PHOENIX, Arizona, May 7. ALEX Meyer joins today's edition of The Morning Swim Show to discuss his first competition since breaking his collarbone.
Meyer, already selected to swim the 10K at the London Olympics, relives the races at the recent open water nationals and what kind of shape he was in at the competition. He also analyzes the upcoming 10K race at the Olympics and what training will be like for the next three months. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Peter Busch: This is the Morning Swim Show for Monday, May 7th 2012. I am your host Peter Busch. In the FINIS Monitor today, we will talk to Alex Meyer. He'll represent the U.S at the 10K open water swim this summer and Alex joins us right now in the FINIS Monitor from his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Alex, welcome back to the show, how you doing?
Alex Meyer: Thanks Peter. I am doing well. How about yourself?
Peter Busch: Good, thanks, so just a few months away from London. How you feeling?
Alex Meyer: Yeah, I am doing okay. I am sure pretty much everybody knows about my recent collarbone injury by this point, but you know I am feeling good I just got back from nationals this past weekend and you know I had a productive weekend. It was good to get in a race so…
Peter Busch: All right so when you break your collar bone 8, 9 months out from the main event and you are an open water swimmer and obviously training is at a premium, what does that do for you?
Alex Meyer: It is not the end of the world but you know obviously it wasn't ideal. It wasn't really part of my training plan, but you know you kind of you got to roll with the punches I guess and you know I tend to be a pretty clumsy person on land so injuries are you know not that foreign to me so I just– it was about 8 weeks out of the water. I had a surgery to fix it up and get it to heal a little quicker and you know pretty much it is back to training at this point. So you know I don't feel like I am incredibly out of shape, you know my– Tim and I, we were talking at the end of the race this past weekend and I felt more like you know it was more of a strength issue than an aerobic one so you know I felt like it wasn't necessarily that winded at the end of my races it is just like my arms couldn't do the work. So you know I would rather be in a position like that where I am still have a good base and I mean aerobically feeling good and I just need to get my my arms back up to speed.
Peter Busch: Can you get them up to speed in 3 months?
Alex Meyer: Yeah absolutely and you know honestly Tim, we have done like 1-1/2 speed workouts since I have been back so we haven't really been doing any or not that much like high rate, high tempo stuff so you know and that comes around really quickly for me. Normally we don't really do a lot of that until the last probably two months leading up to a big race anyway so you know it is fine.
Peter Busch: Compare the taper for an open water swimmer training for a 10k and what you would do when you were just pool swimming for say the mile?
Alex Meyer: Yeah, I would say it is not that different from what you do for a mile, although it is a lot more dumbed down I guess. I'd say you know that the month — like for example at Shanghai last summer we are getting ready for world championships and it was about a month out where we just started doing a lot less high volume stuff and a lot more just quality speed work so it is more of — it is less about you know resting than I guess changing your training phase as you get closer to the event. I mean honestly you should ask Tim about it because he is the boss. I just do what he tells me so you know I don't really exactly remember. I am not a scientist about the whole thing so he would be a better guy to ask about that but as far as I remember just more speed, more quality stuff and you know honestly you know we still kept the volume fairly high until just a few days out from worlds.
Peter Busch: All right, what does your crystal ball to tell you about the race this summer? I mean envisioning it you know you are going to have to– is the pace is going to be fast, is it going to be slow, who is going to be at the top? Kind of paint the best picture you can for how you think this race might go knowing the course and knowing who you are going to be swimming against.
Alex Meyer: Yeah, I mean the cool thing about open water is it like you know, it can depending on how the competitors feel when they wake up that day, it could determine you know how the race goes and who ends up winning but so it is really hard to tell. A lot of pool swimmers will have a race and they split it the same way every time and they have goals about you know how they want to split their halves or how they want to split each stroke in an IM. It is not really like that in open water and no one has a– you know I guess people– different guys tend to do certain things but no one has a really particular style so it is really hard to predict how a race is going to unfold, but you know it is going to be — I know it is going to be rough especially towards the end about the pace. You know honestly the Olympic race, it is limited to 25 athletes and honestly it is a pretty — it is not nearly as deep and as competitive of a field as at say world championship for example because of the way that they select, which is complicated and we won't get into it but you know there are going to be 25 guys and there may be 10 of them that are you know really, really good and have a good shot at getting a medal. So with the smaller group I feel like that is going to make, that is going to make the pace a little bit slower because there is not as much of a sense of urgency about being in the front of the pack when you get a big field and there is 60 or 70 of you, you really don't want to be at the end, at the back of the pack if everyone is together, but you know if there is only 25 you know people might not really mind being in the back so much so I don't know. I have never been in the Olympics so I wouldn't know and you know no one does know, or no one will until the day happens, so we will see.
Peter Busch: Who is the favorite?
Alex Meyer: Well you know a year ago I would probably say Thomas Lurz of Germany who has been 10 times world champion. He has won 10k world championships many times and 5k. He was bronze in Beijing. He was known as the man. He was the guy to beat. He was the best guy and he has held on to that, but a guy, a Greek guy named Spyros — and I don't know how to pronounce his last name — won 10k at Worlds last summer and has beat Thomas and a couple races since then Thomas has beat him has well, but he has recently proven himself to be a worthy of that kind of title as well. So I don't know, we will see.I would bet some money on myself too.
Peter Busch: Yeah?
Alex Meyer: Yeah.
Peter Busch: Medal, definitely a possibility?
Alex Meyer: Yeah, definitely. You know I was fourth in Shanghai so you know that is only one spot away from a medal and you know I feel like despite you know minor setback with the whole collarbone thing I am still going to be in much better shape and I will be in general a much better athlete this summer at the Olympics than I was a year ago.
Peter Busch: I hear you got a problem with how I end my shows.
Alex Meyer: Huh? Yes, right I do. I am surprised you guys remember that. Yeah, so you always said you know Remember to keep your head down at the finish, but you know sometimes in open water, races can be won and lost based on people you know reaching up and missing the finish pad. So it is not like, okay there is no wall at the end of a 10k. There is like this banner kind of thing that is like a few feet above the water and when you swim and you got to reach up and you have to hit it and I have seen people you know lose races because they reach up and then they whiff and they miss it, and they got to come around with their other hand and hit it, so you know you got to kind of keep your head up at the finish and make sure that you hit that thing the first time otherwise, you know if it is a close race you might get beat by someone who shouldn't beat you.
Peter Busch: All right maybe I will make an exception for the show just for you.
Alex Meyer: There you go that will be sweet.
Peter Busch: Well Alex good luck this summer. It is going to be a lot of fun watching you, watching a guy from Harvard trying to win the 10K.
Alex Meyer: That is right, right here.
Peter Busch: Represent– All right thanks a lot for joining us buddy, good luck this summer.
Alex Meyer: No problem. Thank you.
Peter Busch: All right that is it for today's show. I am Peter Busch, for this one time only for Alex Meyer reminding all of you open water swimmers to keep your head up at the finish.
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