Coach’s Intel: Boston College Swimming’s Thomas Groden Shares a Distance Set (Updated)

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer based out of Victoria, BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook, a powerful log book and goal setting guide made specifically for swimmers. Sign up for the YourSwimBook newsletter (free) and get weekly motivational tips by clicking here.

The following distance swim workout was submitted by Thomas Groden, head coach of Boston College Swimming:

This is a workout referred to by the kids as 8-800’s.  It is a demonstration of how I approach distance swimming – not for just the yardage but by “learning” how to swim distance.

1 x 800   @11:00      Alternate breathing

2 x 400  @5:20        Even pace

4 x 200  @2:40         Change your hard 50

8 x 100  @1:20        Desc. 1-2, x4

1 x 150 kick   @5:00


1 x 800   @10:40      Descend 200’s, 1-4

2 x 400   @4:50        Build 100’s

1 x 150 kick   @3:00


4 x 200    @2:30     Even split

8 x 100    @1:15     Desc. 1-4, 5-8

:60 sec rest

1 x 100 social kick

1 x 300   warm down — stretch — alternate breath — few strokes


8 x 25   Fly from a dive. Perfect breathing from start to finish. Start over on mistake; coaches’ discretion.


100 warm down

* total: 7400y

Got a workout you’d like to share with the swimming community? Send it on in to [email protected]


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I Can't Pickem

This is saying 6800 total yards I am coming up with 7000 where am i going wrong?
The first set is 3200 the second set is 3600 that would be the 6800 but the 200 easy makes it 7000. Are we not counting that last 200 easy as part of the total yards workout?

First off, I am loving these workout posts. However, it would be helpful, in order to understand the intervals, what the target race times would be for people doing this set. That would help adjust these workouts for different speeds. I can’t tell if the last 300 is supposed to be supremely challenging in terms of making the interval or if all the intervals are generous and he’s looking for speed across all 300s?


Patrick – varies across, on men’s side ~1:40-1:45 200, ~4:35-4:45 500


what effect use kick in sets ?

About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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