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Funky Trunker in Finland

5 March 2020

Anton Herrala trains with Sprinttitalli, a sprint group in the TaTU swim squad in Finland.

We caught up with Funky Trunker Anton Herrala, an elite Finnish swimmer striving for Olympic selection to find out what training is like in one of the coldest, but according to the 2018 UN World Happiness Report, the happiest nation in the world (they obviously didn?t survey swimmers on their way to morning training).

Anton wears Point Break Plain Front Trunks

Originally from Jyväskylä in Finland's Lakeland, Anton is now a member of the Finnish national team and Tampere's TaTU swim squad. A sprinter at heart, Anton rates his most memorable swim as part of a relay team that swam for 36 hours and completed 120km across stunning Finnish lakes, an event that takes place once every 10 years. It sounds amazing but not exactly a sprinter's paradise.

What does your typical weekly training schedule look like?

I train in a sprint group called Sprinttitalli, so everything we do is focused on faster swimming. We typically swim 1.5 hours per session and the most important practices are two evenings when we swim 50 metres race pace and two evenings at 100 metres pace. In the mornings we have sprints, skills and aerobic work and we always concentrate on things we need to improve.

How is your training program suited to a sprint swimmer?

On Saturdays we aim to compete, but, if there are no races nearby, we do kickboxing or yoga with a short swim after. The gym is important for power and core work. However, you don't get quicker by just swimming fast, so we also take good care of recovery. We train hard for 2.5 weeks and at the end of every third week we have a recovery period.

What do you do to get yourself ready before a race? Do you listen to specific music or have any pre-race rituals?

I have the same routine before every important race, so I know I'll be well prepared before the start. I arrive 2 hours before and for the first 30 minutes I chat with people and go to the physio. Then I wake up my body and my mind with dryland, followed by a pool set. Half an hour before my start I get out of the water and listen to music that makes me feel happy!

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