Behind The Scenes at the Wheaton Swimming Training Trip

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By Kelley Baylis, Swimming World College Intern 

MIAMI – Wheaton Swimming took part in a winter training trip down to Miami recently, and Swimming World college intern Kelley Baylis was there to capture the entire trip as a participant.

Thursday Night:

The first day of Wheaton College’s training trip in Miami, Fla., started out with a practice on Wednesday night. The team will practice for the next week at Florida International University. The men and women’s teams started out the practice with ab work on the pool deck. The team then headed into the pool and completed a work out of 5,500 yards for the sprint and mid-distance groups while distance completed 6,000 yards.

Friday Morning

The second practice was Thursday morning. At 11 a.m., the Lyons marched to FIU to complete a more difficult set of the season in a 50-meter pool. The sprint and mid-distance groups stayed together for a set of 21x50s in groups of seven. The first group of seven was at 200-yard pace, the next seven were at 100-meter pace, and the last seven were all-out. After each 50, the swimmers walked back to the other side of the pool to complete the next. The distance group had a difficult practice as well which consisted of four broken 500-meter freestyle. They then continued into the 50’s with the sprint and mid-distance groups. Day 2 for the Lyons showed great effort as well as team spirit. All of the swimmers were yelling for their teammates as they finished hard together. By the end of the practice, the sprint and mid-distance swimmers swam 3,800 meters while the distance group swam around 6,500 meters.

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Photo Courtesy: Kelley Baylis

Friday Night:

The team headed to FIU Friday night for an easier practice with a difficult first few practices behind them. The men and women Lyons split up and the women went into the weight room to begin the night. A few exercises were completed, and then the women went outside for a dryland circuit. Lunges, running sprints, and jumping jacks were a few of the 12 stations to complete for the workout. After the women finished, they jumped into the pool while the men completed the lift and dryland workout. In the pool, the men started out for warm up with a 300 swim, 200 kick, and 100 skull/swim. The first set included 12x75s with descending intervals starting at 1:15 making their way down to 1 minute. Then followed by 12x50s involving stroke and finally 12x25s rotating race and easy speeds. The main set was three rounds of a kick set. It started out with 1×200 kick at pink, or a medium speed, followed by 4x25s tombstone (board upright) kick at all-out race speed. The team did a great job with staying loud and encouraging during both the dryland and swim portions of the night.

Saturday Morning:

The Lyons woke up for an 8:30 a.m. stretch and yoga session on the beach. The beach was empty, and the team relaxed and stretched in preparation for the meet in the afternoon. The Lyons were one of 12 teams at the FIU Sprint Invitational. With mostly 50s and 100s of strokes, the Lyons went against many Division 1 schools with lots of fast swimmers. Some of the teams from the meet included, Duquesne University, Florida Atlantic University, Keene State, Springfield College, and McMaster University. It was interesting to swim against teams such as Keene and Springfield, since Wheaton had already swum against both teams this season. Both the men and women’s teams finished 9th overall. The Lyons were tired, but trudged through a long meet in the sun to show an overall good effort for the men and women.

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Photo Courtesy: Kelley Baylis

Saturday Night:

After a six-hour meet, the Lyons had to then charge back to the pool for an 8 p.m. practice. After warm up, they completed a pyramid set. The set went as follows:

100 75 Free, :5 rest, 25 Build to sprint finish
200 50 Fist drill, 50 Swim
300 100 Free, 100 Back, 100 Breast- Last 25 of each is Red
400 Pull- Think DPS
300 100 Free, 100 Back, 100 Breast- Last 25 of each is Red
200 50 Fist drill, 50 Swim
100 75 Free, :5 rest, 25 Build to Sprint Finish

Coach Barrett Roberts gave the entire team a surprise when he told the freshman class that they would be doing a get out swims. For the 13 freshmen, Barrett picked one event each that they would have to swim. He added on a half of a second from the time they went from the meet earlier that day, and if 12 out of the 13 freshmen made that time, the entire team was done with practice. If not, the team would continue the practice. Twelve freshmen made the times, with one missing her time by merely .01. While the freshmen swam, the upperclassmen stood above cheering. The ecstatic team was able to warm down and then leave the pool.

Sunday Morning:

After an exciting night from the first year’s performances during the get out set, the team knew it was in preparation for a difficult morning. The team was divided into distance, sprint, mid-distance, and IMers.

The main set for the sprint group included:
3 Rounds
5x50s all out on 2:00
150 Easy

The main set for Mid-Distance:
3 Rounds (NO free, either IM or Specialty Stroke)
1) Build pink to red
2) Build red to green
3) Green
150 Easy

Main set for the IM group:
4x 250 IM – 100 Race rotates
1 x 200 Easy
4 x 250 IM – 100 Race rotates

30x100s best average
10 on 1:40
2 min rest
10 on 1:30
2 min rest
10 on 2:00 Fast!
200 easy

This was the most difficult practice so far on the trip to-date and all of the groups did an amazing job at getting each other fired up throughout the morning.

