Lauren Boyle to benefit from lessons out of water

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012
Lauren Boyle
Getty Images
ON TOP OF THE WORLD: Lauren Boyle on the podium after winning the 800m title at the short-course world championships in Turkey.

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Lauren Boyle has done a fair bit of learning at the world shortcourse championships in Turkey, as much out of the pool as in it.

Despite finishing last in the 200m freestyle final yesterday, after breaking the national record in her heat, Boyle is understandably excited about her future.

She is a shortcourse world champion, having triumphed in the 800m freestyle, and she also returns home to the North Shore with a bronze medal, from her 400m freestyle efforts.

But just as important for her development have been the experiences outside the pool, which the 25-year-old expects to hold her in good stead when success beckons in future big meets.

"Learning to cope with all the things out of the pool is a big part," she said yesterday.

"I was drug tested every night, sometimes urine and blood tests.

"I was getting back to the hotel at midnight and 1am, and then eating meals late after that but getting up very early the next day to prepare for the heats.

"I have struggled a bit with this.

"There are definitely things to juggle at big meets.

"If you get a medal you can't warm down until you have done that and your media, and you have to report to drug testing before you go to the pool, so it all takes a lot of time that you have not prepared for."

Tweaking training to be prepared for big swims the morning after a final is likely to be a consideration in the future.

As for positives in the pool, there are plenty, but Boyle identifies speed in the 800m as the major one. While the longer distances are her target, getting faster is also important and improving her 200m speed will only help in the longer events.

"I am really happy with how things have gone over the last five days," said Boyle, who was fourth in the 800m freestyle at the London Olympics.

"I am still a fair way off world records so it would be possible to improve more.

"I am happy with the improvements I have made. It is not going to be easy to improve from here but I am still very motivated and determined to improve and I am excited to keep swimming to see how good I can get."

Boyle will allow herself a slice of pavlova at Christmas - albeit a "thin one" - before setting her sights on 2013 and the world championships in Barcelona mid-year.

"I will have a few days out of regular training to freshen up my mind until after Christmas and then be motivated to be back in the pool.

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"Time will go really fast and I've got quite a bit of work to do."

Boyle clocked 1min 55.40sec in her 200m heat yesterday, well under the previous New Zealand record of 1:56.32 set by Melissa Ingram in 2008.

But she could not repeat that, being 2sec slower in the final, which was won by American Allison Schmitt in 1:53.59, ahead of Hungary's Katinka Hosszu and Melanie Costa Schmid, of Spain.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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