Swimming World Presents – Special Sets: Katie Ledecky – Run-Up To Rio 2016

Swimming World June 2021 -Special Sets - Katie Ledecky - Run-Up To Rio 2016 - By Michael J. Stott
Katie Ledecky was named the female Swimmer of the Meet at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, winning the 200, 400 and 800 meter freestyles and placing seventh in the 100 free. [PHOTO BY PETER H. BICK]

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Special Sets: Katie Ledecky – Run-Up To Rio 2016

By Michael J. Stott

With this month’s Olympic Swimming Trials now upon us, Swimming World takes a back-to-the-future approach to revisit some training done by superstar Katie Ledecky prior to the 2016 U.S. team qualifying meet.

Already an Olympic champion in the 800 meter free at the 2012 Games in London, Katie Ledecky, under the able hand of her Nation’s Capital coach Bruce Gemmell, had already amassed a bucketload of medals in the years leading up to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

She had garnered seven individual (four world records) and two relay gold medals from the 2013 and 2015 World Championships as well as four individual (two world records) and one relay gold from the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships.

To fully appreciate Ledecky’s dominance, consider this: She owns the top seven times ever in the 400 meter freestyle and 21 of the top 26.

Her 3:56.46 is 2.30 seconds faster than Ariane Titmus in eighth. She has the top 24 times ever swum in the 800 free, with her 8:04.79 swum in Rio being 9.31 seconds faster than second-place Rebecca Adlington, the 2008 Olympic champion.

In the 1500 free, Ledecky has the top 11 times, a mere 18.40 seconds faster than her nearest competitor, Denmark’s Lotte Friis. The 200 free? Ledecky’s 1:53.75 is third best ever behind Federica Pellegrini’s leading supersuit time of 1:52.98.


THE ROAD TO OMAHA

But back to the future, circa 2016.

Ledecky began the year with a bang. At the arena Pro Swim Series in Austin, she reset her 800 meter freestyle world record (8:07.39), going 8:06.68. In addition, she posted world-leading times in the 200 and 400 and a U.S. top time in the 100.

Following are some representative sets on which Gemmell & Ledecky partnered after Austin to prepare the world’s best female swimmer for a successful Olympic Trials experience at the age of 19.

“The focus was clearly on the 400 meter free, with expected spillover to the 200 and 800. Any attempts to prepare for the 1500 or 100 were back-burnered in the lead-up to Omaha and Rio,” says Gemmell. Coach and swimmer wanted to make sure she had enough speed for what was expected to be a very competitive 200 race. They were also determined to maintain an endurance focus to achieve their 800 goals and to endure a rigorous seven days of competition.

“On the eighth day, she rested,” he says.


MOLDING OF A CHAMPION
(All done in the period of March-May 2016, unless otherwise noted)

Set 1

Threshold/Colors (Mon and Thu)
10 x 300 @ 3:20 (SCY)
1-4 descend (2:52.6, 2:49.0, 2:46.0, 2:43.6)
5-10 hold best average (2:44.3, 2:43.0, 2:43.0, 2:43.0, 2:42.2, 2:43.4)
Converted Long Course estimate: average 3:06.4)


To access more of Katie Ledecky’s pre-Rio training sets,
Click here to download the full June 2021 Issue of Swimming World Magazine


Michael J. Stott is an ASCA Level 5 coach whose Collegiate School (Richmond, Va.) teams won nine state high school championships. A member of that school’s Athletic Hall of Fame, he is also a recipient of NISCA’s Outstanding Service Award.

 

Swimming World June 2021 - Nathan Adrian - A Natural Leader - COVER
[PHOTO CREDIT: TAYLOR BRIEN]


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Swimming World June 2021 Issue

FEATURES

12 | U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS PREVIEW
by David Rieder
The fastest swimmers in the United States will be putting their hopes and dreams on the line at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Swimming, June 13-20, in Omaha, Neb. If realized, they’ll have the opportunity to perform next month on the world’s grandest stage: the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

22 | A NATURAL LEADER
by John Lohn
Still producing elite-level performances, Nathan Adrian, now 32 and pursuing his fourth Olympic Games, has the opportunity to further his already lofty reputation. And whenever his days in the sport come to an end, Adrian will be viewed for his excellence in the sport as an athlete, teammate and ambassador.

25 | NJCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: QUALITY & QUANTITY
by Andy Ross
That’s the same winning formula that Indian River’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have been using for nearly a half-century at the NJCAA Championships. The Pioneer men now have won 47 straight team titles; the women, 39—and 43 of the past 47.

26 | TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: A FORGOTTEN STAR
by John Lohn
By all measures, Don Schollander is a legend in the sport, a Hall of Fame talent who was unrivaled in his heyday. Yet, his impact has been lost to a combination of unfortunate timing and modern-day fascination.

29 | DOMINANCE AND PARITY ON DISPLAY IN TOKYO
by Dan D’Addona
While the U.S. women have dominated international water polo since 2015—winning their second straight Olympics in 2016 plus three World Championships in 2015-17-19—a different men’s champion has emerged at each of the last three major international competitions—Serbia (2016 Olympics), Croatia (2017 Worlds) and Italy (2019 Worlds).

30 | ISHOF: REMEMBERING THE KALILI BROTHERS—90 YEARS AGO
by Bruce Wigo
As kids who preferred to dive for coins rather than race in a swimming pool, brothers Maiola and Manuella Kalili from Hawaii would eventually become national champions and Olympic silver medalists in 1932.

33 | NUTRITION: HOW MANY CALORIES SHOULD I EAT?
by Dawn Weatherwax
As long course, Olympics and endurance events get underway, a common question is: “How much do I need to eat?” This is a loaded question—one in which the author will try to simplify.

35 | MENTAL PREP: BEFORE THE BEEP WITH AMY BILQUIST
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COACHING

38 | SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: MAXIMIZING SWIMMING VELOCITY (Part 2)—STROKE CYCLE PHASES
by Rod Havriluk
Swimmers typically decrease non-propulsive time to decrease stroke time, increase stroke rate and swim faster. Research shows that a further decrease in the non-propulsive time is possible and should produce further performance improvement.

40 | A COACHES’ GUIDE TO ENERGY SYSTEMS
by Michael J. Stott
In the first of two parts, Swimming World explores the concept of energy systems and how coaches can use them to maximize athlete development and performance.

42 | SPECIAL SETS: KATIE LEDECKY—RUN-UP TO RIO 2016
by Michael J. Stott
With this month’s Olympic Swimming Trials now upon us, Swimming World takes a back-to-the-future approach to revisit some training done by superstar Katie Ledecky prior to the 2016 U.S. team qualifying meet.

44 | Q&A WITH COACH CATHERINE KASE
by Michael J. Stott

45 | HOW THEY TRAIN HALEY ANDERSON
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

037 | DRYSIDE TRAINING: TRAINING AMY BILQUIST
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

47 | UP & COMERS: KEELAN COTTER
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

08 | A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

11 | DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT BUSTER CRABBE?

48 | GUTTERTALK

49 | PARTING SHOT

 

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

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