Swimming World Presents – Bob Bowman’s Sample Workouts From Michael Phelps’ 2001-02 Season

SW October 2020 - Special Sets - Bob Bowman and Michael Phelps
Bob Bowman and Michael Phelps following his first Olympic appearance in 2000

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Special Sets:

Bob Bowman’s Sample Workouts From Michael Phelps’ 2001-02 Season

By Michael J. Stott

The sets included in this article are taken from the 2001-02 short course and early long course season. They are a representative sample of Coach Bob Bowman’s early program in developing Michael Phelps as the greatest Olympic swimmer of all time.

 

Whenever the next Summer Olympics occur, it will be the first since 2000 without Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, taking the blocks. Following his first Olympic appearance, a fifth-place 200 fly finish (1:56.50) in Sydney, Phelps went on to compete in four more quadrennial championships and claim 28 medals: 23 gold, three silver and two bronze.

From Sydney, when he was 15, to Athens in 2004, where he captured six gold and two bronze medals, Phelps continued to partner with North Baltimore Aquatic Club coach Bob Bowman. It was in this period that he matured emotionally and physically, confirming that his numerous NAG records had just been a sign of things to come.

Early on, Bowman recognized that his energetic and head-strong charge had the makings of a special swimmer. What Bowman brought to the table was coaching expertise and a firm guiding hand designed to challenge and extract the best from his developing athlete.

Back then, Bowman noted that Phelps was driven, had an athletic mentality second to none and was keenly competitive. “In competition itself, he was incredibly focused and able to relax. The higher the level, the better he was. That’s something that you just don’t see very often,” said Bowman of the trait that Phelps evinced throughout his storied career.

Bowman was always committed to molding Phelps into a complete swimmer. That also meant an appropriate dose of distance freestyle. In a 2001 Halloween practice, he watched Phelps clock a 46:34 5,000-meter time trial (9:20 average per 1,000). At the time, the coach said, “It is probably the most impressive thing he’s done and might be one of the most impressive things he ever does. That’s the kind of thing I’m not sure you can ever replicate, but it’s neat to give him some confidence, particularly since he’s got to swim against some of the super distance guys.”


To access the complete sample workouts that helped get Michael Phelps to his first Olympics,

Check out the full article in Swimming World’s October 2020 issue, available now!

SW October 2020 - Lia Neal - Working For Change COVER[PHOTO CREDIT: BECCA WYANT/FINIS, INC. PHOTOGRAPHY]

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Swimming World Magazine October 2020 Issue

FEATURES

012 WORKING FOR CHANGE
by David Rieder
In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, elite swimmers Lia Neal and Jacob Pebley created Swimmers for Change to promote diversity and to make swimming a more inclusive sport and a more inclusive community.

020 THE TROUBLE WITH SPRINTERS (Part 4): REVISITING THE CAREER OF GARY HALL JR.
by Bruce Wigo
As Dave Marsh and Mike Bottom explained in the previous issue, if there is a problem with sprinters, it is because, mentally, they are wired differently from other athletes. Potential trouble then seems to start when coaches and administrators are unable to understand their behavior and their needs. But while causing trouble for some, the aquatic sports world would not be where it is today without the rebellious personalities of sprinters.

026 DEFYING ALL ODDS
by John Lohn
There is no doubt that the Summer of 2004 remains the defining moment in South African swimming history. That’s when Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns, Darian Townsend and Ryk Neethling shocked the world with their Olympic gold medal and world record-setting performance in the men’s 400 meter freestyle relay in Athens.

COACHING

010 PLAN B: WHEN BEST-LAID PLANS GO AWRY
by Michael J. Stott
Bolstering swimmers—in sickness and health—is part and parcel of a coach’s job. When done right, everybody wins.

038 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DR. ANDERS ERICSSON’S CONCEPT OF DELIBERATE PRACTICE
by Rod Havriluk
Dr. Anders Ericsson left a vital legacy for athletes striving to become experts. His deliberate practice concept specifies the key components that help athletes progress to an expert level. The success of deliberate practice suggests that a coach prioritize deliberate practice strategies in team training and relegate conditioning to secondary importance.

040 SPECIAL SETS: MICHAEL PHELPS—FROM GOOD TO GREAT
by Michael J. Stott
The sets included in this article are taken from the 2001-02 short course and early long course season. They are a representative sample of Coach Bob Bowman’s early program in developing Michael Phelps as the greatest Olympic swimmer of all time.

043 Q&A WITH COACH DAN’L MURRAY
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN EMANUEL FAVA
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

030 DRYSIDE TRAINING: NO SEASON, NO RACING…NOW WHAT?
by J.R. Rosania
This pandemic has shut down our competition calendar. Whether it’s a high school, college, professional or Olympic season, we need to perform exercises that will help us stay strong, fast and explosive.

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: EMILY WAY
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

015 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

023 DID YOU KNOW? MARY HOERGER

031 PREP SCHOOL DIRECTORY

042 HASTY HIGH POINTERS

047 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

Swimming World is now partnered with the International Swimming Hall of Fame. To find out more, visit us at ishof.org

2 comments

  1. David Zimmerman

    46:34 for 5,000 meters? You might want to correct that to yards. Even so, that is crazy fast.

    • Ja Bounce

      Almost 5500 yards… Give or take a few.. Still CRAZZzzzzzY Fast!!!

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