Sunday Night:

Sunday night practice consisted of half dryland practice and half swimming. The men started out in the water and completed a set of 12x75s at a decreasing interval in sets of 4, followed by 12×25’s, 3 stroke, 4 easy, 3 stroke, and 4 easy, and then the same 75s again. The men separated into lanes based on the times that they wished to swim. The dryland set for both groups was composed of a 12-exercise circuit as well as a shorter lifting portion which included only a few parts. A few of the exercises that were within the circuit included a sprint around the pool, Russian twists with a weight, med ball throws against a wall, lunges, high-knee skips, step ups, and more.

Monday Morning:

Monday morning practice was the most difficult practice of the entire season. Both the mid-distance and sprint groups swam together to complete the 8x100s set all out while distance completed their 3,000 meters for time. Both groups were pushed to the limit for each of their sets. The team as a whole started out with a long warm up set consisting of:

100 Swim
200 Kick
300 Pull
400 Swim

This warm-up then continued:

4x50s GOLF
100 Drill/Swim
4x50s Variable
200 Drill/Swim
4x50s 12.5 Red, 25 Red, 37.5 Red, 50 Red
300 Drill/Swim

After these warm up sets, distance began their set while mid-distance and sprint groups got their lineups and stood behind their assigned lanes. The first four 100s were specialty stroke and the last four were freestyle. The entire group was fired up and exhausted after every 100, but there was never a quiet moment on deck. Coach Roberts kept reinforcing the fact that each and every 100 had to be all out from start to finish. The team did an incredible job at maintaining their fastest speed.

Monday Night:

The team had the night off and went into South Beach to explore and walk around. After about 2 hours of shopping and walking around the beautiful town, the team gathered together at the Cuban restaurant, Yuca, and all dined together on delicious Cuban food. It was a great bonding experience for the entire time and a very fun night!


Photo Courtesy: Kelley Baylis

Tuesday Morning:

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Photo Courtesy: Kelley Baylis

The team completed a long morning practice consisting of many different sets. They started out with warm up:

100 Swim
200 Kick
100 Swim
200 Pull

Then went right into:

6x50s Odds: Drill, Evens: Swim
3x100s Perfect Swim
6x50s 5 Breaths
3x100s Perfect Swim-Descend to red
6x50s Odds: Drill, Evens: Swim

The team then completed a kick set that included a lot of sprint kicking.

1×200 Kick at Pink
4x50s Descend Red to Green
1×100 Kick at Pink
4x50s Kick Descend Red to Green
1×50 Kick at Pink
4x50s Kick Descend Red to Green

The distance then continued into working on 50s pace work while sprint and middle distance worked on 50s and 100s of building and breath control.

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Photo Courtesy: Kelley Baylis

Tuesday Night:

As the final night practice in Florida, the team split up into sprint, mid-distance, and distance to each complete their own set that is done many times throughout the season.

The sprint group completed their “Sprinter Mile” which is:

10x25s on 60 seconds
300 Easy
10x25s on 45 seconds
300 Easy
10x25s on 30 seconds
300 Easy

The mid-distance group completed:

3 times through
8x50s on 1:20/1:10/1:00
Hold best 200 Time Divided by 4
300 Easy

The distance group completed:

5x100s Pace on 1:30
1×100 Easy on 2:00
5x100s Pace on 1:25
1×100 Easy on 2:00
5x100s Pace on 1:20
1×100 Easy on 2:00
5x100s Pace on 1:15
1×100 Easy on 2:00

As per tradition, “Skit Night” occurred after night practice. Each room creates a skit that picks out people to essentially “burn.” Silly jokes are shared, embarrassing stories, and lots of laughs echo through the hotel room. It is always a great bonding experience to be able to poke fun of the people you are swimming next to every single day, as well as the coaches. And Coach Barrett Roberts was definitely the target of many jokes this year. As always, he took it like a champ just as everyone else did.

Wednesday Morning:

On Wednesday morning, the Lyons had a short final practice in Florida before heading back to Norton. The practice consisted of a “stop watch practice.” The coaches as well as the seniors each got to pick their own set that lasted for 10 minutes and each lane would take turns telling Coach Roberts to start, and then stop his watch. Whatever number it landed on, that number correlated with a particular set, and that was the set the lane would do until the next time they would pick. Some of the sets included fun activities such as 10 minutes of jumping off the diving boards, or taking a 10-minute shower. There were also more difficult sets such as 6×100’s drill/swim or 3×200’s drill/swim. Some lanes lucked out with picking the fun sets every time while others were stuck doing 3×200’s two times in a row. But as always, “Respect the watch.”

All in all, the trip was a difficult yet great experience for the team. There were lots of hard sets, but lots of great bonding moments that always make the team stronger. The team left Miami ready to take on the two upcoming meets they had for the weekend.

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Photo Courtesy: Kelley Baylis

Wheaton Swimming Training Trip


1 comment

  1. avatar
    Jeffrey & Annie Magnavita

    This is a wonderful record of winter training. It was so fun to see what you all did and know that it also included some fun and relaxation.