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The Importance of Fly Kicks

Consistent kick is a must.  Swimmers need to understand momentum and maintain it especially through the break out strokes or the transition between the underwater and swimming. Most swimmers make the mistake of slowing the kick before the break out strokes thus increasing drag and slowing momentum before trying to swim.  A consistent kick will help maintain a better body position in the water throughout the swim.

http://www.viddler.com/explore/FasterSwim/videos/253/

Fly kicking on the side helps swimmers understand the importance of kicking both directions with equal force.  This will help with working the up kick needed for speed during the swim.

http://www.viddler.com/explore/FasterSwim/videos/254/

Fly kicking off of the wall.

1. Kick immediately upon leaving the wall.

2. Keep you upper body still to reduce drag and focus on a tight streamline.

3. You could actually turn your body slightly towards the wall which will help affect(more force) more water.

4. Kick up and down with equal force.

http://www.viddler.com/explore/FasterSwim/videos/255/

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Why Swim On Top of the Water When the Fastest Part Is Under Water?

Momentum, Momentum, Momentum

“When an external force acts upon a body, it changes its momentum; however, when no external force acts, the momentum of the body does not change, a fact which is incorporated in the principle of ‘the conservation of momentum’. Therefore, momentum has come to be known as the force of motion that a moving body acquires in continuing its motion by virtue of inertia.” If you can understand this concept then you will be a very happy swimmer.

Maintaining a proper streamline and being able to time your breakout into your swimming is key to fast swimming. If you ever do anything underwater and feel yourself slow down then you have lost momentum. Momentum will be different for each athlete based on body type, flexibility and skill level. What and how you do your underwater mechanics and how you breakout into your swimming all effects momentum.

As often as possible you must try to keep the 4 H’s in line (Hands, Head, Hips and Heels).

The biggest momentum killer for all strokes is the transition from the underwater swimming to the actual swimming on top of the water. Swimmers and coaches do not spend enough time on this aspect of swimming. This is major especially when a swimmer comes off a wall in an un-streamlined position, not kicking, then deciding to breakout of the water too deep and deciding to breath first thing.

Sound familiar?

Use each wall in practice to break your bad habits. The fastest part of swimming is underwater when done correctly. Why do you think the 15-meter rule, and original rules of breaststroke were made?

BACKSTROKE:

A slow down in timing with improper body position will kill momentum. Keeping the head back, controlling the breathing and maintaining the speed of the kick will help maintain momentum. Increasing stroke count through (each lap) your swims will help maintain momentum.

BREASTSTROKE:

Momentum is lost when a swimmer loses control of body position. Speed is in the kick. Swimmers must remember to never let the time between the finish of a kick and start of the next kick get slower. The time between the finish and start of the kick can tell the story of timing. A constant pace must be maintained at this part of the swim whether it is faster for sprints or slightly slower for other swims. You must control the timing of the kick while maintaining proper mechanics of the pull.

FREESTYLE:

Breathing, head position, finish of stroke while maintaining a constant kick will all affect momentum. Learning how to maintain these mechanics during the race will greatly affect the finish of the race and momentum.

Momentum is lost when a swimmer loses control of body position.

BUTTERFLY:

Momentum is lost when the speed of the kick slows. A non-kick, slow kick or bad timing will only make all the other mechanics worse. Timing is key to proper mechanics and momentum.

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Timing and Rhythm During Breathing and Stroke

BACKSTROKE:

There is a breathing pattern in backstroke. Each swimmer will be a bit different. Have each swimmer determine his or her breathing pattern. The concentration should be during the exhale of the breath with the finish of a stroke this could be every right arm finish or any variation. Tell swimmers as they are sprinting that as they try to increase to rate of exhaling that this will help maintain or increase the turnover of the stroke.  Timing of the kick must be short and faster, as the kick falls apart during the backstroke so goes the stroke. While maintaining a faster and shorter kick remember to finish the stroke near the thigh and the surface of the water. There should be no delay from the finish of one stroke to the beginning of another. This is a major problem with the backstroke with many swimmers. Make sure that the swimmers are finishing the stroke correctly. Most swimmers finish the stroke too deep or off to the side of the body.

