Coach’s Log: 10×300 with Mike Bottom

*Video produced by SwimSwam contributor Coleman Hodges.*

When talking to one of the best sprinting minds in the history of the sport, it’s fascinating to hear him explain the benefit of 10×300. Mike Bottom does just that in this episode of Coach’s Log. The Head Coach of the Michigan Wolverines talks about how this set came to be, what he’s looking for in the set, and some impressive times he’s seen on the last 300. Bottom also talks about his stance on equipment and how the champs are looking this fall in Ann Arbor.

Here’s the set:

10×300 @ 4:00

200 athletes
1-3 100 Cruz 50 fast
4-6, 75 cruz, 75 fast, paddles
7-9 100 fast 50 Cruz, fins
10 go w/ fins n paddles

100 athletes
1-3; 25 fast, 75 cruz
4-6;50 fast, 100 cruz, Pads
7-9;75 fast, 75 cruz, fins n pads
10: 50 cruz, 100 Blast, 100 cruz, 50 fast, fins and paddles

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Josh Davis
9 years ago

What a great set! What’s sad is how many of the 400,000 swimmers in America will be stuck doing 10×300 old school way or something worse…very little rest, sloppy strokes, and hardly any motivation. Mike is great mind and outstanding motivator (anyone who can guide Gary Hall Jr. and Anthony Ervin to tie for gold in 2000 is amazing in my book!) but is it really that hard for coaches out there to think up something like this. Swimmers want to go fast they just need a creative set with just enough rest to do it! Thanks Mike & Garrett! #jointherevolution

9 years ago

I’d just love to watch #10 and see people holding sub-50s after doing 9 of these puppies. Great interview, Garrett, as always; it’d be even better if you could capture some of the workout and splice it in.

@Sean Justice, looks like you’ve got to leave AZ and see if Coach Bottom will allow you to train with the team 😉

Sean Justice
Reply to  Patrick W. Brundage
9 years ago

Yeah, Patrick I would do that just to see the look on someone’s face but don’t think you will get rid of me that fast….

9 years ago

Great information from a legend! Nice work SwimSwam!

Joel Lin
9 years ago

Ok, going off grid on this comment. At 7:30 in the video did Bottom go a huge sublime “Office Space” Initech reference on us? Not X’s and O’s. A people person. A motivator.

Who is cooler than this cat Bottom? Maybe vintage John Collins. But really, lots of people try to be cool. Bottom just is. And over the longest course of time I am convinced he isn’t even trying and could not care less to try being cool. Because he just is.

9 years ago

Interestingly ambivalent answer to the “toys” question – sounds like he uses them more as a diversion from monotonous training or for technique work rather than as a training stimulus. Would love more questions like that.

9 years ago

Are they training for open water? Besides distance swimmers do the other athletes really need to be doing a set like this?

Sean Justice
Reply to  Confused?
9 years ago

I don’t see why you would may this comment. If you read how the set is to be done, there are two different sets for 100 and 200 swimmers. Each of this having different fast and active recovery. Open water swimmers or distance swimmers, may do the set with each 300 at a different speed/equipment. The 300s are each broken into smaller parts, so what are you exactly confused about here? How are you getting that this set would be for open water or distance swimmers?

Reply to  Sean Justice
9 years ago

I think he just saw the 10×300 part and none of the rest.=)

Sean Justice
Reply to  completelyconquered
9 years ago

Yeah, I have noticed a trend of what started off at the T30 or 3000 for time and it has progressed. I remember doing 3000s for time and if you were not having a good day, it was hard to maintain focus. Now coaches are changing the set to be more engaging and allowing for all the swimmers to do the same type of set, but keeping their interest.

At my old club, it was 3000 for time (lucky I was a distance swimmer and actually was able to do it pretty well). I was training at Bolles and the coach did 10×300 on a short interval to help keep people focus. Now coach Bottom is doing this version. I… Read more »

Reply to  Confused?
9 years ago

CONFUSED? – This is an excellent New Interval set ( Peter Thompson has been doing these types of sets in the Track/Field community for a while now. Bottom’s “cruze” portions are great roll-on recoveries which – according to Thompson – teaches the body to re-uptake lactate and convert it to ATP.

I have been experimenting with his “Lactate Shuttling” concept for 2 seasons, and have seen much success with it at our club. The hardest part is translating it from Track to Swimming…

It’s not far off to consider it a beefed up / fun version of USRP – neural training + endurance.

9 years ago

This set is getting closer to a set that an elite sprinter in track might do. The 10 x 300 swim, alternating fast & cruise would be similar to a 10 x 1200M (first 200M fast, then 400M cruise, then 200 fast, then 200 easy, then 200 fast). The major difference would be, aside from a warm-up and warm-down with a few 100M sprints thrown in, the track athlete would be done for the day… the swimmer would not.

Joel Lin
Reply to  PAC12BACKER
9 years ago

I know nothing about track, but have read that track athletes are very selective with race pace work in training and that use of it is scarce. Most training is slower pace, technique and then strength / stretching. I wonder why swimmers go a lactic acid set and then have more in that workout to go, and possibly also have another workout that same day.

Logically you would think for track athletes there is a greater propensity to wear the joints down or get injured at full tilt muscle and joint impact. But just as logically one would guess that if you make a lot out of “racing” parts of 10×300’s, the athlete isn’t ever ever going to be focused… Read more »

9 years ago

Boys or Girls Garrett? These are NCAA Champions…need to get out of the club mindset!!! Men and Women swim in college, and especially at Michigan. No boys and girls up there!

About Garrett McCaffrey

No one lives the sport of swimming like Garrett McCaffrey. A Division I swimmer who spent 4 years covering the sport as a journalist, now coaches club swimming and competes as a masters swimmer, Garrett truly lives the sport of swimming. After graduating from University of Missouri’s award winning journalism program …

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