Swim Hard, Swim Smart: The Phelps Way
Being one of the most decorated Olympians of all time, Michael Phelps has won a total of 22 medals so far in 3 Olympics. He also holds the all-time record for the most Olympic gold medals won by a single individual, and all of these medals come from a variety of different swimming events with widely varied disciplines and styles.
Phelps is known to possess a phenomenal physique as well. With a wingspan longer than his own height, hypermobility in joints such as his ankles, and a lower rate of lactic acid production along with faster recovery, Phelps appears to have been genetically engineered for Olympic victory. However, if you asked his coaches what is the main reason Phelps was so overwhelmingly successful, they would tell you that the answer lies nowhere in his physique, but rather in what goes through his head (and his techniques). Here are some tried and tested tips used by the legend himself:
Use the correct tools / equipment for the sport.
Phelps often likes to incorporate the right training tools into his training regimen. Things like music (as evidenced by your penchant for wearing headphones just before a race starts) during a prolonged training session, speedometer training equipment, training paddles, etc. Staying motivated and paced during a long training session with music and the right equipment goes a long way to helping you stay efficient in your regimen.
Build a love of exercise or training.
It is tough, but essential. To quote Phelps himself: “For me, some of the most effective exercises focus on vertical kicks and underwater kicks … It’s painful, but very effective. Another important exercise for me is rowing. It really helps me maintain my sensitivity. into the water. “While some of us can easily see how long swimmers build up stamina for their races or events, small workouts like these are also very important. They can be intense and exhausting, but no effort goes unrewarded. Do those exercises for the sake of your perfect form!
Giving yourself time to rest and recover.
The best and most effective athletes always revere their rest periods and consider them almost sacrosanct. Phelps is no different. “Sleep is also a big part of my recovery, it’s really important that my body gets enough rest to be ready for my next run or training session.” There are no two ways to do it: sleep and cool down days are essential for your body to stay at its best, and even machines suffer from exhaustion if you overwork them.
Maintain tenacious discipline and a positive attitude toward training and racing.
Without a doubt, the biggest factor behind Phelps’ numerous victories, staying focused on his goals in each and every practice leading up to the big race is a major step towards a real podium. Remembering his exercises during training also helps, such as the time Phelps’ goggles filled with water during the Beijing Olympics – by remembering how many strokes he needed to get up and down the pool, he could overcome the vision impairment and still being able to get through the pool. Victory in the final of the 200 m Butterfly. Align yourself with a mindset for victory, and victory certainly follows, especially in this case for Phelps.