FREESTYLE:

Timing of the breath and proper breathing is the most important concept to instill in the swimmer. The first thing a swimmer must be able to do is learning how to exhale while the mouth is in the water so there is only inhaling while the mouth is out of the water. A lot of swimmers take time to exhale and inhale during the breath thus slowing the breathing process and throwing off timing and body position by turning the head to a non-streamline position creating drag and usually affecting the hips. The breathing process begins during the catch of the stroke and is completed at the front end of the pull. If a swimmer sees his or her arm during the breath then they are breathing late.

Timing of the breath is the most important beginning to freestyle. If you can teach this it will eliminate many errors in mechanics. For example: If a swimmer doesn’t kick or the kick slows during the breath then the breath is too late. If a swimmer has a hip swing it could be due to the breath and head control. Make sure the swimmer is finishing the stroke in the proper place as to maintain the rotation of the arms.

BREASTSTROKE:

Timing is the most important aspect of this stroke to understand and grasp. Three parts of the stroke are initiated together. While the beginning of the stroke is initiated the swimmer needs to begin lifting the head to for the breath and the kick needs to begin with a slight bend in the knees. All three of these timing issues take a lot of thought and practice. The breath must be at the beginning of the stroke to again reduce drag and help the swimmer with the timing of the kick and pull. Remind swimmers that while the head is out of the water the swimmer needs only to inhale because the exhale of the breath should have been completed while the head was in the streamline position. The pull and the kick must match so the timing is such that they begin together or end together. The kick must be taught with the concept of reducing drag. If the knees are brought under the stomach or outside of the hips then drag is a huge factor. The kick must be kept behind the hips and is as much of a streamline position as possible. Body position is key all strokes as it is to breaststroke. Teach the kick with the thoughts of being streamline all the way through the swim, initiating the kick, during and especially at the finish of the kick. Most swimmers pull and kick at different times and never achieve a streamline position during any portion of the swim. It is easy to spot timing problems in this stroke, as you will see a pause after the pull because the swimmer is now waiting on the kick to start forward momentum again. Timing is such that as the swimmer is doing the recovery part of the pull he or she is kicking back thus always-maintaining forward momentum while reducing drag.

BUTTERFLY:

The initial start of the stroke with the timing and the kick is the same as the breaststroke. During the catch of the stroke the swimmer begins to lift his or her head for the breath and a down kick is done at the same time. There are two kicks per stroke and each kick has two parts an up kick and a down kick. The down kicks are timed with the catch and finish of the stroke. The up kick in fly is seldom taught and help the swimmer maintain the speed of the kick and momentum. Teach the swimmers how to kick and up as well as down equally. A good way to do this is kicking on the side.

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Developing Race Strategies and Breathing Tips for your Swimmers

Age-group coaches here some assumptions while developing RACE STRATEGIES and breathing tips for your swimmers.

Remember to incorporate all of this into daily practices so it becomes second nature to your swimmers then you can really focus on their racing!

Assumptions:

1.    Each swimmer will vary on how to swim each event and this should be established between the swimmer and coach.

2.    Training level. How in shape are you at the time of your swim?

3.    What time of the season are you swimming the event? Beginning of the season, heaviest training time or tapered.

4.    Physical/mental capabilities and you know your mental pitfalls better than anyone else.

5.    Remember that this is a training tool for the coach to test and teach the swimmer. While learning it isn’t all about the final time but how that specific time was achieved.

6.    Some swimmers have the ability to swim events differently in a prelim/final meet just to qualify top 8 or 16 at night.

7.    Each swimmer has judged all walls for turns and finishes in warm-up at race pace. The swimmer needs to do a couple of starts to get used to the blocks and this includes a backstroke start.

400 Individual Medley along with breathing tips.

Except for the fly because of the start, each stroke should be negative split by 50. For example, fly :28, :30, back :33, :32, breast :35, :34 and free :29, :28. Splits will vary based on the swimmer’s strengths and weaknesses. Help the swimmer work on splits based on the goal time and work on race pace in practice.

You need to establish the number of fly kicks you are going to maintain thru-out your swim off each wall (breast obviously one). You need to establish this at practice and repeat, repeat, repeat. The more fly kick you are able to do eventually within your physical demands the faster you will swim.

Every time you switch strokes the timing of the stroke changes and your body needs to adapt to the new breathing pattern. “Breathing is your friend”. You need to catch your breath and adapt to the new stroke within the first couple breaths of each stroke.

When doing an open turn (fly, breast and some back to breast transition turns) you need to exhale before you touch the wall so all you are doing when you head is out of the water is inhaling. Most swimmers make the mistake of exhaling and inhaling on the wall. This makes the turn slower and gives you less oxygen to work with to help your distance and momentum off of the wall.

