I love Chloe Sutton’s Twitter feed. She occasionally posts a set she just did in practice, and they’re invariably ridiculous. Chloe’s a professional swimmer, but she’s also, you know, a woman – and frankly there are only a small handful of men in the country who can keep up with her in practice.
Anyway, yesterday Chloe did a set that I recognized from my youth. It’s called the Fishburn Set, and it goes like this:
That’s only 3,500 yards – not an unfathomable distance, especially for an elite distance swimmer. The key to the Fishburn Set is the intervals. For the first round of 5×100, the interval should be one that you can make (not too hard, not too easy). Then, in the subsequent rounds, your interval increases by a fixed amount. That amount must be less than the first interval.
So, let’s say you do the 5×100’s on 1:20, and your “increase” is 1:10. That would produce the following set:
- 5×100 @ 1:20 (1:20 per 100)
- 4×200 @ 2:30 (1:15 per 100)
- 3×300 @ 3:40 (1:13.3 per 100)
- 2×400 @ 4:50 (1:12.5 per 100)
- 1×500 @ 6:00 (1:12 per 100)
It’s supposed to be a very challenging set, and if you design your intervals correctly, the interval on the final 500 should be perhaps just a bit slower than you could do a single 500 AFAP (as fast as possible) in practice.
Chloe’s intervals? 1:05, 2:05, 3:05, 4:05, and 5:05. Needless to say: Pretty awesome. I’d be happy just to make the first 5×100.
The Fishburn Set has been around a long time, and is a favorite of certain old-school distance coaches and swimmers – such as, to pick a random example, Bill Rose (Chloe’s coach at Mission Viejo).
One of my own former coaches is himself a proud member of the “old school,” and I figured he might know the origin of the Fishburn Set. He did. Apparently, it was invented by Bruce Fishburn, a swimmer at Michigan State in the early 1970’s.
So now you know.