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Peter Cruise
September 25th, 2005, 02:27 PM
So here's a challenge for coaches, would-be coaches, know-it-alls & serious students of the art of swimming: hypothetically, Matt Biondi comes to you and says "I turn 40 on Oct 8th & I'd like to launch a comeback of sorts, focusing on Masters. I'd like to compete in the SC Nats this coming spring & if that goes well go to LC Nats in August. I really don't harbour thoughts of an Open comeback, but I am curious to see how fast I could go for 50-100 free with the new suits & dolphining off the wall. "

1.) Discuss in broad terms what your training design for Matt would be: yardage, amount of emphasis on technique drills, strength training component, flexibility training. Divide the period of time before the stated target meets & show training changes for those meets (taper etc.) Assume that he is very close to his original swimming weight & has been in the water a lot to demonstrate & have fun but no training at all.

2.) Set time goals for Matt for the 50-100 free both SC & LC and then discuss whether you would urge him (if he attained those goals) to launch any sort of Open comeback.

Hawaiiwoman
September 26th, 2005, 12:21 AM
I realize that this discussion is supposed to be hypothetical, but I thought you might be interested in what the real Matt Biondi is up to right now. We both live in the small town of Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday Matt can be found swimming laps in HPA pool, usually in lane 7 or 8, right next to our Masters swim team lanes. No, he doesnít work out with us, he has a couple of friends that put on fins and swim with him. They go on the same send Ėoff, but rarely the same distance, as you can imagine. Every once in a while heíll turn on the heat; itís a joy to watch. You have to catch him at it, though; he will not announce that it is coming.
Heís very sharp, has a great sense of humor and itís hard to imagine a nicer guy. Heís always friendly, says ďhiĒ and sometimes will offer up advice, if he sees that you are serious about swimming.. Heís certainly made my day several times: Once, he gave me a ďhigh fiveĒ when our team completed one of our members birthday swims. We did 63 50s on 1 minute and I (foolishly) decided to sprint every third! Boy, did I struggle! Another time he offered advice on how to improve my fly.
A lot of people donít know this, Iím sure, but Matt has a pretty serious foot injury right now. He dropped some plate glass that cut his foot pretty badly. He was out for quite a while, but is now back in the water. He says that he expects to recover full use of his foot.
Matt teaches at a small private school in town where he also coaches the swim team. Iíve heard really good things about his teaching, but last season he only had one swimmer come out for the team. (Itís a REALLY small school!) I doubt if the student really appreciated his opportunity; he dropped out half way through the season. Can you imagine!
Hmmmm. Is October 8th really Mattís birthday? I wonder if we could talk him into a birthday swim?!?
Thatís it for now; if I have a chance Iíll mention this thread. See what he says!

PeirsolFan
September 26th, 2005, 02:33 AM
Wow. Have you seen the photo shoot he did for Ocean Light where he swam with dolphins? Beautiful pics. And I am so jealous you live in Hawaii :( because of the surfing. Sorry about getting off-topic.

On topic... Who knows? In a situation like that, for a world class swimmer? I'd turn to a coach like Eddie or Skip.

Graham Short
September 26th, 2005, 07:37 AM
This subject is fascinating! Iím sure Matt Biondi can get close to, or even faster than his best times swum in his younger days - if heís prepared to have a go.

At the age of 55 I was swimming faster than when I was 20. Admittedly, as a teenager, I wasnít anywhere near the same league as US swimming legend Matt Biondi.

Over the years Iíve worked with several swimmers who are now in their 30s, 40s and 50s, and swimming faster than when younger.

Britainís most prolific masters swimmer, Duncan McCreadie, (Who incidentally is 60 years old today - Sept. 26th!) has already broken 10 world masters records this year. Duncan regularly swims faster than when he was a teenager, and never competes without his all-in-one bodysuit.

Another example is double Olympic medallist Nick Gillingham. Nick hasnít got the time (like many of us) to spend in the pool, due to family and business commitments. But even Nick is surprised at how close he can get, during training and competition, to his Olympic times. OK, he still has the most mechanically perfect stroke on this planet, and his mental toughness is awesome, but approaching the age of 40 has made little impact on his swimming. I saw Nick swim a short course world record of 2:07.93 in 1991 and I honestly believe that he could produce this time again - given the opportunity to spend more time in the pool.

It would be far easier for Matt Biondi to get close to his best times - he was a 50 and 100 metre specialist - than it would be for a 200m swimmer, such as Nick Gillingham. And he wouldnít have to spend as much time in the pool either. For a fast 50, Biondi wouldnít need to Ďcover the distanceí in training in order to build up his aerobic capacity - it wouldnít be required. Wearing the tightest bodysuit he can climb into, and with the benefit of a fast start, I wouldnít bet against him doing a high 22 for his 50 free after about three months back into training. (His world best was 22.14)

Peter Cruise
September 26th, 2005, 12:12 PM
Didn't he he get down to 21high in the shootout elimination meet, along with Jager?

Come on everybody, this is your chance to take a great swimmer and prepare him to see what his 40 yr old body can do.

You don't have to prepare detailed workouts- paint with broad strokes.

I think by the time August rolls around, he could be going 22very low & 49high, which would be very special...provided he doesn't step on any more glass.

knelson
September 26th, 2005, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by Peter Cruise
Didn't he he get down to 21high in the shootout elimination meet, along with Jager?

