SSPC: Kaylee Mckeown Describes 21-Day Training Blocks with 17-on, 4-Off

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman Hodges 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 SwimSwam’s 2020 Female Swimmer of the Year, Kaylee McKeown. McKeown re-wrote half of the Australian backstroke record book last year, setting new national records in the 100 and 200 backstrokes long course and the 200 backstroke short course. That short course record of 1:58.94 was also the world’s fastest-ever swim in the event, breaking Katinka Hosszu’s 2014 world record of 1:59.23. At the 2020 Queensland Championships (LCM), McKeown threw down a 57.93 to become just the second person to ever dip under the 58-second mark after Regan Smith‘s 57.57 world record from last year. Being the second-fastest ever to an American means that the swim was good enough to set a new Australian, Oceanian, and Commonwealth record.

McKeown takes us through her 2020, as well as her training style since the end of 2018, which doesn’t go by weeks, but rather by 3-week periods. Within each 21-day cycle, Mckeown says she trains for 17 of those days in a row and then gets 4 days off.

Music: Otis McDonald


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.

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3 months ago

17 on and 4 off , or 13 on and 4 off?

Reply to  Samesame
3 months ago

17 on 4 off

Reply to  Samesame
3 months ago

21 days total for a cycle

3 months ago


Corn Pop
Reply to  leisurely1:29
3 months ago

Fortnight . Fourteen nights .

3 months ago

I think the training cycle not based on a 7-day week is fascinating stuff. It probably works best for pros on a very specialized program. For high school and college swimmers, so much of the week is based around 5 days that involve classes and 2 days of a weekend that don’t have classes (but often have meets). If would be difficult to set up the schedule differently.

Morozov the missile
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
3 months ago

Coleman, please bring Vladimir Morozov to the podcast. We want to hear the story behind that 21,94 in the first 50 of the 100 free back in 2013.

Reply to  Coleman Hodges
3 months ago

Would love to hear more on this, Coleman! I’ve never heard of a program like this with 17 straight on and 4 straight off. It seems long on both ends (though seems to work great for her). A 17-day straight block would grind many swimmers down too much (both physically and mentally) — and then 4 straight off seems like you’d lose feel for the water (and perhaps even a little fitness?). I’ve heard of a 4:1 or 5:1 cycle that obviously doesn’t match a 7-day week. All very interesting and innovative.

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 …

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