Sometimes, we have the opportunity to jump in a pool with some of the world’s fastest open water swimmers. Record holders like Trent Grimsey or champions like Ashley Twichell. As we swim in their lane or right next to them, it is always wonderful to marvel how strong their are as they whiz by us.

Lap after lap in the pool or from a distance in the open water, their body alignment, head position, hand pathway and breathing patterns are textbook.

They slice through the water with outstanding propulsion and a minimization of resistance. They are relentlessly and efficiently powerful.

As they move through the water, it is obvious that they have learned how to continue pushing themselves despite a heavily beating heart and a massive lactic acid buildup. On and on they swim, proving the point that fast swimming in the ocean or at an open water race is based on a whole lot of hard workouts performed over a period of months and years.

Mostly recently, Ashley Twichell‘s workouts at the Mission Viejo Nadadores in Southern California have impressed us with their sustained speed over long distances in the pool. She recently won the Queen of the Sea in Brazil and the Midmar Mile in South Africa with a remarkable dose of speed, stamina and strength that she has developed over time. Her pool workouts include the following:

9000m workout in a 50m pool:

800 mixed warm-up
Swim 10 x 100 on 1:20
Swim 1000 on 12:30 (interval on a 1:10 per 100m pace)
Swim 5 x 200 on 2:40
Swim 1000 on 12:30
Swim 5 x 200 on 2:40
Swim 1000 on 12:30
Swim 10 x 100 on 1:20
Swim 1000 on 12:30
with the 100s and 200s swum faster the second time through and the 1000s swum faster 1-4
200 easy warm-down

10,200-yard workout in a 25-yard pool:

1. Warm-up: Swim 400, Pull 300, Kick 200, Swim 100 individual medley
2. Swim 8 x 125 on 1:40 with the last lap drill or swim in individual medley order; descend the 1st 100 of each repeat 1-4 and 5-8
3. Kick 10 x 25 on :30 .. descend 1-5 and 6-10
4. Swim 10 x 25 on :30 .. descend 1-5 and 6-10
5. Swim 10 x 50 on :50 .. breathing pattern is 3-4 strokes per breath done aerobically, except repeat #4, 7, 9 and 10 done @ 200 pace
6. Swim 500 on 5:15, 2 x 400 on 4:20, 3 x 300 on 3:25, 4 x 200 on 2:30, 5 x 100 on 1:05
1:00 rest
Swim 400 on 4:20, 2 x 300 on 3:20, 3 x 200 on 2:25, 4 x 100 on 1:05
1:00 rest
Swim 300 on 3:15, 2 x 200 on 2:10, 2 x 100 on 1:05
1:00 rest
Swim 200 on 2:05, 2 x 100 on 1:05
1:00 rest
Swim 100 for time
7. 200 warm-down

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming