Training Sets of the Past: How Dave Durden Trained Fred Bousquet


Training Sets of the Past: How Dave Durden Trained Fred Bousquet

As the head man at the University of California-Berkeley, Dave Durden has established himself as one of the premier coaches in the world. In addition to guiding the Golden Bears to multiple NCAA titles, he has routinely sent his athletes into Olympic competition. Next year, Durden will be the head coach of the Team USA men’s squad at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. His selection to that role was not surprising given his vast success.

Fred Bousquet

Fred Bousquet

As Swimming World continues to offer its readership a variety of workouts and training sets from different coaches and athletes, we dig into the vault for how Durden, as an Auburn University assistant, once trained Frenchman Fred Bousquet, then the elite sprinter in the collegiate ranks. Under Durden’s guidance, Bousquet became the first man to crack the 19-second barrier in the 50-yard freestyle when he clocked 18.74 at the NCAA Championships.

Here are some sample workouts that Durden constructed for Bousquet, as shared with Swimming World’s Michael J. Stott.


Early Fall Focus: Technique and conditioning for three weeks before transitioning into leg-dominant training

Typical Bousquet Set (LCM): 3 Rounds of (200+150+100+50)
200: Free with snorkel decrease stroke count while increasing intensity of kick
150: Snorkel – 25 wide scull/15 quick catch/10 swim
100: Snorkel – Body position kick alt. every 15 meters
50: Snorkel – 15 Surf Kick, 35 swim keeping the intensity of the legs

Fall Focus: Two mini weeks with Wednesday completely off; Tues & Fri Power Mornings; Tue afternoon team set; Thurs morning stroke morning

Typical Bousquet Set (Tues afternoon)
Six Rounds of 150+100
150 – 50 Swim FAST through turn, remaining 100 keep intensity in the legs, keep the arms relaxed 2:00
100 – 50 Kick FAST/50 Easy Kick 3:00

Late Fall Focus: Maintain conditioning through finals, 4 days of good work/week of finals/4 days of good work

Typical Bousquet Set (Fly Specific)
8×75 on 1:10; 8×50 on :50; 8×25 on :30
75s – odd: 2rt/2lt/2together;even: 35 yards FAST fly with flip turn, easy 15, 3 strokes FAST fly of the wall
50s – odd: 2rt/2lt/2together;even: build free through turn, underwater kick to 15m with 2 strokes of fly FAST
25s – odd: 2rt/2lt/2together; even: ALL FAST

Pre-Conference Meet Focus: Mon, Wed, Fri – FAST Specific Swimming; Tue & Thurs – Recovery/Hypoxic Work

Typical Bousquet Set
8x50s from a runner under 20 seconds

NCAA Meet Focus: Three Day Cycle, Day 1 – recovery; Day 2 – Off pace work, Hypoxic; Day 3 – FAST

Typical Bousquet Set (Friday before Men’s NCAAs)
4 rounds of 1×50 + 2 assisted Cords
Everything was descending down 1 to 4


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