Have you been watching The Australian Swimming Championships on Channel Seven? I have, with my heart in my mouth! I said to my husband Ryan last night, “I think I’d feel more pressure on the blocks in Adelaide, than I would in Rio.” Knowing that this swim, this moment, is your ticket into the 2016 Rio de Janerio Olympic Games.
I was beyond thrilled to see Queenslander Emily Seebohm qualify, and even more chuffed when her partner Mitch Larkin made the team. I have no doubt that this power couple will achieve great things and I can only imagine what it must be like to share the experience with your boyfriend.
I caught up with Emily at Aria in Brisbane’s CBD for a chat.
What’s a typical day of training like and what’s the toughest set you’ve ever done?
“Well I’ll give you a Monday! 5:30am we have to be at the pool, so I’m up around 5am, I have a yogurt and I pack my water bottle and a Muesli Bar. We stretch until 5:45am and then we hop in and train until 7:30am.
I then have 30 minutes to chill out, rinse off the chlorine, get changed and go into the gym. We are in there 8 – 9am. Home after that and I’ll have some breakfast. Then I’ll have some free time.
Some days I’ll have a massage, or physio, or a sponsor will want me to go somewhere and do photos or an interview. Leading up to the Olympics there’s a lot more hype and there’s always something happening to fill this time. When the afternoon rolls around, I’ve had maybe an hour or two to rest solidly.
I’ll lie on my bed and watch a show or a movie, I’ll just completely chill out. Then afternoon sessions on a Monday are hard! So I prepare for that and leave two hours before training where I don’t do much. We stretch for 30minutes from 3:30pm and then we train from 4pm to 6:15pm and then I’m caught in the city traffic going home! 6:45pm I have dinner and it’s straight to bed to start a new day!
In regards to the hardest set, I do this once a month. It’s a testing set, to gauge if we were to do a 200metre race, how much we could hold on at the back end of it. We do 12 x 25metre sprints. Now that may sound easy, but it’s honestly the hardest thing. I’ve cried two times after doing it!
It’s hell. You have to go max from the start and you get 5 seconds when you touch the wall before you turn and go again. It’s the shortest rest, and every time I get in I’m huffing and puffing my way… and coach is like ‘3,2,1…’ and I think ‘where did I get a breath from that’!
In backstroke I can easily push out 12 kicks underwater to the 15metre mark from my first push off. After just 4 of these sprints, I’m down to 2 kicks underwater before I come up struggling to breathe! It’s mental conditioning because at halfway you don’t know how you can keep pushing physically, but you do.”