Fibonacci Swimming Sets

Fibonacci Swimming Sets

Leonardo Pisano Bigollo, a talented Italian mathematician who lived in the 12th and 13th centuries was known as Fibonacci (and Leonardo of Pisa). In his Liber Abaci (Book of Calculation) published in 1202, he described a number sequence.

0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144…are the first set of Fibonacci numbers. Numbers in a Fibonacci sequence are the sum of the previous two numbers (i.e., 0 + 1 = 1, 1 + 1 = 2, 2 + 3 = 5).

The Open Water Swim Club occasionally does Fibonacci sets where the swimming set gets increasingly harder. For example, if you drop the zero, you can do a main set of 2000 (yards or meters) comprised of a set of 100 swims (yards or meters) utilizing the Fibonacci numbers:

1 x 100 @ 1:35
1 x 100 @ 1:30
2 x 100 @ 1:25
3 x 100 @ 1:20
5 x 100 @ 1:15
8 x 100 @ 1:10

or in another 2000 set where every swim is an a certain pace (e.g., 1:20 per 100):

1 x 100 @ 1:20
1 x 100 @ 1:20
1 x 200 @ 2:40
1 x 300 @ 4:00
1 x 500 @ 6:40
1 x 800 @ 10:40

Or you can do an 88-minute Fibonacci set in the open water where you alternate swimming moderately and fast (or slow and moderately):

Swim moderate for 1 minute
Swim fast for 1 minute
Swim moderate for 2 minutes
Swim fast for 3 minutes
Swim moderate for 5 minutes
Swim fast for 8 minutes
Swim moderate for 13 minutes
Swim fast for 21 minutes
Swim moderate for 34 minutes

Like Fibonacci numbers, the possibilities are endless.

Upper photo by Colin A Gift shows American Olympic swimmers Klete Keller, Erik Vendt and marathon swimmer Mark Warkentin training before the 2008 Olympics at Stanford University.

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