Following Wiffen: Team Prep in Thailand before Worlds

by Willem Stoll 7

July 20th, 2023 Europe, International, News

With the 20th edition of the World Aquatics Championship in Fukuoka fast approaching, a common question that has been circulating in swimming communities is “what are athletes doing to prepare.”

Lucky for his viewers, Daniel Wiffen gave a peek into the 12 athlete Irish contingent headed to Fukuoka with medal aspirations. The team made their trek from Dublin to Thailand, over the span of two days before diving right into preparation. The team enjoyed a quick loosen out set, where Wiffen completed around 4000 meters after the long travel day.

The first full training day of the trip included a total of 14000K meters split across two practices. Wiffen noted the first practice consisted of 6500 meters of kicking, some aerobic descends with “dive efforts.” before heading into the higher difficulty evening session.

After the difficult evening set, Wiffen noted that he felt that taper had “officially started” as he got the morning off, indicating the previous evening may have been his peak set leading into worlds. The morning off was followed by a weight room session with fellow Irish national teamers Conor Ferguson and Max McCusker, the latter of which represents Arizona State University in the NCAA. The session appeared to be focused around weighted plyometrics and body weight exercises. Wiffen noted the following evening session was around 6000 meters which was a long aerobic set including some light racing.

The last two sets Wiffen documented included some race pace efforts in tech suits in the morning session, followed up by a recovery set the following evening where Wiffen completed a 5000 meter session.

Daniel Wiffen is a distance freestyle specialist who trains with Loughborough Group and represents Ireland internationally. This past April, he rocked the world standings with a monster 14:34.91 1500-meter freestyle to secure lock in the second seed heading into World Champs, only trailing Germany’s Florian Wellbrock (14:34.89), who just claimed the open water 10K title in dominating fashion. The two Europeans are set for what may be one of the most competitive 1500’s ever, with ½ of the fastest ten men of all time competing, and many other up and coming athletes in the mix as well.

Name All-Time Rank PB Current Season Time
Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) 2 14:32.80 (2022) 14:49.02 (11th)
Florian Wellbrock (GER) 4 14:34.89 (2023) 14:34.89 (1st)
Daniel Wiffen (IRL) 5 14:34.91 (2023) 14:34.91 (2nd)
Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR) 6 14:36.10 (2022) 14:40.21 (3rd)
Bobby Finke (USA) 7 14:36.70 (2022) 14:42.81 (4th)

The 2023 World Aquatics Championships pool competition is set to be held from July 22nd to July 30th in Fukuoka, Japan, where we will see the best swimming talent in the world today, compete for gold, and the title of world champion.

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4 months ago

I think his production quality is good and I do enjoy watching it, but it would be so much more interesting if he would provide his intervals and times in his workouts. There is the silly idea that he would be giving intel to his opponents by doing that. But that is really not true. Is Romanchuk going to change what he is doing because Wiffen kills it on a set of 200s? OF course not. Would Wiffen change what he is doing if he found out what Wellbrock was doing? Of course not. Just a thought.

4 months ago

6,500 meters of kicking in one practice? Seriously? To what end?

4 months ago

Future world record holder in the 1500.

Reply to  GTS
4 months ago

Would love to see it, appears as a really “likeable” guy. But ultimately I think it will fall to the hands of Wellbrock.

Reply to  SHRKB8
4 months ago

He’ll get it, and I think he’ll be the first one under 14:30… year.

Ceccon - Kamminga - Milak - Popovici
Reply to  GTS
4 months ago

You’re not wrong


His drops have been quantum level. That said, with added pressure coming up in what some expect be a historic 1500, nerves might be a bit of a problem. He’s got a great mental set, but he is the newer guy on the block of the elite, and draws more pressure. The attention on this 1500 is different. That’s why I think he gets it next year.

Many expect Wellbrock to win it, and they might not be wrong. However, a lot of that seems to be based on his drop earlier this year, but let’s be frank, the drop wasn’t massive. He’d been sitting in the 14:36 range for years. Additionally, some believe Wellbrock is on fire due to… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by GTS