Winter Nationals: A Swimmers Perspective

Matt Boreham

A journey to Winter Nationals: A Swimmer's Perspective

My journey started months ago prior to the summer of 2021 when I set myself the target of qualifying for the 2021 winter National short course championships in Breaststroke. I had realised that due to Covid and other factors I needed to focus on a number of areas, mainly my Breaststroke technique, my aerobic base, and my strength & power. For this I used my pool time to work on my technique especially my timing with a fun drill called the moose drill, and outside the pool my aerobic base with extra swimming sessions, high intensity work outs and lots of time on the rowing machine.

With all this hard work I qualified for the 50m and 100m Breaststroke, my journey to Sheffield was well underway :-)

The time leading up to the short course championships went very quickly, after battling a couple of ear infections and a late injury I had made it. We were there for two days; Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th December. The atmosphere was electric and it was a real buzz to swim at Ponds Forge in Sheffield. The pool had been split into two 25m pools; one for girls and the other for boys, plus a separate 25m warm down pool.

My first event was the 50m Breaststroke on the Friday, it was a good race and I managed to PB on the day going 30.07 seconds - my next target is to go under 30 seconds.

It was an early start on the Saturday with the first warm up starting at 07:30. All went well and it was soon time to race, I managed another PB of 1.06.49.

Before each of the races I took time out to do a full land warm up, based on experience and best practice this really helped me to warm up (as Kevin regularly quotes "heat is power") and preload my muscles with blood and oxygen for the explosive racing. After both races I received feedback from my coach who attended, an ex Deben coach and Deben coaches watching the live stream. It was really useful as they had identified areas to work on for my turns and Breaststroke break out - which I am already working on consistently in my training.

I would like to thank everyone for their support in getting me to Nationals, it’s a real partnership between myself as a swimmer and the coaching team here at Deben Swimming Club. Goal achieved, onwards to the next one…….

Harvey (Performance Swimmer)