On this episode of The #AskASwimPro Show, we caught up with Olympic Gold Medalist Caeleb Dressel. Caeleb is a 2-time Olympic medalist, world champion and world record holder who specializes in the 100 free and the 100 fly.
He shared his training schedule and filled us in on his new online course, Piece by Piece with Caeleb Dressel, which starts September 14, 2020! Click here to sign up for access to three weeks of live sessions designed to help swimmers with mental training, motivation, technique, and health and fitness.
Caeleb’s Pandemic Training
Caeleb says the last 6 months have been pretty bumpy, but he’s grateful for the guidance of his coach, Gregg Troy. Gregg has been a source of consistency in a time that doesn’t have much consistency.
Gregg helped Caeleb build his pandemic training schedule, including finding pool time when most pools were shut down. Thankfully, Caeleb didn’t take too much of a break from training, but his typical schedule changed and his training sessions often had a strict time limit.
These days, Caeleb is getting back into his usual training routine. On a typical day, he wakes up, has a quick snack and is at the gym by 7:00am for a two-hour weight session. Then, he hits the pool for a two-hour workout. After a break for lunch, work time and maybe a nap, he’s back in the water at 5:30pm for another swim.
Beyond his physical training, there’s a huge mental side to swimming that Caeleb has been working on tapping into.
He notes that while swim training is important on its own, being in the right mental state to attack every practice, challenge yourself and be a supportive teammate is essential to succeeding in the sport.
And that mental health work extends far beyond the swimming pool. It’s having the discipline to do the mundane tasks in life — making your bed, staying hydrated, and eating healthy — that make the biggest difference. To Caeleb, being patient and staying on track yields the best results.
Piece by Piece with Caeleb Dressel
To help share his expertise with swimmers around the world, Caeleb launched Piece by Piece, an online course designed to help swimmers improve their technique, motivation and mental training.
He’s looking forward to connecting with the swimming community in a more personal way. Even though he’s one of the best swimmers in the world, he still relates to age group swimmers and their desire to go fast and have fun. At their core, that’s what every elite swimmer wants to do, too!
The course includes 11 30-minute sessions over 3 weeks. Each session is one “piece” that builds the larger picture of what a successful swimmer looks like.
Participants will get the opportunity to dive into aspects of training that Caeleb often keeps under wraps, including analysis of his recent workouts, training Q&As, live pool sessions and a real time dryland workout with his strength coach, Matt Delancy.
Caeleb deliberately made the decision to make Piece by Piece a live learning experience. He didn’t want to just record a few lessons and post them for swimmers to use. Live sessions allow him to connect with swimmers in real-time.
Beyond Piece by Piece, Caeleb has been flexing his swim nerd muscles on his YouTube channel. In the past few months, he has released numerous videos analyzing his previous races.
The series, called “Dressel Dissects” gives Caeleb a chance to go beyond the technical side of racing to share how he was feeling before and after the race and discuss how his mental state affected his performance. By sharing his expertise, he can help others review their races with a critical eye and improve their own performance.
In the past, he never liked watching his races and often noticed that he’d start to get nervous, almost like he was back on the pool deck. Now, he can watch races more comfortably and he has enjoyed seeing how his stroke has evolved and likes pinpointing where he can improve.
International Swimming League
Beyond his ventures on dry land and YouTube, Caeleb competes in the International Swimming League (ISL) for the Cali Condors, and had a blast during the ISL’s first official season in 2019. ISL meets have a different feel than the large national and international meets he competes in as part of Team USA. They’re lower stress, mid-season meets that are focused on team camaraderie and having fun.
During the 2019 season, Caeleb broke the world record in the 50m freestyle, along with open records in the 50m fly and 100m free. He was the 2020 season MVP, breaking the world record in the 50m freestyle, 100m IM and 100m butterfly (SCM).
While the world is full of uncertainty these days, Caeleb is holding out hope that the ISL training camp will go on as planned in the fall. And, of course, there’s the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.
He is also getting married to his fiancée, Meghan, in February.
Despite these big future plans, Caeleb still likes to take life one day — and one practice — at a time.
Be sure to check out Caeleb’s online course for exclusive access to his training tips and tricks!