When doing the backstroke turn you need to exhale before rotating on your stomach so you only inhale on the rotation, before your turn. Most swimmers don’t even think about this and the turn takes lots of oxygen. This also plays into the freestyle that obviously is the same turn. When breathing in freestyle remember to exhale while the head is in the water so you only inhale during the breath. If you are trying to exhale and inhale at the same time when your mouth is out of the water then you will develop timing problems and slow your strokes and ruin your mechanics.

Remember that breathing is your friend and the most common mistake swimmers make is not taking enough breaths the first 25 of all races, except the 50 free. You need to start breathing to enable your body to break down lactic acid build-up that will ensue. Lactic acid (lactate) is produced by muscle use and your body breaks it down it thru the breathing process as it tries to supply the muscles with more oxygen to optimize its workload. Without oxygen, there is anaerobic glycolysis which is the break down of carbohydrates which leads to lactic acid to build up in the muscle cells. The process of lactic acid removal takes approximately one hour, but this can be accelerated by undertaking an appropriate warm down which ensures a rapid and continuous supply of oxygen to the muscles. Lactic acid eventually gets converted to mainly carbon dioxide and water while it also gets converted to glycogen, protein, and glucose.

The 50 can be completed with 2, 1 or zero breaths as it is a race that is usually completed within 30 seconds for most year-round swimmers. Remember that this must be practiced regularly prior to racing. When deciding how to plan your breaths you need to keep in mind that if you wait until you need a breath it is probably too late and that particular breath mechanically will slow you down.

Your muscles can continue to work with maximum output up to 30 seconds before they totally tighten-up and stop working due to lactic acid build-up. Swimmers usually wonder why they died in a particular race and a lot can be answered by understanding oxygen deprivation and what it does to your body. Oxygen deprivation leads to a quicker build-up of lactate which makes it harder for the body to use oxygen (lack of) to break down lactate as described above.

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Masters Swimmers – Start Using Your Legs!

Kicking and recovery swimming are two very important parts of your daily workouts that you need to take seriously!

Most of the master swimmers especially if you swam age-group, high school or collegiate swimming in the 80’s or earlier need to incorporate into your practices kicking and recovery swimming.  We (and I am including myself) need to remember as our bodies age, it has to recover to help the muscle growth. You need to feed your body appropriately before and after each workout.  You need to be smarter as an adult.  Sounds like the preaching never ends but if you want to do your best be smart about it.

Kicking should be close to 50% of your workout. Use kicking not because it is important but as an opportunity to recover your upper body during a set or every other set. Legs are the most neglected part of swimming and the hardest to get into shape.  Think about how much most programs don’t spend on kicking and how much most of you don’t enjoy it.  Use fins and mix it up.

If you are a tri-athlete use kicking to cross train. Kicking drives speed and can help with your open water speed when you need to lift your head to see and move around other swimmers.

Get your legs into shape and enjoy better starts, turns and finishes during your races.

There is more information in the Masters 7 Week Training Manual.

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Seasonal Dryland Considerations – Part 2

Below are some of the considerations that we take into account for our Dryland programming:

Separate swimming and dryland sessions as much as feasible, ideally separated by more than four hours. If separated by less than two hours, swim first.

Dryland should most often follow the order of skill work, speed work, strength work, and then conditioning work. We usually warm up, lift skill and/or explosive lifts (Power Clean, DB Snatch), move to strength work (Bench, Squat), and then to conditioning and deck-based dryland.

Rest between sets is largely determined by the purpose of our work. If more Energy-System based (Conditioning), less rest between sets is the norm, if more Nervous-System based (very fast and/or very heavy work), more rest between sets is the norm.

Testing should occur regularly in pre-season and post-season, and occasionally in-season. 

– We test conditioning the first week of pre-season and usually the second week of in-season in order to get a handle on our strengths and weaknesses and adjust workouts from there.

– We test lifting the third week of pre-season, near the middle of our in-season, and sometimes test one or two lifts as we approach our peaking phase (late in-season).  We test 1rm and use given percentages for our lifts more and more as the season progresses, and especially use percentages while peaking.

Use established standards to test performance. We test our main exercises to ensure not only individual progress (increasing individual test values) but appropriate progress across parameters in regard to established general values (our Athletic and Elite standards for both Strength and Conditioning).

