Thursday, April 9, 2009

Olympian Workouts for the Pool and Open Water

Bonnie Moss, a correspondent with SwimNetwork wrote about American Chloe Sutton's tough pool workouts as she prepares to represent American in both the 800-meter freestyle and the 10K at the 2009 World Swimming Championships in Rome.

In a recent interview with Bob Schaller, Chloe shared some of her goals for 2009:

Bob: Are you pool swimming as well or focusing on open water, because I remember you did very well at Trials in the 800 and nearly made the team, right?

Chloe: I’m actually trying to make World Team this summer in the 800. Every set we are doing, this is the 800-goal pace, which is set really high. I hope I can do some amazing things in the pool this year. I’ve been working on my turns and starts, things like that where I need to improve.

Bob: You and Bill Rose, your coach, have an interesting challenge then to balance speed and endurance?

Chloe: I feel like the speed I’m getting in the pool will transfer into the open water, so everything I’m doing is helping my overall swimming. Hopefully, coach Rose and I are planning and hoping to make both teams this year (800 and open water). I set my goals really high.

Chloe and her coach Bill Rose of the Mission Viejo Nadadores are focusing her training for both open water team and the pool swimming, knowing that it will take at least an 8:20 pace (1:02+ per 100 meters) to make the USA team in the 800 freestyle. Examples of their main sets include the following:

Example #1 in a 50-meter pool:

Broken 3,000-meter swim: 400 @ 4:40, then a 100 fast with a foot (flip turn) touch at the finish, holding a 1:02.5 or better. Repeat that six times. Total time for the 3,000 swim cannot exceed 37 minutes or a 1:13 pace.

Results: Chloe’s overall time was a 36:50. For the 100’s she swam the following times: 1:01.3, 1:01.1, 1:01.4, 1:01.0, 1:01.1, 1:00.1

Example #2 in a 25-yard pool:

30 x 100 @ 1:30. Chloe averaged 56.2 seconds per 100 yards.

Example #3 in a 50-meter pool:

'Divide, Multiply and Descend Set'

4,200 = 6 x 400-200-100 descending each round.

For each distance, Chloe divides the time of the swim she just finished in half, then beat that time. For example, if she swims the 400 in 4:40, then her 200 must be faster than a 2:20. If she swims the 200 in a 2:18, then the 100 must be faster than a 1:09. In addition, each round of 400, 200 and 100 must be faster than the previous round.

As Coach Rose explains, "We do the divide, multiply and descend set a lot, varying the intervals and distances. This is the most distance training done for control. The goal is to increase speed while dealing with fatigue. Our mantra here is for her to learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable. When she can get to that stage, then we increase the intensity so that she is uncomfortable again. We’re always upping the ante. It works with Sutton because she naturally wants to become better."

Photos of Chloe taken at the USA Olympic Swim Team training camp by Colin A. Gift.