Swim nerds everywhere got into a frenzy last week upon reading a tweet from Olympian Ryan Lochte‘s training group, @SwimMACElite. In fact, the post highlighted SwimSwam’s ‘Top Ten Tweets of the Week’ at the number four spot, due to its secretive puzzle.
The tweet, alluding to an incredible feat accomplished in an everyday practice for the world-class athletes based in Charlotte, North Carolina, read as follows:
Saw today that sub 5-min 500yd back was possible
— Team Elite (@SwimMacElite) October 6, 2015
For the past week, SwimSwammers fired off their guesses as to who the owned sub-5:00 500 yard backstroke in-practice performance. ‘MARKSTER’ simply responded to the post with “My guess is Clary”, while other readers got more specific. ‘@HollywoodinDC’ submitted a blanket time of 4:53.57, while yours truly (@RettaRace) threw out a guess of 4:57.60, each not associating the time with a particular swimmer. ‘SWIMDOC’ came out with yet another plot twist-guess of, “Who says it was a guy? What about Coventry?”
Heading straight to the source, SwimMAC Elite Assistant Coach Christie Shefchunas was able to give SwimSwam and our readers the answer. And the answer is…..both Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary clocked sub-5:00 500 backstrokes in practice last week.
We’re told the two performed the achievement as part of a 3-round monster set, with 1300 yards a round, each with a 500 backstroke as the ending swim. The first round had the 500 as ‘strong build’, second round had it as ‘stronger build’, while the third round was to be at ‘race’.
Both Lochte and Clary threw down their incredible times of 4:44 and 4:56, respectively on the third round of the set. That’s averaging 56.8 per 100 for Lochte and 59.2 per 100 for Clary.
Now, the next mystery to be solved is how we mere mortals can replicate their performances.