GB swimmer Freya Anderson on tough training and building on her speed in the pool

Catching up on your sleep, catching up on your homework, and catching up on your rivals is all part of being one of the country’s top young swimmers.

Freya Anderson is a rising star on the GB team but the 17-year-old is balancing school with hours in the water as she desperately finds ways of getting faster.

Here are the Sky Sports Scholar’s thoughts on a busy few weeks…

After racing in December in Scotland and Canada, I was straight back to training during the Christmas holidays.

As I live an hour from my training base, I had to juggle sessions there, in Liverpool and at my nearby gym. It wasn’t too bad as I was off school, so being able to chill during the day was the best! There were certainly lots of naps!

After a few weeks at home, it was time to return to school and get back to my normal training routine.

I was really excited to go back to school, as all my friends live all over the country and I hardly spend any time with them. I also couldn’t wait to get back to training and have the whole squad together.

It was quite hard at first, getting up at 5.45am instead of 8 to train, but by the first week, I was used to it again.

The first few weeks of training seemed really hard, as throughout Christmas we were focusing on aerobic work, so coming back and doing high intensity work seemed a struggle.

But, just like getting up early, I got used to it within a week!

The first long course competition of the season and the first event of the year came around very fast.

In January, I went away with the British swimming team for the Flanders Cup in Antwerp. It was great to see some of my friends I haven’t seen in a while – and I won two golds!

Belgium was great but it was freezing! Inside the pool was a bit warmer though and I loved racing long course as the last time I did was in the summer.

I was very pleased with my races, having not thought I would go as fast as I did. I even managed to get a PB in the 200.

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Being with British Swimming was cool too, because I could get my races thoroughly analysed and compared to my previous bests, which highlighted some of the things I could work on.

After the new motivation, I couldn’t wait to get back to training to work on those things and really get my head down for some hard work.

My next competition is in Bristol, and I can’t wait to try to improve on my race processes while I’m there with my home coach!

Training is going really well and I’m incorporating lots of sprint training so my big target is getting my front end faster – hopefully!

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