Yes, his personal best is 21.85 (5th fastest performance all-time). His best in the 100 is 48.42. I bet he could get within a second of that 50 time with only a few months of hard training. I think it would be a little bit more difficult to swim a 100 under 50 seconds.

gull
September 26th, 2005, 12:30 PM
TI--what else?

craiglll@yahoo.com
September 26th, 2005, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Hawaiiwoman
I realize that this discussion is supposed to be hypothetical, but I thought you might be interested in what the real Matt Biondi is up to right now. We both live in the small town of Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday Matt can be found swimming laps in HPA pool, usually in lane 7 or 8, right next to our Masters swim team lanes. No, he doesnít work out with us, he has a couple of friends that put on fins and swim with him. They go on the same send Ėoff, but rarely the same distance, as you can imagine. Every once in a while heíll turn on the heat; itís a joy to watch. You have to catch him at it, though; he will not announce that it is coming.
Heís very sharp, has a great sense of humor and itís hard to imagine a nicer guy. Heís always friendly, says ďhiĀEand sometimes will offer up advice, if he sees that you are serious about swimming.. Heís certainly made my day several times: Once, he gave me a ďhigh fiveĀEwhen our team completed one of our members birthday swims. We did 63 50s on 1 minute and I (foolishly) decided to sprint every third! Boy, did I struggle! Another time he offered advice on how to improve my fly.
A lot of people donít know this, Iím sure, but Matt has a pretty serious foot injury right now. He dropped some plate glass that cut his foot pretty badly. He was out for quite a while, but is now back in the water. He says that he expects to recover full use of his foot.
Matt teaches at a small private school in town where he also coaches the swim team. Iíve heard really good things about his teaching, but last season he only had one swimmer come out for the team. (Itís a REALLY small school!) I doubt if the student really appreciated his opportunity; he dropped out half way through the season. Can you imagine!
Hmmmm. Is October 8th really Mattís birthday? I wonder if we could talk him into a birthday swim?!?
Thatís it for now; if I have a chance Iíll mention this thread. See what he says!

I remember reading that he choose the school because it didn't have a swim team. It woudl be great to see him swim again.

lefty
September 26th, 2005, 03:27 PM
This is a good question. Here is what I would do as his coach:

A typical week:

3-4K of technique swimming, not with drills though, because he does not need that, but regular stroke with emphasis on certain parts of the stroke. For example, a set of 75's with an over emphasis on catching the water as early on as possible.

At least two days of big endurance sets. Something like 8x400's or 10x300's. Yuck. Matt was an awesome 200 swimmer because he trained mid distance. That would need to continue.

On Wednesdays 6 x 200's for time from the block, on Saturdays 6 x50's for time from the block. Record and measure progress.

20x50's dolphin kick on back two times per week. 20 minutes of vertical kicking per week. Lots of kicking period!

And lastly, I would wonder how I got so lucky to train a guy like Matt Biondi!

Steve Ruiter
September 26th, 2005, 04:43 PM
I think my plan would be to say, "so, Matt, what do you feel like doing today?", followed by, "sounds good to me".

BruceGianniny
September 26th, 2005, 09:41 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Peter Cruise
[B]So here's a challenge for coaches, would-be coaches, know-it-alls & serious students of the art of swimming: hypothetically, Matt Biondi comes to you and says "I turn 40 on Oct 8th & I'd like to launch a comeback of sorts, focusing on Masters. I'd like to compete in the SC Nats this coming spring

This is a perfect challenge but can I hijack this thread?? Forget Matt Biondi...I'm swimming: he isn't....how do you train ME to be faster now, at 54, than I was at 35?? I have untapped potential (not having swum thousands of college miles)...Biondi probably doesn't... How do I deal with my changed physiology?? Don't think TI is the answer....hehehe...I believe I can be faster... I guess that's the first thing

old dog
September 26th, 2005, 10:36 PM
Originally posted by gull80
TI--what else?

IB, of course!

Hawaiiwoman
September 26th, 2005, 10:57 PM
Wow. Have you seen the photo shoot he did for Ocean Light where he swam with dolphins? Beautiful pics. And I am so jealous you live in Hawaii because of the surfing. Sorry about getting off-topic.

PeirosolFan, googled the Ocean Light Photos...they are awesome! Dolphins and Biondi, grace in action! Surfwise, just had a pretty good sized south swell come through, warm, clear water, slight offshore, good crowd. (Sorry, gotta rub it in a little :D )

Craiglll, if Matt said that he joined Parker School because it didn't have a swim team, he has since changed his mind. He has some interesting ideas about good coaching; it's a good thing if he takes the opportunity to use them.

Sorry, I've been pretty off-topic here. My take on the coaching thing is: IF Matt made up his mind to compete again; he would coach himself.

Graham Short
September 27th, 2005, 10:39 AM
I bow to your expertise. You guys are right, Biondi did dip under 22 secs for his 50.

Member, Steve Ruiter, has the best idea. He says, "So, Matt, what do you feel like doing today?", followed by, "sounds good to me".

That's the kind of coaching we all need. No arguments - everybody's happy!

lefty
September 27th, 2005, 10:43 AM
I was on a private jet, the weather was really intense, there was mild equipment failure, and the piolot got disoriented. He radioed to the ground, "where am I?" The response, "in an airplane"

I am not anxiously waiting by the phone for Biondi to call me to be his coach! This is hypothetcial! Of course Matt would either coach himself or seek the help of a world class coach. Gee that is really fun to talk about!

How to get faster no matter what age you are: Focus on one race, race that race consistently in practice, record your results. If you do not improve, modify what you are doing. It IS that simple.

cinc3100
September 29th, 2005, 11:17 PM
Well, what about us that don't swim faster than as kid. And I was no top swimmer, I put on a lot of weight as and adult and workout pretty low yardage. 100 meter breaststroke as a master swimmer 1:43.31 and as a teenager 1:30.0. I think only a handful of women in my age group swim within a couple of seconds of their youth times in 100 events.