Reduce the demands of the dryland program greatly at least once in-season. We usually do this headed into an important meet mid-season sometime.  This enhanced back-off week allows some insight into what we might need to adjust headed into our peak at the end of the season and allows consolidation of general training gains to that point in the season.  This is a planned back-off week in place of a planned lower-volume week that we cycle through regularly (3 up, 1 down).

Gradually move from more energy-system based work toward more nervous-system based work as the season progresses.  This allows general energy-system fitness to be at a high level as we transition to a peak and higher nervous-system fitness.  This general energy and nervous system fitness then leads us to specific swim fitness and to our peak.

Drop heavy and or fatiguing leg work one to two weeks prior to the peaking phase. Kicking is important to swim performance and we have found that backing off of intense and/or fatiguing leg work (squats, heavy Deadlifts, high rep jumps, etc) as we head into our peaking phase allows for better kicking.

Every tested metric should be at or very near maximum values during the peaking phase. For this reason we lift throughout our peaking phase, dropping volume the last month +/- and maintaining or even increasing intensity (usually moving from 80% of 1rm on Power Cleans to 85%+ throughout our peaking phase, for example) while focusing on acceleration.

The swimmers should focus on peaking their abilities as we move into and through the peaking phase. I have consciously omitted the word “taper” as I feel it allows the athletes to focus on something outside of themselves (a process) and perhaps has a connotation of “ease” or “easier.”  I want them to only focus on peaking their abilities at the end of the season, whatever that requires of them.

Much like any sport’s seasonal plan, our Strength and Conditioning program is divided into phases (as illustrated in the table and alluded to in the above considerations).  Within the framework of these general training blocks (monthly blocks +/-, or mesocycles) we adjust weekly (microcycles) and sessions (both swim and dryland) according to our capacities first, and our needs second.  Addressing what you or your teams are capable of first and then moving on to what needs can be addressed within current capabilities (time available, fitness/fatigue levels, etc) is foundational to lasting progress.  The ability to adjust planning so that athletes continue to adapt favorably to training is key to peaking when planned.  Our general plan is durable (has stood up well season after season) and our specific plan is adaptable (allowing for adjustments as necessary) within this framework.

– Coach John Coffman

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Seasonal Dryland Considerations – Part 1

Dryland is an integral part of our swim training. A solid dryland program allows our swimmers to produce more Force and to have increased Power (capacity). Perhaps just as important, Dryland provides our swimmers with a solid foundation of both durability and adaptability that can be relied upon in the pool. For the sake of clarity, we divide “Dryland” into two separate categories – Strength and Conditioning. For the “Strength” component we strive to exploit the Force curve (F = m x a, Force = mass times acceleration) and most often focus on lifting heavy and/or lifting fast. For the “Conditioning” component we strive to exploit the Power formula (P = w/t, Power = work over time) and focus most of our deck-based (body weight/med ball/etc) conditioning on timed sets with rep goals per set (work per time). Time-based training not only allows us to work together as a team, but also allows us to complete all of the training we want to accomplish in a given window of time. We do combine our training at times and do timed sets that have us lifting at a given % with a rep goal, combined with fast body weight movements… and this training is brutal and confined mostly to Pre-Season training and perhaps the focus of a later article.

A quick note before we get to the meat of this article… We introduce dryland into our club practices early in our swimmers programming, starting with one day per week of deck-based dryland for our middle group (age 10 +/-), progress them to 2 days per week, and then gradually add in lifting components as they move from Middle School to High School. Separating swimming and dryland workouts matters less at the lower levels, and we get dryland sessions in wherever they fit best for any not yet in HS. By the time our swimmers are in High School, it is our goal to have them know what is expected of them and to be able to progress toward team standards in both Strength and Conditioning.

The following table illustrates a typical HS Club season template for our Strength and Conditioning program. The general timeline in the heading row can be reduced for a shorter HS season, or expanded for a somewhat longer college season. As well, you could have post-season running directly into pre-season (overlap) and attempt a double-peak in one year if your season’s timing allows. We account for our work through the Power and Force equations, using work and time (time-based training) for most of our conditioning, and using mass and/or acceleration for most of our lifting. We adjust volume and intensity within the framework below, gradually increasing volume first and then gradually increasing intensity as we drop volume – the base of which is largely accounted for in the table below. Again, we lift both heavy and fast (both ends of the Force curve) year-round. There is rarely, if ever, a dryland session that does not include speed in either lifting or conditioning, or both. We will define our parameters as follows:

