Swimming with Gators: Gregg Troy’s Favorite Distance Set

One of the elite swim coaches on the planet, former University of Florida head coach Gregg Troy stops by with his favorite distance set.

Gregg Troy has won national championships at every level.

He has served on the coaching staff for three Olympic Games (1996, 2008 and 2012), and has done so while serving his swimmers a near-mythical amount of meters done at a high intensity.

The results speak for themselves: Troy has produced and worked with countless Olympians (75 of them and counting according to his University of Florida bio), including Ryan Lochte, Elizabeth Beisel, and the fastest man to swim the 50 and 100-yard freestyles, Caeleb Dressel.

Prior to taking the helm with the Gators he was the head coach at the legendary Bolles School for 20 years, where he won 26 state championships (15 male, 11 female).

The man, the legend, the mustache.

With that kind of pedigree of excellence, you just know that Troy is going to have some serious swim practices up his sleeve.

Troy took a moment from his busy schedule to send over this descending effort distance swimming workout that he likes to use with his swimmers.

Let’s do this!

Gregg Troy’s Favorite Distance Set

3-5 times through–

  • 500 (get your split at the 400)
  • 400 (get your split at the 300) Faster than your 400 split from above
  • 300 (get your split at the 200) Faster than your 300 split from above
  • 200 (get your split at the 100) Faster than your 200 split from above
  • ** 1-5 x 100 All faster than the 100 split from above

Set Notes:

  • Intervals are to be adjusted according to the individual.
  • Total volume = sky is the limit, really. If you do the bare minimum as outlined it’s a 4,500m set. With maxed out rep and set ranges you are looking at 9,500m.
  • The final round (the 100’s) is tailored to what is needed. They could be pace-oriented, or all-out, and can be adjusted as a timed swim at a different distance (Troy has had swimmers do a 400 IM for his medley swimmers).
  • For those of you feeling extra distancey you can start at 1,000 and move down by the 200, or keep it shorter by starting at the 400.

A special thank you to Coach Troy for taking time out of his schedule to share this set with us. You can stay up to date with Coach Troy and the Gators on Twitter, as well as on Instagram.

More Stuff Like This:

This Is How Fast Katie Ledecky Swims in Practice. Need some humbling? Check out these two ridiculous sets that Ledecky crushed in the months leading up to her world-dominating performance in Rio.

Ryan Lochte’s “Brutal” IM Set. This was an IM-focused set that Lochte performed while training under Gregg Troy in the lead-up to the 2012 London Olympics.

The 40 Ultimate Swimming Workouts. Our ever-growing list of workouts and practices for competitive swimmers.

ABOUT OLIVIER POIRIER-LEROY

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer. He’s the publisher of YourSwimBook, a ten-month log book for competitive swimmers.

Conquer the Pool Mental Training Book for SwimmersHe’s also the author of the recently published mental training workbook for competitive swimmers, Conquer the Pool: The Swimmer’s Ultimate Guide to a High Performance Mindset.

It combines sport psychology research, worksheets, and anecdotes and examples of Olympians past and present to give swimmers everything they need to conquer the mental side of the sport.

Ready to take your mindset to the next level?

Click here to learn more about Conquer the Pool.

COACHES & CLUBS: Yuppers–we do team orders of “Conquer the Pool” which includes a team discount as well as complimentary branding (your club logo on the cover of the book) at no additional charge.

Want more details? Click here for a free estimate on a team order of CTP.

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Matthew
4 years ago

The most painful thing I’ve read in a very painful week lol

pwb
4 years ago

#OldSchool #LoveIt

coacherik
Reply to  pwb
4 years ago

#hashtag ; )

Lelada
4 years ago

Now thats a sadistic workout.

Swimmm
Reply to  Lelada
2 years ago

Clearly works….

Noflykick
Reply to  Swimmm
2 years ago

Yea, but by training the swimmers or simply selecting out the beasts?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Swimmm
1 year ago

Can’t recall a 1500 meter World or Olympic champion he’s ever coached. Enlighten me.

FVSTOVEREVERYTHING
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Maybe not everyone swims the set freestyle

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  FVSTOVEREVERYTHING
1 year ago

Then again, maybe he’s just good at developing 400 IMers on down.

CACrushers
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

You’re right… too many coaches out there trying to give distance advice before coaching world or Olympic champions. Some might argue that Troy gets a tiny bit of distance freestyle credibility from coaching the fastest 500y and 1650y freestylers ever. But i’m glad there’s people out there that can see through that nonsense!

Admin
Reply to  CACrushers
1 year ago

How many years after Gregg Troy retires as the head coach at the University of Florida does he stop getting credit for what swimmers do while representing the University of Florida? Troy retired prior to the start of either Finke’s or Smith’s college careers. I’m sure there’s some overlap, but at some point Nesty starts getting credit for those guys, right?

CACrushers
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Fair point. I wasn’t trying to say he gets 100% of the credit though. More that I don’t think it’s fair to say he gets none, or that he’s not a credible distance coach. I have no idea how their program works but I would be surprised to hear that Troy wasn’t a big influence on the way Nesty coaches those guys. Or that Troy hadn’t learn from seeing Nesty’s work with them. I was also assuming they work with the pros for at least portions of the season. But i’m speculating. What’s your understanding of how they structure the squads down there?

Kill It
4 years ago

I used to do this but we did 1,000 800 600 400 200 the same way. #beastmode

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Kill It
1 year ago

Yeah, me, too, except it was in feet and not yards.

