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Training for the 2018 Commonwealth Games – what it really looks like
14 weeks out from the Commonwealth Games. Check out what ambassador and professional swimmer, Ben Treffers is doing to get ready for the trials.


I went back to Canberra on the weekend for my graduation and to see my family. It was the first time I had been back for a year. I had a great time catching up with everyone, spending time with my family, eating out at my friend’s restaurant and checking out all the changes in Canberra. My girlfriend (Stace) is finished uni for the year, so we flew home together on Sunday night. She has about five weeks off and I am really looking forward to spending some much needed time with her. 


After a bit of a late night, I woke up and went into training pretty excited to get back in and work hard for the next few weeks before racing again. I felt a little flat, but not too bad, and I went 3km, with a relatively big aerobic part in the session. To finish I did a some running dives, and starts just to try and get activated, and while I didn’t feel that great it was good to get moving. 


I met Stace at the supermarket, and we went through and got our shopping done quickly before brekky. Having just flown in last night, I spent a good hour in the morning, stretching and triggering my body and shoulder. 


After lunch, I sat down to get on-top of my life after racing and being away for a few days, and then I was off to training. We are training earlier this week at 4pm, because one of the squad’s is off, so there is a little less down-time during the day, but it’ll be good to finish earlier at night.  


The session tonight was one of my favourites, well at least it used to be. It is 200 aerobic freestyle coming in around 2.30 mins, and on 3.30 mins, it is 50m max on 60 seconds. I got through four sets of that, before I was blowing up. I chucked my fins on for the last two sets. While I am still focusing on training for the 50, we thought after not swimming hard for 4-5 days, this would be a good session to try and open everything up and get moving for something a bit more specific later in the week. This session is really good for training for the second 50 in a 100, as your heart-rate is high, and then you have to find power and strength to swim fast. I used to be really good at that session, but with a shift in focus, if we decide that we will continue to do that session it will take a few weeks. Being earlier in the arvo, it was bloody hot training, and the session ended up at 3.7km. One of my longest sessions in a little while. There will be a big focus over the next 24-36 hours to recover from that session, and hopefully be ready to go Wednesday arvo.  


After finishing early, I turned the radio on in my car, and heard the Ashes was down to the last wicket and just as I pulled into my street they claimed the last wicket. I had watched a bit of this Test match, and Australia just simply dominated. I helped cooked steak for dinner, and watched Harry Potter on TV before heading to bed at 9.30pm. 



For my morning off swimming I still had to wake up pretty early at 6.45am to get organised and get off to physio before gym. I felt pretty stiff and tired waking up after a hard session last night, but felt better after brekky.  


Physio was really good, and much needed. I hadn’t had treatment for over a week, and my shoulders were just a little bit niggling, so I had a bit of work done through my thoracic, neck and up in my subscap. Felt so much better afterwards. I went down to gym, and spoke to my gym coach about the next couple of weeks. We decided to slowly, and incrementally increase weight on my chins, but not by much, and start to introduce a power and core session on Saturday. I really wanted to start to progress my chins more, as I am only doing about 30% of my max weight, but we are going to edge on the side of caution, and take our time. As for my other upper-body exercises, dumb-bell bench and row, we are going to challenge the connection by increasing focus on core, and closing my eyes through the exercise. This means I don’t have to lift any heavier weights but can gain benefits in other areas. Gym was pretty standard this morning taking just over 75 minutes. To finish I did some jump squats, which is starting to become a main focus as we are introducing power.  


After gym, I met up with Stace at North Burleigh and jumped in and had a quick swim. Then we went to the supermarket to get sorted for the week. As the week before Christmas, there is a bit of organising to do, and lots of food to be bought and eaten. 


After lunch, I sat down and watched some NBA, and started a bit of work. At this stage I am just waiting to hear back from The Collective before I can really progress, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the ins and outs of their business and the operating systems they use, and what they do. I left for training around 3pm, and did my 30 mins stretching and shoulder rehab before jumping in.  


The session got cracking pretty quickly. We had 500 loosen, before getting into a kick set. It was three sets of 100m kick solid, 2x50 kick hard and then 100 easy. It was a bit of a surprise, as we don’t normally do a hard kick set on Tuesday, but I didn’t mind it. I’m happy to introduce a bit of kick into my week and strengthen that part of my swimming, I just hope it doesn’t negatively impact my recovery too much, and I can still swim fast tomorrow night. After that, we went through a little aerobic set. I did 4x150, 4x100, and 4x50 on a 1 minute 30 seconds time cycle, and I went all pull, with 50m backstroke in each distance. I am trying to put in a little bit of aerobic backstroke into a couple of session each week, just to try and pattern down my stroke. I find backstroke pull is a good way of doing it without taking too much out. I finished up 3km, and called it a day. I wasn’t feeling too bad afterwards, just slightly tired arms, and legs felt a little flat, but pretty happy. 


