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Swimmer Zac Reid spends more time working on his fitness in a week than most people spend at work.

“I’m doing nine swims a week then I’ve got three gym sessions on top of that and I might go for a run as well,” said Reid.

“It’s hard over summer because people hit you up to go for a surf or something but you just can’t, you’re too cooked.”

The Taranaki based 20-year-old specialises in the 800m freestyle, a gruelling swimming discipline where fitness is everything.

“It’s pretty gnarly doing an 800,” said Reid.

“The way I race, I go out quite fast then I get into a rhythm. The key is you don’t want to be kicking the whole time because your legs will blow to bits, so it’s about being strategic as to when you use your legs.”

Reid is working towards qualifying for Tokyo 2020.

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His current PB is 7:57.46s, he needs to shave around two seconds off to hit the qualification time.

In his quest to do so he’s trying to race in as many 800m events as possible.

“I’m pretty stoked with training at the moment, I’m way fitter than I was this time last year.

“For me the more I swim competitive 800s, the more experience I get and the better I get.

“Over an 800 shaving off two seconds isn’t that much. I’m up for the challenge and I know I can do it, I just need to do it on competition day.”

He says training for the lengthy discipline is an artwork.

“It’s a good mix of kick training to get legs strong then it’s just about clocking up a lot of Ks.”

“We’ll have a week where I’m just swimming loads of Ks, then a week where I’m doing shorter race style stuff.

Despite the long hours in the pool and the gym Reid still loves swimming and is dead set on making Tokyo as he looks to a family rivalry.

“It’d mean the world to me, it was what I dreamed of as a kid. I’m young but I feel like I’ve put a good portion of my life into the sport.

“My dad made Commonwealth Games but missed out on the Olympics so it’d be good to get that up on him.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games Zac Reid
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