Sccoach
4 years ago

Also a great set for younger swimmers who are trying become better at pacing and understanding their splits, although we only go through 1 round.

Jen
4 years ago

When you say younger, do you mean that this workout is appropriate for 12 year olds? My dilemma is not knowing what is right for my 12 year old son. He was top 10 nationally last year as an 11 year old. His coach believes in pushing him ( example of main set is 6 sets of (2×100 fly, 50bk/50 breast on 1:30; he comes in at 1:12) but the head coach believes in focusing on technique and having fun. My son is very motivated and has his sight on the 2020 olympic trials. So, what is an appropriate workout for 12 year olds? Is the training above approriate?

Chestrockwell
Reply to  Jen
3 years ago

If you don’t trust your coach to deliver age appropriate practice with long term development in mind you should find a new coach. Its her/his job to worry about that stuff.

I also beg you to stop watching practice so closely that you know his intervals. I get that you are trying to support him but find more productive ways like reading about nutrition and helping your athlete that way.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Chestrockwell
1 year ago

Tell that to Peter Andrew.

Hswimmer
Reply to  Jen
3 years ago

lol what

Jimbo
Reply to  Jen
3 years ago

Let a kid be a kid that’s all I’m gonna say

Togger
Reply to  Jen
3 years ago

2020 Olympic trials?! I am not aware of any American male qualifying for the Olympics at 14 in recent times. Some kid went at 15 back in 2000, not sure if he did anything since.

If your son (not, crucially, you) is not happy with his current training environment, consider other local clubs, but do so because he wants to and with an understanding that no club move is going to turn a 14 year old boy into one of the best male swimmers, of any age, in the USA.

Jimbo
Reply to  Togger
3 years ago

Only people I know before 14 or 14 were the walsh sisters and 1 other girl I think but can’t remember boys

Coach John
Reply to  Jimbo
3 years ago

there were a handful of 13 year old girls (Cassidy Beyer I think was one) but never heard of a 14 and under male

dmswim
Reply to  Coach John
3 years ago

See my comment below.

dmswim
Reply to  Togger
3 years ago

Ethan Dang and Carson Foster qualified as 14 year olds in 2016. Still, an extremely rare feat, and frankly not a very important one for long term development. Especially with boys, who is fast at 14 rarely has a major impact on who is fast at 20.

Ex Quaker
Reply to  dmswim
3 years ago

I don’t know about “rarely”… but it’s certainly not always an indicator.

SwimFL
Reply to  Jen
3 years ago

From a coach to a parent, please take a step back. HE needs to understand his times, pacing and splits so that HE can learn how to achieve HIS goals. If a coach can get a swimmer at 11-12 year olds to understand splits, complex intervals, test sets, effort or anything else that that coach thinks is the skill to be learned, then your son needs to learn those skills. If you think that he is not being pushed enough, ask your son if he’s tired after practice. I ask you to research the percentage of kids who are still in the top 10% in the country who had success as a 12 & under. The percentage is very, very,… Read more »

Swimnerd
Reply to  Jen
3 years ago

Guys he’s a troll don’t do this

dmswim
Reply to  Swimnerd
3 years ago

I would guess Jen is a she, not a he.

Coach123
Reply to  Jen
3 years ago
Dudeman
Reply to  Jen
3 years ago

Don’t be an overbearing swim parent, let the coach be the coach and support your kid. Also they’re 12 so keep your expectations in check

Coach John
Reply to  Jen
3 years ago

triggered

Papa
Reply to  Jen
2 years ago

Colin Ellington qualifies at 14 in 2012, 2IM if I remember correctly

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Jen
1 year ago

Jen — the sad truth of these boards. As soon as you mention that you’re the parent looking for advice for your kid in contradiction to his coach (no matter how good or bad that coach is), you’re going to get hosed. That was the kind part. The unkind part is that a 12 year old boy and his parent with sights set on the 2020 OTs are delusional.

USAUSAUSA
Reply to  Jen
1 year ago

What’s the most downvoted comment in SwimSwam history?

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  USAUSAUSA
1 year ago

Search “Yozhik.”

SwimFan49
Reply to  Jen
1 year ago

2020 OTs …. as in the meet that is like 7 mos. away?!?!?!

DMacNCheez
Reply to  SwimFan49
1 year ago

Y’all are missing that this article is reposted by SwimSwam every 6 months or so to generate traffic, and you’re replying to a 2 year old comment from Jen. I am sure they’ve gotten the message by now.

EatonHS
Reply to  Jen
1 year ago

I have always been taught to let the coaches coach, the parents parent, and the swimmers swim. It is the perfect balance of powers. If one power trys to take control of another or interferes then everyone suffers. I believe that that balance should be followed as closely as possible.

Jimbo
3 years ago

And I thought my sets were bad

Bolles Alum
3 years ago

FMO Group under Gregg Troy and Larry Shofe. If you don’t know then you couldn’t hang.

Blackflag82
Reply to  Bolles Alum
3 years ago

Friday mornings…everyone else got to do weights, we got those wonderful things like a 10k for time

SYS Alum
Reply to  Bolles Alum
3 years ago

Shofe often gave out famous Troy sets to the FMO group in Sarasota. Hearing “FMO in the diving well” still gives me chills. RIP the legend of Larry Shofe. Not a day goes by where I don’t miss that man.

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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