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Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story
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This monster set has been the subject of rumour and discussion on many occasions and as I have access to someone who would know the “real story’, I thought I’d ask someone who’d know - his coach at the time, Josh Stern:

Ha.
The rumours are funny.
I think 10:00 intervals became the story because it averaged out to faster than 10:00 per 1000.
What really happened is this - some Aussie Open water 10/25K swimmer was in Boston during the summer and he did a set at a summer club pool that was 20 x 1000 Free.
We heard about it and Erik wanted to go farther - thought 25 was good but "anybody" could do that so we decided 30.
We knew we needed 5 hours so he came in 3 hours early for practice (which was 3 & 1/2 hours back then).
We started at 1 on 11:00, 1 on 10:00, 1 on 9:50, 1 on 9:40, 1 on 9:30
Then 1 on 10:15 and 3 on 9:45, 1 on 9:30
Then 5 on 10:00 and so on
Around #17-#19 we realised that Erik hadn't eaten anything (ANYTHING!) before he came in to train.
So we threw a 11:00 1000 around #21 or #22 and shoved a granola bar down his throat with some sports drink or water.
He hung tough through #23 and #24, and blasted through the last 6 where the intervals stayed at 10:00.
He finished well under 5 hours even with the 11:00 food interval (I think he was 3-5 min under) so that's probably where the whole 10:00 interval came from.
His slowest 1000s were around 18-22 but he was never slower than 10:00 on any of them except the first 1000 he did which was 10:10 or 10:15 on the 1000 #1 on 11:00 - he was under on all the 10:30 as well as the 11:00 food stop.
I wrote all the times down when he did it - as well as the 500 splits - and kept every split during each 1000 to keep count.
He did negative split every 1000 - I don't think he even remembers that - except towards 18 or 19 when he started to have trouble counting... that's when we realised he hadn't eaten anything before training. (ugh) He started to phase out mentally until we got some food in him.
Man, what a great kid Erik was. Just a great, great kid.

The rumours are better - much easier to follow and understand. The reality was that the set was much, much harder than 30 x 1000 on 10:00.
It probably would have been better if we did the 10:00 intervals for all of it. I just wanted him to change speeds more and control every swim.

So there you have it. Certainly one of the ‘all time’ workouts!
Last edited by: gunsbuns: Feb 8, 15 22:29
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [gunsbuns] [ In reply to ]
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I'm really starting to believe Australia just has a better gene pool.
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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GreenPlease wrote:
I'm really starting to believe Australia just has a better gene pool.

???? huh?

Vendt is American.

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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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Well Erik is from Massachusetts, so I'm not really sure what you're getting at there...
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [gunsbuns] [ In reply to ]
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Please tell me this is yards.

IG: idking90
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [iank] [ In reply to ]
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yeah, it was yards... Well, being from Mass, yaaads.

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2020 National Masters Champion - M50-54 - 50m Butterfly
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
GreenPlease wrote:
I'm really starting to believe Australia just has a better gene pool.


???? huh?

Vendt is American.

My bad. It was late and my instinct is to just assume something crazy like that was done by an Australian.
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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Now that I think about it, doing that in meters would mean he was almost without a doubt the WR holder in anything 400 and up, considering the record is only about :58/100m pace for the 1500, so being able to hold at least :59/100 for 30k would make holding the same pace for 1500m child's play.

IG: idking90
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [iank] [ In reply to ]
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iank wrote:
Now that I think about it, doing that in meters would mean he was almost without a doubt the WR holder in anything 400 and up, considering the record is only about :58/100m pace for the 1500, so being able to hold at least :59/100 for 30k would make holding the same pace for 1500m child's play.

Well, I wasn't going to come straight out and say that it was a stupid question, but, yeah, it was a stupid question ;-)

Swimming Workout of the Day:

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2020 National Masters Champion - M50-54 - 50m Butterfly
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [gunsbuns] [ In reply to ]
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Obviously he did not consider this to be a big deal or he would have had breakfast first.
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [gunsbuns] [ In reply to ]
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gunsbuns wrote:
This monster set has been the subject of rumor and discussion on many occasions and as I have access to someone who would know the “real story’, I thought I’d ask someone who’d know - his coach at the time, Josh Stern:

