Swimming World Presents “Special Sets: Training From Trials To The Olympic Games – With Connor Jaeger and Coach Josh White”

SW August 2020 special sets - training from trials to the olympic games - by michael j stott - connor jaeger and josh white at canham

Special Sets: Training From Trials To The Olympic Games
With Connor Jaeger and Coach Josh White

By Michael J. Stott

Through the voice of Michigan associate coach Josh White, this month’s “Special Sets” traces the training Connor Jaeger did in the period between the U.S. Olympic Trials to the Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016.

Connor Jaeger was an athlete of Olympian proportions. A three-time NCAA national champion and 11-time All-American at the University of Michigan, he competed in two Olympic Games. In London in 2012, he placed sixth in the 1500 meter free (14:52.99) after placing second at U.S. Trials, where he recorded a 14:52.51.

“Those Trials swims were his fourth and fifth LC miles ever,” recalls his Michigan coach, Josh White, “and the Olympics were his sixth and seventh. He ultimately swam 29 in his career, and 18 were under 15 minutes. Michael Klueh, who trained with Connor for four years at Michigan/Club Wolverine, used to joke that he was the only person in the history of the sport to break 15 minutes LC more times than he didn’t.”

In 2016 in Omaha, Jaeger won Trials in both the 1500 with a 14:47.61 and the 400 meter free, going 3:43.79. In Rio, he notched silver with an American record 14:39.49 in the 1500 and placed fifth in the 400 with a 3:44.16.

While the numbers represent the outward and visible sign of performance on swimming’s biggest stage, the blood, toil, sweat and tears in training refinement took place in the 30-plus days between Olympic Trials and the Games themselves.

CONNOR JAEGER’S OLYMPIC ODYSSEY
Dr. Josh White is associate head coach at the University of Michigan, and has produced 24 individual and eight relay Big Ten champions. He has also been instrumental in the maintenance of the Blue and Maize storied distance success. White helped guide Jaeger on his odyssey in both 2012 and 2016.
“Post-Olympic Trials and into the Olympic training camp was a great time for Connor,” White says. “The Trials is both physically and emotionally taxing even when you make the team. Both times, we took a few days after the meet to relax and process. We then went back to work at home for the week or so before he headed off to training camp.

“In 2012, Connor had 31 days between the 1500 free finals at Trials and the 1500 free prelims at the Olympics. In 2016, Trials and the Games were spaced a little bit farther apart. We had 33 days between the Olympic Trials 1500 free final and the 400 free at the Olympics,” he says.

“We have a base workload that is our standard when we aren’t either pushing a specific energy system or recovering. During that week at home, we got back to that base workload and our normal schedule. Being able to quantify workload is important to what we do at Michigan. We track our overall volume as well as volumes in specific energy systems. “So essentially, it isn’t necessarily about hitting a volume even for a distance swimmer, but more about having knowledge of what we are doing. That gives us the knowledge we need to hone in on the best possible performance outcome. It gives us an idea of what ‘less’ or ‘more’ work is when we want to adjust.

To read more about Connor Jaeger’s path from trials to the Olympics and Coach Josh White’s sample sets,
Check out the August 2020 Swimming World Magazine,
click here to download the full issue now!

SW August 2020 The Record Breakers - Cover

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Swimming World Magazine August 2020 Issue

FEATURES

014 OPPORTUNITY LOST
by Dan D’Addona
High school swimming has multiple seasons with roughly 130 state/sectional/divisional high school championship meets held as early as October or as late as May of the following year. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in mid-March, some high schools had already completed their championships, others saw their season canceled…while still others were interrupted during the middle of their meet! Here are a few examples of how the coronavirus affected high school swimming.

016 A GOOD INDICATOR OF FUTURE SUCCESS
by Andy Ross
Since Swimming World first honored its Male and Female High School Swimmers of the Year in 1997, 60 percent of those athletes have gone on to compete in the Olympics from 2000 through 2016.

019 TOP HIGH SCHOOL RECRUITS
by Chandler Brandes
Swimming World takes a look at the swimmers it considers to be the 10 best high school recruits—both male and female—from the Class of 2020 and where they’ll be attending college in the fall.

022 THE RECORD BREAKERS
by David Rieder
Nine high school swimmers from eight different states combined for 11 public or independent school records and eight overall national high school records—including three times in one event!

026 A GROSS INJUSTICE
by John Lohn
In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, 16-year-old Rick DeMont had won the 400 meter freestyle only to have his gold medal taken away several days later in one of the biggest injustices in Olympic history.

029 ISHOF: THE TOM AND MATT SHOW
by Bruce Wigo
As explained in last month’s issue,sprinters are considered a different breed of swimmer. They’re not just free spirits, but they seem to be rule breakers and troublemakers of the sport. In July, Swimming World featured two of swimming’s notorious female rebels, Eleanor Holm and Dawn Fraser. This month’s article takes a look at two male disruptors who paved the way for professional swimming, Tom Jager and Matt Biondi.

COACHING

012 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN OPTIMAL MODEL FOR TECHNIQUE: PART VIII—BODY BASE OF SUPPORT FOR BREASTSTROKE
by Rod Havriluk
The torso is the swimmer’s base of support (BOS). During a stroke cycle of a typical breaststroker, excess vertical motion of the shoulder distorts the BOS, which compromises the ability to maximize propulsion and, as a result, limits swimming velocity. This article offers suggestions for how to stabilize the BOS to generate more propulsion to swim faster.

033 SUMMER LEAGUE: HAVING FUN AND GETTING THE WORK DONE
by Michael J. Stott
No matter what tomorrow or next year brings, one can hope that the benefits of summer league as we know them will persist.

035 SPECIAL SETS: TRAINING FROM TRIALS TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES
by Michael J. Stott
Through the voice of Michigan associate coach Josh White, this month’s “Special Sets” traces the training Connor Jaeger did in the period between the U.S. Olympic Trials to the Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016.

041 Q&A WITH COACH NEIL HARPER
by Michael J. Stott

042 HOW THEY TRAIN ANNA HOPKIN
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

010 DRYSIDE TRAINING: EXERCISES FOR EXPLOSIVE STARTS & TURNS
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

039 GOLDMINDS: HOW TO BECOME AN “A” SWIMMER
by Wayne Goldsmith
Ultimately, success comes to those amazing people who make the decision to be successful and who then live that decision in practice and performance—in and out of the pool—until they realize their potential.

045 UP & COMERS: ABBY REICH
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

032 DID YOU KNOW? PETER JACKSON: “THE BLACK PRINCE”

046 GUTTERTALK

048 PARTING SHOT

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