WATCH: Michael Andrew Analyzes His Own 1:56.8 IM & That Freestyle Split

Some interesting insight from Michael Andrew‘s latest vlog, as the U.S. National Teamer breaks down his nation-leading 200 IM from earlier this month.

The 20-year-old Andrew is vlogging daily through the current coronavirus/COVID-19 quarantine. This time around, he plays the race video of his 1:56.83 200 IM from the Des Moines Pro Swim Series, giving commentary over the top about his race strategy and how he can improve.

Andrew has done some cool research, compiling a bunch of the top 200 IM swims in the past three years and breaking them out by split to see where each of his strokes line up.

A few notes we pulled out:

  • Butterfly:
    • Andrew clearly feels good about his butterfly. He talks about not pushing the first 50 as a major part of his race plan, but also notes he had the fastest fly split in the world for the season at 24.07. (That’s even faster than Ryan Lochte‘s split of 24.89 in his world record swim).
  • Backstroke:
    • Andrew points out his ‘crossover pullout’ on backstroke, which appears to be the top-arm breakout that’s started to become popular.
    • Tempo is a major focus on backstroke, as Andrew says he can’t swim the leg like a 200 back without losing a huge amount of speed.
  • Breaststroke:
    • Andrew thought his breaststroke pullout looked “a little messy.” Andrew says he was short on air and rushed his pullout some, and now sees that as a place to improve.
    • He also notes the fatigue in his lats and arms in the final 15-meters of breaststroke, which is causing him to dive down with his hands in the recovery phase. He says that’s a key focus, and sees his 33.4 breaststroke split as a place for major improvement, setting 32 as a goal.
  • Freestyle:
    • Fear not, commenters – Andrew is well aware of his freestyle shortcomings in the IM. “This freestyle looks rough,” he laughs. “My freestyle is by far the weakest link in my entire 200 IM.”
    • He notes that the 200 IM is a relatively new race for him, and he’s still learning how to balance fatigue in that race, specifically.
    • Of the swims Andrew has compiled, he’s at the top with his fly split and middle of the pack in back and breast, but his freestyle is well behind the rest of the field.
    • In looking at some underwater footage, Andrew notices that his arms are dropping very deep underwater on freestyle. He compares to Andrew Seliskar one lane over, and says he plans to try to develop more of what Seliskar is doing, “lifting the hand almost, before he sets his catch,” allowing him to get a high elbow and efficient catch.

You can watch the vlog below. Andrew starts analyzing his IM race at the 4:12 mark:

A few other interesting notes from the vlog:

  • Andrew expresses full support of postponing the 2020 Olympics to next year, which mirrors the sentiment of most athletes we’ve heard from.
  • Under quarantine rules, most athletes have struggled to find places to train. Public pools have mostly closed. Andrew could previously train some in the ocean, but that, too, has been closed now.
  • Focusing on the positive, Andrew feels he’ll be stronger and more developed as an athlete by 2021, and sees that as an advantage of the Olympic delay.

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run-dmc
1 year ago

If MA works hard this year and does what he says he is going to do, he will break 1:56 next year.

leisurely1:29
Reply to  run-dmc
1 year ago

I think he will break into the 1:54s if he makes the improvements he says he will. And I think he knows it too.

B1G Daddy
Reply to  run-dmc
1 year ago

I think he could go 1:54. I don’t know any other way to say it, but that was not a GREAT race from him and he still went 1:56.8. He can be much better, and perhaps just by finding a way to come home in :28.5

swimfast
Reply to  B1G Daddy
1 year ago

i’ll actually go as far to say that this race was embarrassing. and to go 1:56.8 as an embarrassment is wild. i do think he’ll go 1:54 in no time. i mean, seriously, 30 on the last 50………….?
this was meant as a compliment, by the way, lol

Justin Thompson's
Reply to  run-dmc
1 year ago

I like how he’s going about this and realizing what he needs to do to continue to improve. Acknowledging the freestyle and a major modification in his stroke is necessary.

Vic
Reply to  Justin Thompson's
1 year ago

I agree with working on his free technique. It’s a 25 yard sprint technique that he can hold for 50m. After that the lack of shoulder role gets him. He can improve it though!

Mustangswimdad
1 year ago

Just getting a sense from the hive mind.
Like if he makes it to the Olympics in 2021. Dislike if he doesn’t.

Mark Nedza
Reply to  Mustangswimdad
1 year ago

Your question is interesting, however, I don’t think it’s really appropriate or particularly nice.

dmswim
Reply to  Mark Nedza
1 year ago

Why isn’t it appropriate? Are we not allowed to talk about the Olympics now? MUSTANGSWIMDAD didn’t make any derogatory comments about MA. He’s speculating about his Olympic prospects which people (including the authors) do on this website for other athletes all the time. That’s sort of the point of SwimSwam.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Mark Nedza
1 year ago

There’s no crying on SwimSwam.

bodybyfood
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Bitching and ridiculing is OK, but definitely not crying.

swimgeek
Reply to  Mark Nedza
1 year ago

If this is not an appropriate question for SWIMSWAM, then I don’t know what is. It’s also quite “nice” given the responses — I think MA would like to see that “make the 2021 team” is running at a 40:1 ratio!

swimfast
Reply to  Mark Nedza
1 year ago

definitely. i actually think he’ll possibly break the world record sometime. as i said above, it’s gnarly, and i mean GNARLY to bring it home that slow…so, if he just literally figures out how to not do that, he’ll be a great. he’s not a great yet, but he could be

RenéDescartes
Reply to  Mustangswimdad
1 year ago

MA IS A STONE COLD LOCK OF THE CENTURY TO MAKE THE OLYMPIC TEAM

PhillyMark
Reply to  RenéDescartes
1 year ago

STONE COLD MORTAL LOCK!!