Ha.
The rumors are funny.
I think 10:00 intervals became the story because it averaged out to faster than 10:00 per 1000.
What really happened is this - some Aussie Open water 10/25K swimmer was in Boston during the summer and he did a set at a summer club pool that was 20 x 1000 Free.
We heard about it and Erik wanted to go farther - thought 25 was good but "anybody" could do that so we decided 30.
We knew we needed 5 hours so he came in 3 hours early for practice (which was 3 & 1/2 hours back then).
We started at 1 on 11:00, 1 on 10:00, 1 on 9:50, 1 on 9:40, 1 on 9:30
Then 1 on 10:15 and 3 on 9:45, 1 on 9:30
Then 5 on 10:00 and so on
Around #17-#19 we realized that Erik hadn't eaten anything (ANYTHING!) before he came in to train.
So we threw a 11:00 1000 around #21 or #22 and shoved a granola bar down his throat with some sports drink or water.
He hung tough through #23 and #24, and blasted through the last 6 where the intervals stayed at 10:00.
He finished well under 5 hours even with the 11:00 food interval (I think he was 3-5 min under) so that's probably where the whole 10:00 interval came from.
His slowest 1000s were around 18-22 but he was never slower than 10:00 on any of them except the first 1000 he did which was 10:10 or 10:15 on the 1000 #1 on 11:00 - he was under on all the 10:30 as well as the 11:00 food stop.
I wrote all the times down when he did it - as well as the 500 splits - and kept every split during each 1000 to keep count.
He did negative split every 1000 - I don't think he even remembers that - except towards 18 or 19 when he started to have trouble counting... that's when we realised he hadn't eaten anything before training. (ugh) He started to phase out mentally until we got some food in him.
Man, what a great kid Erik was. Just a great, great kid.

The rumors are better - much easier to follow and understand. The reality was that the set was much, much harder than 30 x 1000 on 10:00.
It probably would have been better if we did the 10:00 intervals for all of it. I just wanted him to change speeds more and control every swim.

So there you have it. Certainly one of the ‘all time’ workouts!

So, basically he swam 30,000 yds (18.2 mi) in around 4:55-ish on about 500-600 calories. Using a rough equivalence of 1000 yd = 2 mi run, that would be like a 60 mile run on at most 600 cal. Just think how much faster he would have gone with a proper "nutrition plan". "Nutrition" is way over-rated:)

In any case, that is one of the most amazing workouts ever!!!



"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [gunsbuns] [ In reply to ]
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I'm just on the edge of calling bullshit on this workout, but it could be possible, and he is one of the best distance swimmers we have ever produced. Doing them on the 10 minutes is a very makable workout for sure for this guy, but once you drill down to the actual set, well it needs some perspective. So during the set it says he did one of his 1000's on the 9;30. So just giving him 1 second per 100, that brings him in at about 9;20. Push that pace out onto a 16;50, and that is about a 15;30, from a push off, in the middle of a monster set, and unshaved and presumable untapered. The number of guys that can even break that time in a workout situation stand alone in the US, well you could probably count them on one hand. So just that one swim is only about 30 or so seconds off what he would do in a big meet, shaved, tapered, and off the blocks( 1650 ), and he did this twice?

So personally it seems unlikely, but not impossible i guess. That part of the swim would have been virtually as hard as he could go, basically race pace for this tired, unshaved, push off. I'm guessing that on many of the other swims it must have been touch and go too, especially the 9;45 base ones to have been able to make those two 9;20+ swims.

And all of this super high level swimming on basically no food too? Something sounds fishy to me..
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [monty] [ In reply to ]
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"Around #17-#19 we realised that Erik hadn't eaten anything (ANYTHING!) before he came in to train. "

Yeah, that part didn't happen. When was the last time you saw a swimmer (particularly a late teens / early 20's male) without food in his hand?

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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [monty] [ In reply to ]
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Coach strikes me as pretty honest - mind you, Yanks are prone to exaggerate on the odd occasion. Someone in the ST world must know or live near Erik. Why not ask the man himself, though he's probably blocked it out as a bad dream.
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [ericmulk] [ In reply to ]
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For Vendt, 4:55 would have been about 85% of his race pace. So this was probably closer to a brisk walk then a run for him. So calorie wise, this was "just" a 5 hour hike, not a 60 mile run ;-)

Actually, it was like a 5 hour trainer ride with no music or video in a room with white walls. The dude is lucky he came out of this with his sanity!
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [STP] [ In reply to ]
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or Vendt, 4:55 would have been about 85% of his race pace. So this was probably closer to a brisk walk then a run for him. So calorie wise, this was "just" a 5 hour hike, not a 60 mile run ;-)

But that is not what he did. Some of the swims in the middle were at 4;40 pace or so. WHat you propose is like saying that a guy ran 30 miles in 3 hours, but ignoring that two of the miles were a 3;55. How probably is that scenario? That is about what they are saying Vendt did in the pool, on no calories no less!
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [STP] [ In reply to ]
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STP wrote:
For Vendt, 4:55 would have been about 85% of his race pace. So this was probably closer to a brisk walk then a run for him. So calorie wise, this was "just" a 5 hour hike, not a 60 mile run ;-)
Actually, it was like a 5 hour trainer ride with no music or video in a room with white walls. The dude is lucky he came out of this with his sanity!

