

If you ask me, it’s that mentality right there that has cost him in recent years. Sprint training or otherwise, he’s not willing to train like a champion.

Ol' Longhorn

“The heart of a champion.” Well, maybe not so much. Middle distance was rough on his tummy.

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