Arena has quite a stable of athletes but my favorite is César Cielo. Born in Brazil, trained and educated at Auburn University, César, "... is the most successful Brazilian swimmer in history, having obtained two Olympic medals, two [FINA] World Aquatics Championships gold medals and breaking a world record within a one-year span. --Wikipedia" He is currently the world record holder in both 50 and 100 free and his gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in the 50-meter free is Brazil's only Olympic gold medal in swimming to date. I want to thank both César Cielo and Arena for granting me an interview.
Q: How often do you train and how many meters or yards do you put in each week?
I work out 6 days a week, from Monday till Saturday with an average of 35km a week.Q: What percentage of your workouts are distance related, what percentage are conducted at a 90% effort or higher?
Most of the main sets are fast, so from 85% or above, I would say something around 30% of my training is related to race speed.Q: What is your warm-up?
It varies, it depends on how I'm feeling. It could be a 200 easy to a 1500 kicking, sculling...Q: What percentage of your workout is out of the pool? i.e. Weights, surfing running or other?
Three-times a week I work out in the weight room, mainly for weight lifting but also some plyometric training. Bike rides sometimes but usually that is optional.
I'm not good at the plyometric work and [I like] really high intensity sets in the water, like holding some a certain time for the whole set.Q: Favorite venue: Short-course-meters, long-course-meters, or the good fashion American way: Short-course-yards?
I love the 15m pool we have here at Auburn, I have a good start so its pretty fun to see how fast you get just diving in and breaking out. Also the power rack work, swimming with weights is one of my specialties.
Short course yards is so much fun, because its so fast but I will choose the long-course-meters, because it is the Olympic pool.Q: How do you mentally prepare for a race? When you approach the blocks you seem to be a bundle of energy, what is going through your mind?
I tell my self: "You are going to win!!!" several times, but behind the blocks it is a big blank, I'm completely out of my mind during this period.Q: What is the most amazing pool you have swam in?
The WaterCube in Beijing was amazing, but the greatest memory I have is from Rome, the [FINA] World Championships were really special to me and my family.Q: Will you swim the 200-free or perhaps do butterfly?
I don't think so, it hurts way too much!!! I wouldn't say never, but it's not on my plans to race the 200 right now. I'm focused on my 50 speed and if I start to train for the 200 I think I will lose some of this speed but butterfly may be a option for the future.[Tony] Awesome!
Q: What are your current goals?
Listen to the Brazilian anthem every meet I go to.
Here is a link to César Cielo's website. It has video, photos and more. It's a must view: [Link]
Here is a link to the Arena site and their stable of swimmers: [Link]
For an explanation of what "plyometric training," here is a link: [Link]