4:55 = 295 min, 295/30 ==> 9:50/1000 yd vs his AR of 8:36, so he was going around 59.0 per 100 yd vs his all-out 1000 pace of 51.6/100. IMO, that's eqv to a brisk running pace, not a brisk walk, but perhaps you are exaggerating.


"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [monty] [ In reply to ]
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Well, he may not have had breakfast but no one knows how much pizza he eat the night before . . .
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [monty] [ In reply to ]
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I could see where there would be skeptics. But I tend to believe this. I've watched a lot of swimming and some kids (never me!) just seem to be freaky distance swimmers. While they might never swim much faster than a 50 second stand-alone 100, they can hold 55's all day long and you don't see a huge difference in their pace for a 500, 1,000 or 1650. Eva Fabian (an american open water swimmer who went to Yale) is a great swimmer who I've seen at many races who always struck me as being like this. I think Vendt's best 1000 is in the 8:30's so it wouldn't surprise me if he could back a minute or so off of that and hold that pace for a considerable period of time.

I do doubt he did this having not eaten for 12 hours! But given how legends grow, I'm surprised that by now the story isn't something to the effect that he did it coming off an all-night bender.

What I find interesting about Vendt (which actually kind of cuts against my premise) is that he got pretty competitive in the 200 toward the end of his career. In any event, it's a cool story that certainly has been around for a while.
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [wbp] [ In reply to ]
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While they might never swim much faster than a 50 second stand-alone 100, they can hold 55's all day long and you don't see a huge difference in their pace for a 500, 1,000 or 1650.//

I agree, but this is a 30,000!! His best all out 1000 shaved, tapered, from a dive, and with the cheater suit was about 8;37. Someone mentioned that it would have been a brisk walk for him, I contend that it may have been the greatest workout of his life, if he in fact did do it as it was layer out here. That is about 19x 1650's, with two of them at about 15;30, and several more between there and 16 minutes. I too have seen some freaky distance guys, who can just hold this monster pace for a very long time. I guess he could have recovered enough on the slower ones, but in workout a 15;20+ would have to be all out i would imagine, and twice!
Last edited by: monty: Feb 9, 15 13:26
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [monty] [ In reply to ]
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He was a pretty handy swimmer though - a couple of Oly medals puts him up there and he also did have a reputation for being a very hard nosed trainer. Put those two together. How many out there have swum with or watched train at their local pool swimmers of this calibre? (Not counting watching warm up/downs at nationals, worlds etc).
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [gunsbuns] [ In reply to ]
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This is well documented and there were lots of witnesses. Vendt's appetite for training remains legendary. I'm from Massachusetts and know peiople who trained with him. The guy was borderline masochistic.

Also, note that Larsen Jensen completed 17 X 1,500 LCM on 20:00. He was shooting for 20, didn't get there. To me, that's equally insane.
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [hiro11] [ In reply to ]
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Long time lurker, first time poster - wanted to add some credibility to the story.

I was on the team at the time Erik did this. We used to train out of Brown University and as was typical, our Saturday mornings were the real long practices of the week. I know Josh mentioned we were at 3.5 hours on Saturdays, but I think we were at 5 hours by then (typically 9am to 2pm).

Anyway, we showed up for our normal practice time and Erik was already in the water doing the set - Lane 1 if I remember correctly. Which, in Brown's old pool, when setup for short course, was shallow the entire length. Not that it's important, just how I remember it.

I can't say for sure what his caloric intake was, mainly because the rest of us had a practice to do. However, I do remember that being an issue of discussion sometime after the set - so it's possible, I just can't verify it. Probably more interesting, and you should ask Josh this, was that we actually went to a teammate's Bat Mitzvah that same night - and I recall him being in quite high spirits - even though most of would probably have slept the next three days if we tried.

Regarding his propensity to train - unrivaled. Dude could put down in training - I've seen him do 500's from a push at 4:25, 200m LC under 2min from a push, among other incredible sets. So does the pace and times surprise me, no, Erik thrived on those types of sets.
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [gunsbuns] [ In reply to ]
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This is the most amazing set I've ever heard of on any national or international level!!
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Re: Erik Vendt 30 x 1000 - The True story [hiro11] [ In reply to ]
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Also, note that Larsen Jensen completed 17 X 1,500 LCM on 20:00. He was shooting for 20, didn't get there. To me, that's equally insane. //

It is not even close. What they are saying Eric did in equal terms to Larsen's set, was 19 X1500m on the 16;30. So if you think that 17 on the 20 min is bad ass, add a couple and make it 16;30. Now you can see why i'm a bit skeptical..


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