How They Train Emma Barksdale – Sponsored By TritonWear

Photo Courtesy: Travis Bell

Editorial content is sponsored by TritonWear. Visit TritonWear.com for more information on our sponsor.

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of Swimming World Magazine. 

Emma Barksdale came to the University of South Carolina from California’s Davis Arden Racing Team in part because of a longstanding relationship that Gamecock Coach McGee Moody had with former teammate and Barksdale’s coach at DART, Billy Doughty.

As a high school senior, Barksdale achieved short course times of 2:01.76 in the 200 yard IM, 1:03.53 and 2:20.54 in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes as well as a 4:52.08 Olympic qualifying time in the 400 meter IM.

Barksdale became South Carolina’s most versatile swimmer as a freshman in 2016, taking part in eight different events. That increased to nine events as a sophomore, culminating with a 13th-place finish at NCAAs in the 400 yard IM (4:06.80). She also finished fourth at SECs in the same event (4:06.07) and seventh in the 200 IM (1:56.65). She continued her strong performances this summer with a sixth-place 2:13.47 200 meter IM at the Phillips 66 U.S. nationals. In Columbia, she owns program top times in the 1000 free, both IMs and four relays, and ranks third in the 500 free and 200 breast.

“Emma was a quiet young lady when she first arrived at South Carolina,” says Coach Moody. “As she has continued to develop as an athlete, she has also opened up and embraced her role as a team leader. She is also one of the hardest workers that we have had during my time at Carolina. She completely trusts the training plan, and she’s learned to use the strength, nutrition and recovery component to make her a better all-around swimmer.

“She is loved and respected by her teammates. Emma was elected captain for this season and she cares deeply for her team,” says Moody.

SAMPLE 400 IM PACE SET

(All IM pace times are derived from second 50 of each stroke in the IM)

Round 1

• 2 x 150 swim @ 2:00 (50 fly-50 back-50 breast: 1-smooth/perfect stroke, 2-400
IM race tempo)
• 2 x 200 swim @ 2:15 (1-hold 2:02, 2-hold 1:59)
• 8 x 50 fly
2- @ :50 (400 IM pace +1) (32.5)
6- @ 1:00 (400 IM pace-) (29.5)

Focus on rhythm
• 1 x 100 recovery

Round 2

• 2 x 150 swim @ 2:00 (50 fly-50 back-50 breast: 1-smooth/perfect stroke, 2-400
IM race tempo)
• 2 x 200 swim @ 2:15 (1-hold 2:02, 2-hold 1:59)
• 8 x 50 back
2- @ :50 (400 IM pace +1) (32.5)
6- @ 1:00 (400 IM pace-) (31.0)

Focus on tempo: 1:45-1:55
• 1 x 100 recovery

Round 3

• 2 x 150 swim @ 2:00 (50 fly-50 back-50 breast: 1-smooth/perfect stroke, 2-400
IM race tempo)
• 2 x 200 swim @ 2:15 (1-hold 2:02, 2-hold 1:59)
• 8 x 50 breast
2- @ :50 (400 IM pace +1) (36.0)
6- @ 1:00 (400 IM pace-) (35.0)

Focus on bodyline
• 1 x 100 recovery

Round 4

• 2 x 150 swim @ 2:00 (50 fly-50 back-50 breast: 1-smooth/perfect stroke, 2-400
IM race tempo)
• 2 x 200 free @ 2:15 (1-hold 2:02, 2-hold 1:59)
• 8 x 50 free
2- @ :50 (400 IM pace +1) (29.0)
6- @ 1:00 (400 IM pace-) (sub-28.0)

Focus on 4-5 dolphins off each wall

PROGRESSION OF TIMES

SCY 2014 – 2015 – 2016 – 2017
200 Breast: 2:16.08 – 2:13.66 – 2:12.15 – 2:10.83
200 IM 2:01.99 – 1:59.04 – 1:58.49 – 1:56.35
400 IM 4:18.54 – 4:11.96 – 4:10.21 – 4:06.07
200 Free 1:50.94 – 1:49.39 – 1:49.39 – 1:46.13

LCM
200 Breast 2:44.77 – 2:36.16 – 2:31.34 – 2:31.15
200 IM 2:19.84 – 2:17.28 – 2:15.85 – 2:13.47
400 IM 4:52.08 – 4:50.86 – 4:44.80 – 4:42.04

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Author: Taylor Brien

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Taylor Brien is the Assistant Operations Manager and a staff writer at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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