Harnessing the data from his Masimo MightySat pulse oximeter, the champion swam his way onto Team USA for the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and world championships.
At the Phillips 66 National Championships held the last week of July, 19-year-old Michael Andrew delivered a series of dominating swims that resulted in four U.S. titles, a performance so remarkable by an American male that it has been eclipsed only once by none other than Michael Phelps, who won five titles in 2008. In Andrew’s toolbox before and after each session was his Masimo MightySat pulse oximeter on which he relies to accurately monitor his oxygen saturation.
The youngest swimmer ever to turn pro at age 14, Andrew has always forged his own unique path, especially when it comes to his training program, which he describes as “very data driven.” He began incorporating MightySat into his training and recovery protocol early last year, his final season as a junior during which he set three world records and won three world championship gold medals. His performance at the Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine in the shadow of Masimo’s headquarters produced championships in the 50-meter butterfly (22.93), 50-meter breaststroke (setting a new U.S. Open record of 26.86), 100-meter breast (59.38) and 50-meter freestyle (21.49), qualifying Andrew for his first-ever world championships in long-course events as well as earning a spot at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships taking place in Tokyo from August 9-12.
The Kansas-based Andrew clipped the MightySat onto his fingertip before and after each session at the national championships. In addition to monitoring oxygen saturation (SpO2), the noninvasive, hospital-grade technology accurately monitors pulse rate (PR), respiration rate (RRp), perfusion index (Pi) and pleth variability index (PVi). On day one, he swam the 100-meter freestyle.
“It’s one of my hardest events and with it scheduled on the first day, if I feel good there, then it sets the tone for the rest of the meet. My SpO2 was consistently at 99%,” said Andrew who set a new lifetime best time.
The morning that he beat rival Caeleb Dressel in the 50 fly to qualify for next year’s world’s in Korea, Andrew’s SpO2 was hovering at 99 and 100%. “I did a lot of deep breathing and mindful breathing. When my SpO2 stays up like that, my confidence goes up and it gives me an extra boost. My meet really took off from there.”
Andrew faced a triple on day three with three event finals taking place in the span of one hour. With his SpO2 reading 98 and 99%, he took third with a lifetime best in the 100 fly before winning the 50 breast, which garnered him a second spot on the world’s team. In the process, he broke and rebroke the U.S. Open record, establishing the fastest time ever on American soil. He followed that with a solid fourth place finish in the 50 backstroke. “My SpO2 dropped to 96% by the end of that session,” Andrew recalled.
The heat played a role in making day four a challenge for Andrew. Before swimming the 100 breast, his SpO2 was still down at 96%. “The morning session hurt the most. It was very hot, and I felt the worst that I felt throughout the entire meet. I really focused on recovery – deep breathing, massage, wearing compression gear, taking a long slow swim, and putting bags of ice on my legs. We had to improvise when a tub wasn’t available for a proper ice bath.”
It worked. Andrew won the race along with a trip to the Pan Pacs and he did it with panache by coming from fifth in the final 25 meters, using a late burst of speed to claim the victory.
The excitement of his accomplishments made sleep a challenge the night before the final day of competition. “I didn’t sleep well so I was a little surprised that I crushed my best time in the 50 free,” said Andrew, who defeated Dressel again by swimming the third fastest time in the world this year.
Andrew is part of the growing roster of professional athletes, world champions and Olympians throughout the sports world using the quick and easy-to-use MightySat in their training regimen. The data generated by the MightySat and collected by the Masimo Personal Health app can be used to help measure cardiovascular fitness, exertion levels and speed of recovery, the latter which is made simple with the use of the Heart Rate Recovery calculator, an exclusive feature on the Masimo Personal Health app. The MightySat may detect changes in hydration, breathing, fatigue and stress levels as well as changes caused by altitude. Athletes and their coaches use the data to make informed decisions about training and recovery, thus know when they are ready to go all out, reduce training load or intensity, or take a rest day. Utilizing the best available technology to accurately and reliably measure and gather key data not available on other health and wellness devices, MightySat is for use by anyone wanting to improve their health, wellness or fitness. For more information, please visit www.MasimoPersonalHealth.co.uk.