Ben Proud rewrote the record books at the British Universities and Colleges Sport Long Course Swim Championships over this past weekend. Proud broke the British record in the men’s 50 freestyle posting a time of 21.73 beating his own record of 21.76, which he set at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
He also set a new BUCS Championship record in the 100 freestyle posting a time of 49.10 once again beating his own record of 49.99, which he set 2014.
It appears that Proud has been following some of the training strategies of another British champion, Mark Foster. In an interview with the BBC South West Proud shared that in the last year he has put a lot more focus on gaining more strength out of the pool.
“This year we’ve definitely upped the ante in the gym and tried to get a lot stronger,” Proud told BBC South West.
“Obviously for the 50m you have to be strong, you have to be big and you have to be good in the water.”
“I think Mark Foster definitely set the trend that you don’t have to do a huge amount (of training) in the water, especially for a sprint event which lasts 21 seconds,” added Proud.
Over the few years Proud has erased some of Foster’s long standing records.. As an 18 year old he took down Foster’s long course 50 butterfly national record, which had stood for a decade. In December at the ASA Winter Meet he broke two more of Foster’s records. The first in the short course 50 freestyle, a record that had stood for 14 years. Proud posted a 20.74 beating the previous record by 39 one-hundredths of a second. He also set a new mark in the short course 50 butterfly putting up a 22.39 beating the record of 22.87 shared by Foster, Antony James and Adam Barrett.
Proud also set a British record in the short course 100 freestyle posting a 45.97 at the same meet in December.
He went on to tell the BBC South West that although he has shifted some of his focus to the gym to improve his performances in the 50 meter events he is still doing what he needs to do to achieve success in the 100 events as well.
“At the same time I’m still focusing on the 100m, which means I have to spend a lot more time in the water – so I’m mixing them both up a bit.”
“I’m just looking to better my performances and hopefully see that record get faster and faster.”