Swim trailblazer McEvoy to release secrets post-Paris

Steve Larkin |

Cameron McEvoy is congratulated after winning the final of the men’s 50m freestyle.
Cameron McEvoy is congratulated after winning the final of the men’s 50m freestyle.

Freestyle trailblazer Cameron McEvoy plans to release his secrets to the world – but not until after the Paris Olympics.

McEvoy booked his berth for the looming Games by winning the 50m freestyle at Australia’s Olympic selection trials in Brisbane.

The 30-year-old will become the first Australian man to swim at four Olympics.

MvcEvoy achieves the feat after stepping away from swimming before returning with a revolutionary training regime.

Instead of endless pool work, McEvoy does rock climbing and calisthenics while tinkering on techniques he’s keeping close to his chest, for now.

“Eighteen months ago, my goal was just come back, give this new training approach a go and see what happens,” he said after clocking 21.35 seconds to win on Wednesday night.

“And if I can maybe go under 22 (seconds) again, I’d be over the moon with that.

“What I’ve done so far has just obliterated any expectations I had.

“What I’m most excited to try to get this (Olympics) done and then just compile what I have learnt and just push it out there into the public.

“I know there’s a tremendous amount of swimmers who have been in my position, currently are in my position, who would want to learn from that, a lot of coaches want to learn from that.

“It can provide a lot of good to a lot of athletes who love the sport but they’re not quite on the right path in terms of the the type of training and the philosophy.”

McEvoy offered a partial glimpse: he mixes funky strength training outside of the pool with technical minutiae in the water.

“The nature of my training is literally replicating race pace, race environments, weekly, year-round,” he said.

“I have done probably close to 1000 dive-suited, race replications, since 18 months ago … so by the time I get up and race, it’s very second nature.

“I can try to switch off that cognitive side of my mind and just let everything flow.”

An example is the starting dive, encompassing the time it takes to reach the 15m mark.

“My best prior to coming back to this was 5.5 seconds, now it’s 5.1,” he said.

“So literally from a jump, a couple of underwater kicks and four strokes, I’m already almost half a second quicker, which is insane in a 50 freestyle.

“The rest of it was just strength within the stroke – not brute strength … just trying to load that up with as much weight as I can without destroying that technique.

“We have gone down a lot of rabbit holes in that sense and we have probably uncovered quite a few novel things for the sport which, again, we have kept close to ourselves.

“But we’re keen to put it out there post-Paris.”