Taking 5 with Jordan Wilimovsky

by SwimSwam 1

June 26th, 2018 Open Water

Courtesy: Eney Jones

Some swimmers are tough to catch up with in the water and on land. Jordan Wilimovsky is one such swimmer. Two weeks ago he won the 1 mile and the 10k at the Flowers Sea Swim in the Cayman Islands and last weekend he won the Santa Monica Pier 360 Open Water Festival in California. Wilimovsky is the first (and only)  American male swimmer to qualify for the Olympics in the pool and in Open Water.

 #1 What motivates you and gives you strength?

I think I  get motivation from the people around me. Making the U.S. Olympic Team and  U.S. National Team with some pretty incredible athletes has been very motivating. Making the World’s team, Olympic team, or whatever team it is, inspires me to learn from those around me and get back in the pool and try to get better and make the team again next year. My brother Alec Wilimovsky, an ITU triathlete trains with me sometimes when he is not racing in Europe which is super fun.

#2  You seem very comfortable going back and forth from the pool to the open water. How do you sharpen your mind and physically prepare? What is your favorite pool set?  What are your favorite open water conditions?

I feel I’m prepared to race by just doing the work in training everyday. I don’t really try and change my stroke or anything for open water or think of it as being something different too much. For me it’s just another race that I wanna try and win. Favorite open water condition would probably be one that is similar to a pool, temp in the high 70s and calm water without too much chop or current, but like I said before I don’t worry about it too much, I just focus on my own race. Definitely not my favorite set, but one I think has been very helpful for me and one we do pretty often is 30x100s on 1:30  holding best average. (:56- :57) Long Course Meters.

#3 Diet, fueling and refueling. What would a typical day of food be like? Does it vary on race day?

I think more recently, especially this past year, I’ve tried  to eat healthier and cook most of my meals but I do have a pretty big sweet tooth. That’s something I’ve definitely learned from being around athletes on the national team, the importance of nutrition. Usually have a protein shake before morning training, then after morning practice I’ll come back home and have eggs, avocado, a smoothie, and a bagel or something. For lunch I go for salmon with rice and spinach and mushrooms. Grab another snack on the way to afternoon practice, then for dinner have some kinda steak or chicken with pasta and some veggies. And then I’ll have another snack before I go to sleep, maybe some fruit or yogurt, or if it was a big workout that day I’ll go for ice cream. I don’t really try and switch anything up on race day, just stick to what I’m comfortable with.

#4  I love the story of how you got into swimming by failing a lifeguard test (at 9 years old – summer camp) You seem to be one of those successful people who view setbacks and problems as challenges. How do you do that?

Yeah, I’m not super sure to be honest. I think if you are surrounded by good people it’s easy to bounce back from a set back and try and figure out a way to solve a problem. I’m pretty lucky to be around those kind of people that have always been willing to help me out and help me reach my goals.

#5  I view your strengths as having laser focus and incredible discipline. What is a weakness that you are working on?

I would say something I have been working on for a long time is efficiency in my stroke. Having a lower count and rate. That’s something where every year I try and get a little bit better at it and hopefully over a few seasons see a big gain.

Eney Jones has achieved remarkably diverse success as a leading pool, open water and Ironman triathlon swimmer.

  • Masters National Champion 100-200-400-500-1500-1650 5k freestyle 2009
  • Open Water 5k Champion Perth Australia, May 2008.
  • National Masters Champion 200-400-1500 freestyle Champion, Portland Oregon, August, 2008.
  • Overall Champion Aumakua 2.4k Maui Hawaii, September 2008
  • Waikiki Rough Water Swim 3rd place 2006, second place Overall 2009, 3rd place 2012
  • European Record Holder and Masters Swimming Champion, 2005. Records included 200, 400, 800, 1500 m freestyle
  • Over twenty time finalist in U.S. Swimming Nationals, including Olympic Trials 1980
  • Gold medal NCAA 800 yd freestyle relay 1979, silver Medalist 200 yd freestyle 1979. United States National Team 1979-1980.
  • Professional Triathlete 1983-1991. First woman out of the water in every Hawaiian Ironman participated (6).


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I am curious about this set:” one we do pretty often is 30x100s on 1:30 holding best average. (:56- :57) Long Course Meters”
Would this build anaerobic capacity vs. aerobic? Vs. shorter rest interval? I assume distance swimmers do both types of sets?
Thanks for the interview with JW

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