Brighton 5K Riff

14 October 2022


Trading great workouts has been a training tradition for pretty much all of my aquatic life. Back in the 70's and 80's, before the era of the internet, I remember my coaches in Virginia challenging us with sets they got from phone calls with coaches of our competitors. While in university, I recall sharing distance set horror stories at dual meets ... usually as a way to explain away why our times on the dreaded 1000 free - 200 fly - 500 free triple weren't quite passing muster. When US Masters Swimming had a vibrant online forum in the late '00s and early to mid '10s this century, that site was the place to be for cribbing workouts.


As my daughters progressed in their own swimming, I brought this time honored training tradition to our aquatic family unit. Candidly, this generally meant me adapting workouts from their club coaches as opposed to a two way exchange of ideas ... slowing down intervals, shortening the amount of butterfly, etc ... but I hope someday they'll find some fun in sets I share with them ;)


My oldest daughter is now training with a great masters team in her new home in Brighton, England. She can't say enough good things about the group of people, the coach and the quality of the workouts: all excellent. A great masters team is a great find, so I'm super happy for her ... and selfishly happy for me because this means I've started to get some more workout ideas!

Mid-summer this year, right as I was doing a bit of a taper for the long course USMS Nationals, she sent me this 5,000+ meter (for interval reference) workout. I filed that away and finally pulled it out for my Friday morning workout at my local LA Fitness. As my most recent swim had been freestyle centric, I scribbled some IM adaptations on the sheet I brought to the pool. Once in the pool, I made some further changes, so the final workout went like this:

  • 1 x 400: IM, kick-drill

  • 3 x 400: on 6:00, back/free by 25, try to descend - 5:27, 5:22, 5:17

  • 4 x 100: on 1:40, going a short "Indiana IM" rotation where

  • Each 100 was always 25 fast kick, 75 smooth swim

  • 1st 100 - fly kick, back-breast-free swim

  • 2nd 100 - back kick, breast-free-fly swim

  • 3rd 100 - breast kick, free-fly-back swim

  • 4th 100 - free kick, fly-back-breast swim

  • 3 x 400: on 5:30, negative split free, aiming to control the negative split through stroke count, times with (stroke count per 100):

  • 5:00 (11-12-13-13)

  • 4:54 (12-13-13-14)

  • 4:51 (13-14-15-15)'

  • 4 x 100: on 1:45, done as 50 cruise freestyle w/snorkel on 0:45, 25 FAST fly into a quick fly-back turn, easy 25 backstroke

  • 6 x 150: on 2:30, done Indiana IM style as 25-50-75, e.g.

  • #1 - 25 fly, 50 back, 75 breast

  • #2 - 25 back, 50 breast, 75 free

  • #3 - 25 breast, 50 free, 75 fly (drill)

  • #4 - 25 free, 50 fly (drill), 75 back

  • #5 - 25 fly, 50 back, 75 breast

  • #6 - 25 back, 50 breast, 75 free

  • 4 x 50: on 1:05, 25 IM order stroke FAST - 25 easy

  • 4 x "75": on 1:30, done as 25 IM order FAST - 50 easy

TOTAL: 5,000 yards


None of my times were spectacular as I was dealing with a fair amount of DOMS from my second (great!) personal training session the night before at a new gym in Barrie, an attempt I am making to diversify my training and to build some land strength. But, I thoroughly enjoyed this - thanks, Maia - keep the ideas coming!

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