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Anthony Nesty, head coach of the University of Florida’s swimming program, shared insights into the training regimen for both sprinters and distance swimmers at the 42nd Annual Central States Clinic in Chicago last weekend.

Nesty, who has overseen the Gators’ program for six seasons, detailed the intricacies of preparing athletes for sprint and distance events, drawing from his extensive experience coaching both men’s and women’s teams.

During his presentations, Nesty highlighted the physiological attributes that contribute to success in sprinting and distance swimming, emphasizing the tailored approaches required for each discipline.

For sprinters, Nesty emphasized the development of “White Fibers,” focusing on generating maximum force efficiently. He elaborated on the diverse energy systems that necessitate training, including aerobic conditioning crucial for extended competitions, anaerobic threshold, lactate tolerance, and lactate production, providing practical examples of training sets for each category.

In discussing the equipment essential for sprinters, Nesty outlined a comprehensive “toolbox” comprising tempo trainers, VASA or tubing stations, surgical tubing, resistance bands, fins, paddles, snorkels, parachutes, and power towers. He supplemented this with a sample weekly training plan for sprinters.

Transitioning to distance swimmers, Nesty presented a balanced training schedule that integrates speed and endurance work. Prior to delving into coaching strategies for distance events, he posed four critical questions swimmers must consider, assessing their affinity for the events, commitment to training, suitability for distance swimming, and mindset towards long-distance races.

Nesty also outlined four distinct strategies for approaching distance events: maintaining pace, descending effort, and negative splitting, elucidating his coaching methodology for each approach.

Nesty, a former Olympic gold medalist in the 100 butterfly, is set to lead the U.S. men’s Olympic swimming team at the upcoming Paris Games. With a contingent of elite swimmers, including individual gold medalists Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel, and Bobby Finke, along with other accomplished Olympians, Nesty is poised to guide a formidable squad to Paris. Recently, both the men’s and women’s teams from the University of Florida secured third-place finishes at the NCAA Championships, underscoring Nesty’s coaching prowess and the program’s competitive standing.

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