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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.