Michael’s Blog: In Great Shape

In our latest guest post from Michael Jamieson, he brings us up to date with what winter means to an elite swimmer and looks ahead briefly to this year’s Commonwealth Games…

I hope everyone had an enjoyable break over Christmas and New Year and is looking forward to the year ahead!

Since the last blog update, I’ve competed at the European Short Course Championships in Denmark and the Duel in the Pool; Team Europe vs Team USA.

The team selected for Europeans was 12 strong, 6 of which were from my training group in Bath. I was rested for this meet and targeting medals. It was one of the major international events of the season.

I finished with silver (I know, again) to Daniel Gyurta of Hungary in the 200m Breaststroke but posted a Scottish, British & Commonwealth Record in the process, plus a Scottish & British Record in a 6th place finish in the 100m Breaststroke, so I was delighted with my times and to be back on the international podium. Great Britain won eight medals in total, seven coming from Bath – a fantastic result for our squad and testament to the work of our coaching and support staff.

On to Duel in the Pool and back home to Glasgow!

The Duel is a head to head, points scoring format with each team nominating up to a maximum of four athletes per event, scoring 7/5/3/1 point for 1st to 4th place finishes.

This format mirrors that of the American Collegiate system in which they ‘duel’ against other colleges and universities. It makes for an exciting event, with every team member desperate to earn points for their team.

This meet was a dress rehearsal in a sense for the home nation athletes, the venue & the organisers before the Commonwealth Games and an opportunity for me to sample the home crowd environment. I absolutely loved it and thanks to a sell-out crowd & fantastic atmosphere, I managed to improve on my times from the European Championships.

It was also broadcast on Sky Sports which was a great opportunity for everyone involved; showcasing the worlds best swimmers in a world-class venue in Glasgow. After 30 events, the teams were tied and after an incredible tie-break relay swim, Team USA won.

The Duel was the most exciting event I’ve ever been a part of and has given me a real spur of excitement ahead of the Games, with Tollcross set to double its capacity in the coming months.

A short break over the Christmas period was followed by a two-week training camp in São Paolo, Brazil. I’m incredibly lucky to travel to places like this and there is no better motivation than to escape the British winter to train in warmer climates. It’s difficult to stay healthy throughout the winter period, at a point when our training volume is at its highest, so this trip was an opportunity to get some solid work under my belt, stay healthy and improve on my goggle tan lines!

All in all, I feel in great shape and enjoying the workload towards the Commonwealth Trials in April – the next milestone before the summer.

I feel very privileged to have your support and I’m using it on a daily basis to help reach my targets! 🙂

Thanks for another fab post Michael and great to see your good form after some setbacks earlier in 2013. Everyone at Smiths News wishes you every success in 2014 and we’re looking forward to seeing more great performances from you in front of a home crowd this summer!

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