No late-night disco for world breaststroke champ
ACCORDING to his coach, Marco Koch is more of a "night owl than an early bird" and Germany's world 200m breaststroke champion endured many late nights to prepare for the Olympics.
Like most elite swimmers getting ready for Rio, the German struggled to get enough sleep in the build-up to Rio.
The Rio finals will be held roughly four hours later than normal, starting at 10pm local time, with the heats in the early afternoon and Koch had to adjust his training times.
"The disadvantage in Rio is not only the late times, but also that the sun rose so early in Germany," Koch said before flying to Brazil.
"The training went well but I had problems sleeping.
"I'd always try to stay awake until 2am and sleep in until 11am, but it was very light early in the mornings (in Germany) and everyone else in my house was up."
He sought advice from a sleep laboratory in Berlin and used a special lamp in an attempt to reset his body clock.
At a time when most 26-year-olds normally go out on the town, Koch was regularly hitting the pool.
"One doesn't swim in a disco and whether or not I dance slower or faster doesn't matter," he said dryly.
And forget any notion of him fine-tuning his Rio preparations in a state-of-the-art facility.
Koch trained in his local public open-air pool in all weather conditions.
"The water was usually warm enough," he said, having shared the pool with pensioners and schoolchildren.
He put in late-night training sessions under floodlights to replicate Rio's conditions.
He has already twice swum faster this year than the 2min 9.12sec he clocked to win the world title in Kazan last August.