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How Fast Is Thorpe? Check Out These Sets -- March 8, 2000

By Phillip Whitten

In the last few months, Australia's "Thorpedo," 17-year-old Ian Thorpe has set awesome records in the 200 (1:46.60) and 400 meter freestyle (3:41.83) long course, and the 200 meter short course (1:41.10). What does it take to swim so fast?

Here are some of the long course sets Ian has done recently:
1. (When his foot was in a cast so he was pushing off with one leg) 12 x 100m pull on 1:00. He averaged 57-58 seconds.

2. 5 x 100m kick (with a kick board) on 4:00. All five were done at 1:01

3. 7 x 200m swim on 5:00. He averaged 1:51. The last one was sub-1:50.

4. 20 x 400m swim done as 5 x (4 x 400):
4 on 4:50. He swam all under 4:40
4 on 4:40. He swam all under 4:30
4 on 4:30. He swam all under 4:20
4 on 4:20. He swam all under 4:10
4 on 4:10. He averaged 4:02