I came home, and helped with dinner. Tonight I’m having Asian marinaded chicken thighs, burnt broccoli, bbq’d lettuce, and some pumpkin. Hopefully into bed early tonight, and a big sleep to try and recover as good as possible for tomorrow. 



This morning was pretty cruisy, with the usual 3x500s and keeping the kms down to 2.5. I was still pretty cooked from Monday, as it is a different type of session than I am used to.  But I got through this morning set, and went home to rest up for a session tonight. 


I came home to find out our hot-water system had broken.  Didn’t get up to too much today, mainly just resting and hanging out. Stace and I started a new TV series on Netflix, Mindhunter. It is about the FBI in the 1970s and the psychology of murder and the characteristics of serial killers. It is quite interesting, and disturbing learning about the psychology of a serial murderer. 


I went into training tonight feeling as ready as I could be. I did a pretty solid set with a bit more of a 100m focus, and then shifted towards max speed and a bit of butterfly to finish. I was pretty happy, as it was a good session, with a lot of different areas hit. I think it was as good as we could have hoped for, coming off a few days rest, then a big session Monday. It definitely got the wheels turning again, and was a promising sign. 


My cousin was down for a few days, he was over from New Zealand for Christmas. Stace had cooked up a massive dinner with lamb, chimichurri and roast veg. It was good catching up with him, as it has been over a year since we have seen him. It ended up being a late night, but with Christmas coming up that is expected. 


I woke up pretty buggered after a big week so far, and so struggled into training. Ash kept my session really light this morning, bringing it back to 2.5km and just letting me swim through. I had a massage booked for this morning, so I came home, had brekky then went for my rub. It was well and truly needed after quite a hard week, and my quads were so pumped. Stace went off to do a few jobs and then came back to pick me up. We then went into the shops to grab a couple of things for lunch and dinner. We had a rest in the arvo, and then went down to the beach for a swim. It was so nice. We spent about half an hour playing in the waves, and just tried to get a bit of the loosen-ness from my massage swum out.  I could have gone for a swim at the pool, but the beach is so much better.  


I came home, and my brother had a few of his friends over hanging out. Later, my friend Tom came over for dinner. We cooked up one of my favourite dishes, sweet and sour chicken. It was delicious, with heaps of veg and pineapple, giving it a really sweet flavour. My brother, his girlfriend and my friend were flying out to Canberra for Christmas, so they went to the airport at 8pm, and Stace and I watched another episode of Mindhunter and called it an early night. 



This morning our session was up at Southport, at the same pool as the Commonwealth Games. It was a beautiful morning out, with the sun out, and not much wind. I warmed up, feeling not too bad, and got in my racing suit. I had 3x50 Time Trials on 12 minutes rest. Between each 50, I would go about 400 easy. I went 24.5, 24.7 and 25.0. I was pretty stoked with the first two, but annoyed with not keeping them all under 25 seconds. 


I just started to tighten up in the last one quite a bit. None of them felt amazing, but was pretty good to be that fast. To finish, I did 4x25 fins max stroke rate, basically spinning my arms as fast as possible. I was pretty happy to get 4 out at the intensity I was able to hit. I swam off, and that was about a 3-3.5km session. I was meant to do some power stuff afterwards, but after such a big session, I thought it was best just to leave it there for the week. It had been a really good week, and stoked to have finished it off by swimming so fast. 


I came home and had brekky with Stace, and then we chilled out for a little bit until lunch. We went out to Burgster for an early lunch, and then threw the surfboards on the roof, and headed out. It was small, but still really fun on the longboard. There was nobody out, which made it all that much better. After an hour, we had to call it, as we needed to get onto the road to head up to Stace’s parents in Brisbane. Stace’s family is Russian, so we stopped passed the Russian deli in Burleigh before hitting the road. We got up there and had a nice family dinner. I was cooked so I snuck off to bed early, and tried to get to sleep. It had been a big day. 



We woke up this morning and had a quick brekky before heading off to the markets. Got a few things, and by 10am it was starting to boil. We ducked into the shops to get the last few things for Christmas. One of Stace’s friends was coming up to spend Christmas with us, so we picked her up from the airport, and went to Eat Street Market for lunch.  It was turning into one of my favourite things to do on Christmas Eve, because the place is empty. It is so good, you can get pretty much anything and don’t have to wait, or have trouble finding a seat. We got some calamari, and rice paper rolls.  


While we were there, there was a Santa show on the water, with Santa using one of those jet packs. It was pretty funny, and Stace’s little sister loved it. We came home and built/decorated our gingerbread house, which was pretty fun, and then hung out with Stace’s little sister playing hide and seek, and passing the footy. It was a fun arvo. We had a nice dinner and just hung out. Pretty good Christmas Eve. Christmas Day tomorrow is rather exciting, and I’ll be up here in Brisbane for the day, and then heading home on Boxing Day night. I have to swim on Boxing Day, and then hopefully be ready for training hard on Wednesday. Not much time off for me this year, but happy to be swimming while the ball is rolling and I have a bit of momentum on my side. 

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