We had the opportunity to ask many of the world's best pool and open water swimmers what their most difficult practice was before the RCP Tiburon Mile this year. They gave us some insight into the incredible amount of hard work these young athletes do in order to become world-class. Here is a sampling of their workouts (all in 50-meter pool unless indicated):
Olympian and world 5K champion Melissa Gorman: 3000 + 2000 + 1000 @ 1:10 pace
Waikiki Roughwater Swim champion Luane Rowe: 10 x 800, descend 1-5
Olympic gold medalist and MythBuster Nathan Adrian: annual 24,000-yard practice on New Year's Day. "We did all kinds of stuff that took 6-7 hours total."
Olympic gold medalist Caroline Burckle: 20 x 400 every other 400 fast
World 25K champion Brendan Capell: 21 x 500 alternating 1 @ 6:10 + 1 @ 6:00 + 1 @ 5:50
World 5K and 10K champion Vladimir Dyatchin: 10 x 2500 @ 1:10 pace per 100-meter interval
World 5K and 10K silver medalist Ekaterina Seliverstova (shown above): 6 x 2000 @ 1:13 pace per 100 meters + 10 x 1000
World championship swimmer Eva Fabian: 50 x 100 @ 1:10 in 25-yard pool + 1-hour for time (did 5700 yards). Other tough workout was 2000 (descend each 500) + 3 x 500 + 2 x 100 + 2000 (descend each 500) + 3 x 500 + 2 x 100 + 2000 (descend each 500) + 3 x 500 + 2 x 100
Pan American Games medalist and RCP Tiburon Mile founder Bob Placak: 10 x 500 with last 500-yard swim at 4:33
2-time Waikiki Roughwater Swim champion and world 25K silver medalist Trent Grimsey: 15 x 500 @ 5:40, descend 1-3 (last set of 3 was 5:12, 5:10, 5:05)
Olympic gold medalist Ous Mellouli: 100 x 100, "done in high school in France on a crazy interval"
All-American J.K. Koehler: 30 x 1000 @ 11:30 interval (in a 25-yard pool) that "took 7 hours by myself, but I did it again in college with some teammates"
Olympian and world 5K bronze medalist Chloe Sutton: 30 x 100 @ 1:15 averaging 1:05-1:06 per 100 meters
RCP Tiburon Mile champion Kane Radford: 10,000 swim for time
These practices remind us of the tough workouts that 7-time world professional marathon swimming champion Paul Asmuth did at Mission Viejo Nadadores under coach Mark Schubert and the famously tough individual medley workouts that Olympic silver medalist Allison Wagner used to do.
Photo of Ekaterina Seliverstova by Daylife Publishers.