Splash - March/April 2012 - (Page 18)

stARtInG BLOCKS BrIaN Bahr/Getty IMaGes TRAINING WITH... CONOR dWyER I t hasn’t taken long for people to notice Conor Dwyer’s surge to the top of the winner’s platform. But the swimming success has been a long time coming for the World Championships gold medalist. Back in 2009 when Dwyer felt stuck on a plateau, he sought the advice of his good friend, legendary Olympian Janet Evans. She advised him he needed to step up his training regimen. Evans helped him make connections, and Dwyer transferred to the University of Florida to train under 2012 U.S. Olympic Team coach Gregg Troy. Dwyer was immediately inspired by the likes of Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay, and realized he could one day train on their level if he worked hard enough. He beefed up his strength routine and gained 20 pounds, adding serious muscle to his frame. He started taking charge of his nutrition and mentally, he got in the game. “I took my body to new places,” Dwyer says. “Eating right played a big factor in it. Instead of McDonald’s and as much milk as possible, I ate healthier—protein and no junk food. It was hard to put the weight on at first, but now I know what my body needs and it’s a lot easier.” Now Dwyer trains with 16 to 20 Olympians, who all treat every daily practice as though a gold medal is on the line. “You’re with these guys every day, so you know what it’s going to take to compete with the best in the world,” says Dwyer. He says he owes a lot of credit to Evans, who has been successful with her own comeback plan. “We competed in the same meet in Austin,” says Dwyer. “It was awesome. It was fun to see her on deck again.” Dwyer earned a gold medal at the Pan Am Games last October, and was a member of the Duel in the Pool Team in December. He will continue hard training for the rest of this season, then taper for Olympic Trials, where he plans to swim the 200 free, 200 IM, 100 free and either the 400 free or 400 IM. He is training heavy IM work with Lochte, but otherwise swims by Bonnie Moss longer sets because he says he doesn’t have as much in the tank yet compared to others. A typical set for Dwyer includes 10 x 300s (yd) @ 3:10, descend one to five, six to ten. Over Christmas break, Dwyer did 60 x 100s (yd), 55 @ 1:00 and the last 5 @ :55 (Dwyer held :51 - :52). Recently, he swam 12,000 yards in a single two-and-a-half hour workout. Dwyer complements his strong workload in the pool with dryland and weight lifting, both three times per week. On Sundays, he joins Lochte for Strongman training: lifting and moving monster truck tires, pulling heavy metal chains, lifting massive logs and more. “Strongman on Sundays gives me the mental advantage of knowing that I’m doing something to make me stronger while others are resting,” says Dwyer. “Plus it’s a lot of fun. It’s a great release. We just go out there and have a good time.” Good times are something that Dwyer’s team is known for, and Dwyer credits the team’s cohesiveness for a big part of his success. Dwyer says that swimmers from other teams constantly comment on the closeness and camaraderie of Florida’s program “We support each other and have a lot of fun. We all hang out outside of swimming,” says Dwyer. “In the pool, we are very competitive. No one wants to lose and everyone races every day in practice. But we leave it in the pool. We are very team-oriented. We let the other teams have their divas.” Heading into Trials, and the stress that accompanies it, Dwyer is confident to have coach Troy’s backing. “Troy knows it’s a big year for all of us,” Dwyer said. “But he keeps a positive attitude every day—even in the mornings, he’s always in a good mood. I love his out-of-the-box training. He’s the best coach I’ve ever had.” Dwyer’s parents, three brothers, sister and about 20 cousins will all be cheering him on at Trials. He says he’s excited about it, but isn’t overthinking his races or the pressure. “I just strive to become a better swimmer every day,” Dwyer says. 18 sPLAsH • March/April 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Splash - March/April 2012

Splash - March/april 2012
Mike Gustafson
Swim Briefs/Justin Case
Top Ten Tweets/Point-Counterpoint
Strength & Conditioning
Mental Tips
Grand Prix Update
Training With
Keys to Success
Club Excellence Profile
Athletic Foodie
Your Photo
Trials Pool Finds a Home
Ah, the Memories!
NCAA Championship Preview
College Swimming Dynasties
No Cow, No Cream
Top 10 List - LCM
Getting to Know
Swim Nut Zeke
A Swimmer You May Know
Eight Songs/best Race Ever
Plugged In
America’s Swim Team Athletes

Splash - March/April 2012