Workout Analysis: Chloe Sutton


By Bonnie Moss//Correspondent

Olympian distance ace, Chloe Sutton, has put in years of solid endurance training, starting out as an open water champion, then switching gears to racing in the pool.

“Her training was always improving because she always wanted to be better than the very best. I would put it up there, but she had to be the one to do it,” says her Mission Viejo Nadadores coach, Bill Rose.

Typical Sutton Sets
Sutton trains with fellow open water swimmer Ashley Twichell. Together they focus heavily on race pace in the majority of their workouts.

During the middle of the season, on a heavy-training day, Sutton’s main set will consist of work that will improve her 800. She will swim 32 x 100s (LCM) on a 1:20 pace. For the first three, she will swim a solid effort, holding 1:10-1:12 and then on the fourth 100, she will swim it for time (from a push), and hold 1:01. Then she repeats this cycle eight times to add up to 32 x 100s. Coach Rose then takes her times on every fourth and adds them up, comparing them to her best 800 time. So far, her best overall time in this set has added up to an 8:06. Her best 800 free time in an official race is an 8:24.

Another common set for Sutton is what’s known as “multiply, descend, divide, descend” where Coach Rose reinforces control. Sutton has to swim fast enough to make the interval, and fast enough to get sufficient rest, but not too fast or she won’t be able to descend within the set. The ladder, based on a 1:15/100(m) interval is: 100, 200, 400, 800, 800, 400, 200, 100. The 200 must be faster than the first 100 time doubled, the 400 must be faster than the 200 time doubled, the 800 faster than the 400 time doubled, the second 800 must be faster than the first 800, and so on. The other way Coach Rose gives this set is to increase Sutton’s interval to a 1:20 pace per 100, yet giving it a ceiling time of 1:09 – meaning she can’t go slower than that. This eliminates any ability to start out too easy.

Both of these sets provide the physical endurance threshold training, but also give Sutton the tools to practice control, strategy and mental endurance.

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