Swimming World Presents – The Toughest Workouts, Part 1

Swimming World November 2020 - Toughest Workouts Part 1
ASCA Hall of Fame coach Dick Jochums taught his swimmers how to be the best they could be by having them test themselves in practice every day at race speed. [PHOTO BY CHRIS GEORGES]

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The Toughest Workouts
Part 1

By Michael J. Stott


For years, coaches have written and expected athletes to complete “tough” workouts. Enduring, grueling practices—especially those involving distance—continue to be seen as one path to success and a sign of toughness…with the associated pain treated as a badge of honor.

Mission Viejo and eight-time Olympic coach Mark Schubert espoused heavy volume in a big way. “I think it is the coach’s job to push people to their limits—to get them to do what they don’t want to do. More often than not, it means experiencing and overcoming pain.”

Schubert has lived a lifetime of doling out pain and tough sets. And while his work with his MVN “Animal Lane” may be his most well known, he credits his USC swimmer and three-time Olympian Erik Vendt with completing the toughest set he ever witnessed.

It was during the winter of 2002, just two months before being named NCAA Division I Male Swimmer of the Year. Alone the two gathered for a set previously discussed. “It was not a punishment—just a makeup practice—and Erik was mentally prepared. I just loved training this guy!” Schubert says. The action unfolded as follows:

• 1000 on 10:00
• 1000 on 9:50
• 1000 on 9:40
• 1000 on 9:30
• 1000 on 9:20
• 1000 on 9:10
• 1000 on 9:00 (went 9:08)

“There was no warm-down. He was pissed not to make the set!” says Schubert. “Erik went into the locker room and punched a hole through the wall. One tough Boston dude! The BEST! This guy just loved to train and do things no one else had done.”

Vendt doesn’t recall punching the wall. “Probably a locker,” he says. But he was whipped. He also recalls doing a set with Ocean State Squid coach Josh Stern. The two had heard of an open water swimmer doing 20 x 1000 and decided to do 30 x 1000. The SCY interval was 10:30, holding under 10:00.

“The purpose was to show what I was willing to do to get better. I did the first 22 holding under 10 minutes and started slipping on No. 23. On 25-29, I just blacked out and was on auto pilot.” As No. 30 approached, Stern decided the entire team (including uber-competitive sprinter Nick Brunelli) would swim Vendt’s last 1000 for time. “I went 9:53. That was a tough one,” he says.

ASCA Hall of Fame coach Dick Jochums has asked that question, and his answer is simple: “In practice—preferably every day. It is how you handle pain, and it’s always a mental game.”
Jochums has long subscribed to the Greek warrior mentality code of agon – arete. It has taught his charges how to struggle and to be the best they could be. That meant testing themselves every day at race speed. “To swim fast hurts,” he says. “And in order to do that, you have to learn to overcome pain.”

Jochums had many tough swimmers. He ranks Tim Shaw, his world record holder at 200-400-800-1500 meters, first, closely followed by George DiCarlo and Bruce Furniss. “Shaw was not a super talent,” he says, “but he was extremely tough and tied his brain to his toughness. He came to workout every day and accomplished something at race speed.”

In reviewing his years on deck, Jochums believes that “the hardest workout—and I learned three years after doing it and watching myself almost destroy my kids for a week—was 10 x 100 in two hours. Swimmers had to stand up and dive. They would start out fast, and by the end, they were really hurting. It took us three to four days to recover from it.

 

To read more about coaches who trained their swimmers hard and how they did it,
check out the November 2020 issue of
Swimming World Magazine.
Click here to download now!

Swimming World November 2020 Cover - Allison Schmitt - A Legacy Much More Than Gold Medals[PHOTO CREDIT: CONNOR TRIMBLE]

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Swimming World Magazine November 2020 Issue

FEATURES

010 OPEN WATER SWIMMERS OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
by Andy Ross
Since the COVID-19 pandemic prevented Swimming World from naming Open Water Swimmers of the Year for 2020, the magazine, instead, takes a look at the top marathon athletes over the last 10 years.

015 HIGHLIGHTING ISHOF’S 1980 OLYMPIC EXHIBIT
by Bruce Wigo
As we mark the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Olympic Games, much has been written and discussed about the impact on the athletes who were denied the opportunity to compete in Moscow. Lost in most of these discussions is the significance of the boycott to the Olympic movement, which is why, in 2014, the International Swimming Hall of Fame made it the subject of one of the largest permanent exhibits in its museum.

018 OLYMPIC HISTORY WITHIN REACH
by David Rieder
Despite the global pandemic, the Olympic postponement and a coaching change, Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri put together some of the best swimming of his career last summer in the 800 and 1500 meter freestyle as well as the 10K marathon. Come Tokyo 2021, he’ll be trying to become the first swimmer ever to capture Olympic gold in both the pool and open water events.

021 STILL SWIMMING STRONG
by Dan D’Addona
Throughout Allison Schmitt’s illustrious swimming career, the three-time Olympian and eight-time Olympic medalist has experienced success and has dealt with her share of struggles. Now 30, she remains goal-oriented and continues to be one of the world’s elite athletes.

026 THE TRUE OLYMPIC SPIRIT
by John Lohn
Pierre de Coubertin developed the Olympic motto that stressed athletic prowess, but he also said, “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning, but taking part.” That description fit Eric the Eel Moussambani perfectly when he swam all by himself in Heat 1 of the men’s 100 meter freestyle at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and finished in slightly less than two minutes!

COACHING

012 TOUGHEST WORKOUTS (Part 1)
by Michael J. Stott
Here’s a painful—but productive—sampling from yesteryear of some coaches’ toughest workouts ever.

036 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN OPTIMAL MODEL FOR TECHNIQUE: PART IX—BODY BASE OF SUPPORT FOR BACKSTROKE
by Rod Havriluk
An optimal backstroke body base of support (BOS) depends on first mastering a level torso and then mastering torso rotation. An optimal BOS facilitates the arm motion to maximize propulsion.

038 SPECIAL SETS: A REALLY SPECIAL SET
by Michael J. Stott
Nov. 21, 1975: Mike Bruner’s 100 x 100 on 1:00!

042 Q&A WITH COACH LORI RIEGLER
by Michael J. Stott

043 HOW THEY TRAIN JACK ALEXY AND MEREDITH RIEGLER
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

035 DRYSIDE TRAINING: LET’S RACE
by J.R. Rosania
With COVID-19 being managed somewhat and new protocols being put in place, racing is slowly coming back. Here are some exercises that will help get your body ready to race.

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: ALANA BERLIN
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

014 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT HYDROMANIA?

029 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

045 THE OFFICIAL WORD

047 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

Swimming World is now partnered with the International Swimming Hall of Fame. To find out more, visit us at ishof.org

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