The Australians have a long and rich history in the distance freestyle events.
Since the world record for the 1500m freestyle has been kept since 1908 six Australians have broken it a combined 13 times. Kieren Perkins assumed the distance mantle during the 1990’s, demolishing the world record three times, the final time swimming a 14:41.66 at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in my home pool here in Victoria, British Columbia.
Seven years later Grant Hackett would come along and drop over 7 seconds off that mark, swimming a 14:34.56 in 2001 at the FINA World Championships in Japan.
The year before I had the privilege of training with Grant for a few sessions in Vancouver, and it left me equally awed and disheartened. To see someone swim repeats of 200 meters of freestyle at a pace of 1:50-1:51 was a bit crushing, I won’t lie.
Anyways, the following workout was crafted by his long-time coach Denis Cotterell as a mid-season set. (As an interesting aside, Cotterell would also go on to train the man who would ultimately break Hackett’s world mark—China’s Sun Yang.)
The swimming workout is a long one, running around two hours, and a sum of 7,400 meters, all done long course.
- 800 swim as 4 times through (150 freestyle, 50 stroke)
8 x 150 Swim @2:15 as–
- 2 – Freestyle breathing 3/5/7 by 50.
- 2 – Freestyle/Head-up/Freestyle
- 2 – Freestyle/Fly/Freestyle
- 2 – Freestyle/Back/Freestyle
8 x 50 @1:00
- 2 – Drill
- 2 – Stroke count
- 2 – Drill
- 2 – Build to FAST.
THE MAIN SET
30 x 100 Freestyle swim @1:40
- 10 – Max heart rate -30 (So if max heart rate = 180, target is 150)
- 10 – Max heart rate -20.
- 10 – Max heart rate -10.
2 rounds through–
- 3×100 Freestyle swim @1:30
- 4×50 Freestyle swim @:45
- 3×200 (Kick/scull/drill/swim by 50)
- 4×50 Swim w. fins [25m BLAST, 25m easy] @1:00
- 200m loose
MORE SWIM PRACTICES:
- Swimming Workouts: 25 Ultimate Practices for Competitive Swimmers. A growing list of workouts submitted by high performance coaches and athletes including Brett Hawke, Sean Baker, and more.
- 3 Sprints Sets with World Champion Nick Brunelli. Winner of over half a dozen world championship medals, sprint stalwart Nick Brunelli shares some of the workouts he did during his run-up to the 2012 Olympic Trials.
- The Other Auburn Sprint Set, Or How I Spent Two Hours Driving the Local Lap Swimmers Crazy. One of the most difficult sets I have ever encountered. Took me over two hours to do it, and I still didn’t even finish it all. Not for the feint of heart.