Tillsonburg’s Tyson MacDonald logs all his swim races and practices.
“I keep track of times and recap at the end, and all my workouts,” said 16-year-old MacDonald, who swims with the Brantford Aquatic Club.
The recap for his most recent meet, Swim Ontario’s Long Course Provincial Championships in Brantford, July 4-7, featured a number of personal bests and three medals in the 16-17 year old division – gold (800m freestyle relay), silver (800m freestyle) and bronze (400m freestyle).
“I had all best times but two,” said MacDonald, who swam in a number of events.
He just missed a National Senior time in 800m free by 0.8 seconds. But it was a good effort, he said, pleased to take nearly 16 seconds off his best time. He will have another shot at it this week.
It was not a tapered meet, which made those PBs even more impressive.
“All the long course meets I’ve been to, I’ve been training right through. For nationals, this is the first time I’ve ran a taper cycle since February. Once March started, basically I put the foot on the gas and trained… until now.”
His taper – a period of training with less distance and more rest prior to a meet – had been planned for this week’s Canadian Age Group Championships in Montreal. He left Tillsonburg for nationals Tuesday morning and begins competing in the 16-year-old Age Group division Wednesday, July 24.
“I’ve been ready. I’ve been excited basically since Sunday’s finals at provincials. I’m really looking forward to it based off my performance at provincials – I’m really excited, just because we weren’t rested for it.”
His taper included no practice Friday morning, no practice Monday morning, and only one hour in the pool Monday afternoon.
“We dropped the mileage and the intensity. I’m doing ‘pace.’ A lot of race prep work – current pace, goal pace and dream pace.”
MacDonald has swam at Age Group Nationals before, his best result being a fourth when he was 13. This time he wants a medal.
“I always consider myself having a shot at the podium, but this time I feel really confident.”
Brantford Aquatic Club will have six swimmers at nationals, including MacDonald, the team’s only 16-year-old in Montreal this week.
“We could have had more swimmers going, but you have to make three times in order to go. They changed it up. Last year you could have one time, and go. I think we could have had up to 10, but…”