Jana Pechanová, Enduring Pain Before The Olympics

Jana Pechanová, Enduring Pain Before The Olympics

Two-time Olympian Jana Pechanová is preparing for the race of her life in the Serpentine on August 9th at the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim finals.

An athlete from SKP Kometa Brno and multi-national Czech national champion, she is one of the fastest marathon swimmers in the world for good reason: her commitment to the sport, the intensity of her workouts and her tolerance of pain. She trains twice a day for 2-hour sessions as well as four 1-hour dryland sessions in a gym. “My home club is SKP Kometa Brno, training up to 7.5km per workout, but I train in other Czech cities too like Prague.”

While other swimmers train longer distances, it is Pechanová‘s intensity that has enabled her to scale the heights of Olympic marathon swimming.

Normally we train about up to 7.5 km per training session. On Wednesday afternoons, we go easy with a maximum of 3km freestyle. I just slow down; sometimes I can do only 400m. I haven’t been able to mountain bike [because of my injury]. But I love it. [Biking] is incorporated into my training program. Sometimes I even do open competitions in cross country cycling in my home country.

Sometimes, I train alone, but now I train together with [some fast] guys who are going to the FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships. My toughest workouts over the course of a week include 8 x 1000m on Monday 10 x 800m on Tuesday, 20 x 400m on Wednesday, 40 x 200m on Thursday, 80 x 100m on Friday and 160 x 50 on Saturday
.”

After a recent FINA World Cup race in Cancun, Mexico, the eighth-place finisher in the 2008 Olympic marathon swim badly injured her ankle. It was so painful that she could not walk. Her doctors recommended surgery, but with the Olympics coming up, she decided to forgo any operation. “I don’t have time for that, especially when recovery would take 6 weeks. It is not possible. I have to endure degenerative changes in my ankle. Fortunately, I underwent 3 transfusions of blood plasma that helped and have been training well for 4 weeks now. Sometimes, my ankle is still painful, but at least I can still train.”

Her Olympic dream continues.

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