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.


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.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

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

4 years ago

#OldSchool #LoveIt

Reply to  pwb
4 years ago

#hashtag ; )

4 years ago

Now thats a sadistic workout.

Reply to  Lelada
2 years ago

Clearly works….

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.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Maybe not everyone swims the set freestyle

Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

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

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
8 months 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!

Reply to  CACrushers
8 months 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?

Reply to  Braden Keith
8 months 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?

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 …

Read More »