Chatting to Stockport Metro swimmer Michael Gunning, we discovered the 20-year old is currently on a gap year and living with a few friends.
After a bit of digging, we discovered one of those friends happens to be double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington!
We decided Michael was the perfect candidate for an ‘Athlete Factfile’ so we grilled him about his seventh Nationals where he is competing in the 100m Fly, 200m Fly and 200m Free.
Who’s your coach at the moment?
Sean Kelly. I’ve really enjoyed working with him. He’s had his fair share of 100m/200m Fly swimmers so he’s experienced.
How do you feel the #NYCS14 have gone so far?
I made it to the final in all of my events but didn’t do as well as I had hoped. There’s some foreign guys swimming here and they were placing quite highly. It’s something I need to work on, getting myself out to more international meets and developing my experience.
What time do you get up for training?
We get up a bit later than you would expect actually. Noone has uni or anything so we get up at 6:30am. Competing this week we’ve had to get up at 6am.
We’ve been showering before we come to the pool to make sure we’re properly awake and eating breakfast two hours before we compete.
How many times do you train a week?
I do ten swimming and five land training sessions a week. The land training has been a big element of training this year which was new to me. It’s hard going into the pool already exhausted, I’d prefer to do the hours in the pool but its important to build up your strength.
What do you eat for breakfast on competition days?
I have either porridge or a light cereal. Carbs are important to keep you going so I eat a lot of bananas too.
Living in a swimmers house, what’s the diet like there?
It’s been great living with Rebecca and the others because they were swimmers themselves. It’s like having more coaches when I come home. They’ve been a big help this year, making me fresh juices and food when I get home from training.
What is your favorite thing about Nationals?
I love the team environment. Even when you go to competitions you’re by yourself and you’re swimming for yourself but there’s still a huge team behind you. The bigger clubs like Plymouth tend to dominate but it’s nice to see some of the smaller clubs like Stockport still coming through.
Who is your swimming inspiration?
Has to be Michael Phelps. I always wanted to swim against him! I think leaving swimming he probably had some regrets so he’s returning which is exciting.
What does the future hold?
I’m moving to the Aquatic Center to join the program there which I’m excited for. It’s Rebecca’s wedding at the end of the month and I’m an usher for that. I moved in with her last August so I missed the engagement but the stag do is in Barcelona this weekend. It’s my first stag do so I’m a bit nervous!
How would you describe your #NYCS14 experience in one word?