CACrushers
Reply to  Mustangswimdad
1 year ago

I would have said there was a chance he could have missed it in 2020, but that chance is much smaller for 2021. Gotta remember that he’s still young for a male pro so the extra year should help

Blackflag82
Reply to  Mustangswimdad
1 year ago

I’ll put it this way, I will not make our same bet for MA for 2021 :).

Mustangswimdad
Reply to  Blackflag82
1 year ago

That 200 IM more than the 100 Breast was an eye opener for me. Awaiting Gold Medal Mel’s predictions these are mine in descending order of probability of him making the team.
50 Free: 21.2
200 IM: 1:55.4
100 Br: 58.6
100 Fly: 50.6

anon
1 year ago

A lot of people on here like to tease Andrew for his training style on this site, but the way he learns from past swims makes me know he’s going to be special.

Anonymous
Reply to  anon
1 year ago

I know a couple of guys that have this exact same issue. Thanks MA!!!!

Flow
1 year ago

Wait how is a 24.07 faster than a 23.89

Virtus
Reply to  Flow
1 year ago

Typo pretty sure lochte was 24.89

Captain Ahab
1 year ago

This is awesome they even share most elite athletes will not. Probably the most transparent athlete in swimming. When swimming starts up again he will probably break the world record in the 200IM. He was close to 2 seconds under the world record mark at the 150.

Virtus
Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 year ago

Cody Miller might be the most transparent

brian
Reply to  Virtus
1 year ago

Andrew is one of the only people to go completely public with his goal times to the hundredth.

Anonymoose
Reply to  Captain Ahab
1 year ago

He was a few tenths under WR and with all due respect he’s never gonna come home in the freestyle as fast as lochte did that time.
Which doesn’t mean he’ll never get the record tho

Will 37
Reply to  Anonymoose
1 year ago

Didn’t Lochte beat Phelps by a margin in the 2free in 2011 Shanghai? I was a kid watching from the stands lol

Togger
Reply to  Will 37
1 year ago

Three tenths, not huge.

Xman
1 year ago

Does Michael ever go to the national team camps, or do mini training trips to get consulted by other coaches?

He has Dave Marsh in his city, why not spend some time with him?

Togger
Reply to  Xman
1 year ago

Given he’s been looking at Seli, would be cool to see him swim with Durden.

Seli wasn’t a particularly noted freestyler coming into college, that stroke’s been built a lot by Durden and he’s pretty close by. Amongst the elite men’s college coaches, Durden probably does the most race pace type work. Be good to see them work together.

voiceofreason
Reply to  Togger
1 year ago

At the risk of being the voice of reason…his best time in the 200 IM is 1.2 seconds faster than Seliskar’s.

So, while I think most would agree that a little time spent with a new coach can certainly be a nice change of pace (like Townley doing 2 weeks with Troy), I’m also not sure I’d advocate for any more than a nice little change of pace to look at the freestyle technique.

Virtus
Reply to  voiceofreason
1 year ago

Tbf his freestyle split was almost 3 seconds faster than MA during that race

dude
Reply to  Virtus
1 year ago

and yet he still got destroyed by MA…

Togger
Reply to  voiceofreason
1 year ago

I wasn’t meaning as a long term thing, but as a two or three week stint, almost like a training camp.

Given the uniqueness of his training style and set up, agree it would be nuts for him to completely switch coaches. Eddie can also coach a decent sprint/mid distance free of course, but I feel the Texas training style is even more different to his usual one.

Jabroni Pepperoni
Reply to  voiceofreason
1 year ago

Seliskar also wasn’t tapered, I’m sure he’ll be 1:56 at least come trials

swimgeek
Reply to  Togger
1 year ago

The only reason Seli wasn’t a “noted” freestyler out of HS, is b/c he was so ridiculously versatile and fast at everything else. He was FAST: 19.8, 43.1, 1:34.9, 4:16.1

Phelps4eva
1 year ago

HE. IS. NOT. THAT. GOOD.

PhillyMark
Reply to  Phelps4eva
1 year ago

top 2 American 100 breaststroker, 50 freestyler, and 200 IM’er currently….more than good imo

Here Comes Lezak
Reply to  PhillyMark
1 year ago

Oh, and he’s only 20 years old

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
Reply to  Phelps4eva
1 year ago

he has a very good chance at making the Olympic team, maybe even in multiple events. I think his best chances are (in order of likelihood) – 50 free, 100 breast, 100 fly, 200 IM, other.

Barry
Reply to  SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
1 year ago

I feel like 200 IM is more likely than 100 fly by virtue of there actually being two open 200 IM slots, while Dressel basically has a lock on the 100 fly.

RenéDescartes
Reply to  Phelps4eva
1 year ago

OK MAX KELLERMAN

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Phelps4eva
1 year ago

HE. IS. GREAT!

anonymous
Reply to  Phelps4eva
1 year ago

Number 6 200 meter IM in American history

swimfast
Reply to  Phelps4eva
1 year ago

lol, he’s good. ur just not up to date

Teddy
1 year ago

This was great

Thanks to MA for putting out

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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