We recently caught up with Melanie Marshall, elite British Swimming Coach and Head Coach at City of Derby Swimming Club, where she is currently working with Rio hopeful Adam Peaty. Mel coaches from a wealth of experience, having been an extremely talented swimmer herself, claiming six medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
After hanging up her googles in 2008, Melanie decided to dedicate her career to inspiring rising swimming stars and she now works with a number of international athletes including; 21 year old, three times World Champion and Triple World Record Holder, Adam Peaty. We took the opportunity to ask Melanie some questions about training, Wattbike and the big event of the summer, the Rio Olympics:
Q: How have you used the Wattbike as part of Adam's training?
I started using the Wattbike with Adam 18 months ago, as a breaststroke swimmer 70% of Adam’s work involves his legs - building up muscle in the lower part of his body is extremely important and that’s where the Wattbike comes into play as it’s great for working the big muscles hard, against a force rather than against the water in the pool.
Adam’s training is ‘combo style’ with 75% taking place in the pool and the remaining 25% on land, the Wattbike is central to the land training element, we always position a bike poolside so he’s able to work his legs on land then get straight into the water where he follows the session up with fast repeats in the pool.
Q: What do you think sets the Wattbike apart?
It’s a really useful piece of functional kit as it allows the user to maintain consistent power over time, whereas with other bikes the athlete can beat the machinery but you don’t outspin the Wattbike, which is great. Both myself and Adam have enjoyed getting to grips with the bike and discovering its many attributes.
Q: Touching on the excitement of Rio, how do you feel about Adam’s upcoming events?
Adam works really hard, he’s very focused and is prepped for his upcoming races. The Wattbike has and will continue to play a big role in his training programme in the run up to Rio. It’s an extremely exciting time both for Adam and British Swimming in general.
Adam Peaty secured his spot for the Summer games when he competed in the British Swimming Championships in Glasgow earlier this month, which saw him secure a qualifying time of 58.41 seconds in the men’s 100m breaststroke. We’re all extremely excited to see what the World Champion will be bringing to Rio this August.