Sarah Sjöström and Adam Peaty Share Their Favourite Sets

Sarah Sjöström of Sweden and Adam Peaty of Great Britain both had incredible success this summer.

Sjöström won World Championship gold in the 50 and 100 butterfly as well as the 50 freestyle. She set a new world record in the 50 freestyle and although she finished second in the 100 freestyle to American Simone Manuel she set a new world record in the event leading off the Swedish 4 x 100 freestyle relay.

After Budapest Sjöström competed in the World Cup events in Moscow, Berlin and Eindhoven. In the final stop she set new world records in both the short course 100 and 200 freestyle. During the three competitions she collected 266 points to lead the World Cup standings, 90 points ahead of Hungarian Katinka Hosszu.

Peaty won the 50 and 100 breaststroke at the World Championships along with setting a new world record in the 50 breaststroke. He also took home a silver as part of Great Britain’s men’s 4 x 100 medley relay team.

Both Sjöström and Peaty were kind enough to share their favourite sets with the SwimSwam readers.

Sarah Sjöström

  • 40 x 50 freestyle LCM @ 50
    • 10 at 32
    • 10 at 31
    • 10 at 30
    • 10 at 29

“That is a really good endurance set for me,” Sjöström told SwimSwam.

“I also like different sprint sets where you go 25s from a dive. The fast stuff.”

Adam Peaty

“The toughest sets for me are heart rate sets,” said Peaty. “My favourite sets are threshold sets.”

  • 20 x 100 LCM @1:25 or 1:30
    • 75 free/25 breast
    • Descend the blocks of four 1-4
    • Through the set holding between 1:05 and 1:00
    • The last few at 57 or 56

“I enjoy pushing myself when all my mind is working on something. If I am just going up and down the pool I don’t really enjoy it.”

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6 years ago

It’s pretty amazing that a strong guy like Peaty can hold that kind of speed for a 30minute set (as people here have projected, he is probably swimming moderate speed freestyle for 75, and then hitting the last 25 of breaststroke pretty hard), on a pretty quick interval (given how much he is pushing the 25breast).

I’m overall surprised that these are some of Sarah and Adam’s favorite sets though – I expected to see a multi-round set of fast 50s and 25s when I clicked on the article.

6 years ago


6 years ago

I am going to do BOTH those in my next visit to the pool . However I have decided to halve the distances .

6 years ago


6 years ago

What are Sarah’s intervals on each round?

Reply to  Fluidg
6 years ago

It’s always on .50

X Glide
6 years ago

Wait, for Peaty’s set, if you’re finishing the 100 with a 25@1:02 pace, which is probably around what his speed would be, his first 50 would have to be about around :40 wouldn’t it? Which is like pushing a 54 100 free pace. Isn’t that pretty quick in LCM? I’d bet that that would be around a 1:48 200 freestyle if he can do that multiple times at the end of the set where he’s tired and has been holding a pretty fast pace

Reply to  X Glide
6 years ago

He’s more than likely doing that 25 breast in around 14-15 seconds so he would need to be around 46-50 seconds at 75m to be between 1:00 and 1:05. Those 75 times probably wouldn’t be too difficult for a swimmer of his caliber even though he’s not known for being a great freestyler. There are probably hundreds of club swimmers in the US that can repeat a 75m free around 46-50 seconds but the focus is hitting the last 25 of breast really hard (2nd 50 of 100 pace type speed). Not very impressive for freestyle but definitely impressive when 1/4 of each repeat is done breaststroke.

Steve Nolan
6 years ago

I’m starting to see why Sjostrom is keen on moving into shorter events.

expert coach
6 years ago

i like to see sarah is doing 25s from the blocks. drop dead sprints are important for her. both of them should have more race pace rather than these non-specific aerobic sets imho. surprising that swimmers on this level don’t have access to the latest literature.

Reply to  expert coach
6 years ago

I find it amusing that in giving this advice you use the alias “Expert Coach”…

Reply to  expert coach
6 years ago

Yes clearly this is the only type of work they do, definitely nothing race specific at all in their training.

It’s amazing that people assume everything about a world record holders training from one set they said they like to do. The point of threshold work is to help increase aerobic capacity and muscle endurance so they can finish their 100’s. They absolutely do race pace work but they aren’t just swimming 50’s at their big meets. Thankfully for Adam and Sarah they don’t have coaches like you and instead have coaches that will allow them to get better in events that last longer than 25-26 seconds. The reason Sarah and Adam can break world records is because they can… Read more »

Delusional Thoughts from Fantasy Island
Reply to  expert coach
6 years ago

How, oh HOW will they ever learn to OBLITERATE world records year after year if they don’t read the latest literature?!? oh wait….

Reply to  expert coach
6 years ago

20 years ago there were coaches saying you don’t need specific strength training to be a swimmer. If you wanna be the future don’t rely on the past. Your own way go a long way..

About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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