WorkTotal Reps, Reps per Set

TimeTotal Time, Time per Set

Mass% of 1rm (one rep max)

Acceleration Speed of the concentric phase of lift(s)

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The Open Turn

The open turn is used for the breast and the butterfly. There is another flip turn for these strokes. I have only been witness to this turn at higher level meets.  This turn takes a lot of practice and excellent judgement especially as the swimmer goes into the third turn of the 100 or continues racing the 200. The key to the other flip turn is that a swimmer must touch with two hands first before the flip. The timing must be perfect upon judging the wall and the swimmers need a tight tuck and have good lungs. Swimmers do this by touching with the back of the hands shoulder-width apart and slightly deeper in the water. Then initiating a tuck, twisting and pushing off the wall with the breast facing down.

Judging the wall is essential. Swimmers must look for the wall with every breath. Your brain constantly perceives distances to an approaching object or walking would be very difficult. Help yourself out and look for the wall. Speaking of breaths, a swimmer must exhale upon touching the wall so as to take advantage of the time that the head is out of the water at the wall. Inhaling should be the only part of the breath when the head is out of the water (every breath should be the same. It is amazing how many advanced swimmers don’t inhale and exhale correctly). If a swimmer exhales and inhales while hanging on the wall the turn will be slower. A swimmer must touch the wall with a full extension of the body in a streamlined position. Swimmers have a tendency to dive for the wall and reach down thus increasing the distance to the wall. Maintain body position! Once the touch has been completed the time it takes you to touch your feet to the wall after the hand touch will determine the speed of the turn. Remember two-hand touch and proper breathing on the wall. When touching the wall the legs must be brought up to the wall with proper placement of the feet. The feet must be placed on the wall so that the push off the wall is parallel to the surface of the water but deep enough to do the pullout or fly kick needed. The legs must be brought up so the knees are pointed to the ceiling or sky (upward). The turn must be completed with the concept in mind that “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line”. Bring the legs up in a tight tuck to the chest using the core of the body including the hips and abdominals. Swimmers need to remember that pushing off the wall with their hands will not create a fast turn. The shoulders must stay at water level and the head must continue to look forward at the wall, until both hands have left the wall and the swimmer has submerged to begin the push off with the legs. The time it takes the swimmer to touch the wall with the legs after the hand touch and the timing of the breath are major factors in speed of the turn. The swimmer must point one arm to the other end of the pool after the touch immediately, during the tuck part of the turn. Once the feet have touched the other arm will leave the wall passing by the head submerging the swimmer for the push off of the wall. The head turns once the second arm passes by. Achieve a tight spike immediately and maintain good body position. You are now ready to begin the underwater pull or fly kick. There are four other open turns and three are transitions involved in the IM, with the fourth hardly used anymore call the “Nabor” turn. This was developed by John Nabor an Olympian backstroker from the 1970’s when you had to touch each wall in the backstroke before turning. This turn will not be described. Please look it up or ask an older swimmer.

Fly to back is as described above with the exception of pushing off with the breast of the swimmer facing up instead of facing down.

Back to breast is initiated as if you are going to do a backstroke finish. When your hand touches the wall you will use your abs and bring your knees to your chest. If you touched the wall with your right hand then you’ll spin your feet towards the right and your left hand will point to the opposite wall initiating the spike. The tighter your tuck the faster you’ll spin. Keep your shoulders at water level.

Breast to free is the same as the open turn described above.

Please feel free to comment or post your ideas for turns!

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Backstroke and Freestyle Turns

Backstroke turn:

Let’s start with the backstroke turn, which technically is the same as the freestyle turn, once the swimmer has changed his or her body position. The last stroke taken from the flags of backstroke is the key stroke where the swimmers change body position to the breast facing the bottom on the pool. When the last stroke is initiated (recovery part) the swimmer leaves the arm over the head with the fingertips pointing to the wall. The swimmer adjusts body position by rotating the shoulders (A swimmer can spin by rotating the shoulders to the desired position while the rest of the body will follow.) to the freestyle position with one arm stretched over the head as if doing a one-arm spike. Remember to take a breath while turning over to the freestyle position. The swimmer is now in proper freestyle body position and ready to begin the first underwater stroke followed by the one allowed, by USA rules, recovery arm stroke then followed by the final underwater stroke thus beginning the turn. The other variation of that begins after the swimmer changes body position with the spiked arm. The swimmer then does the one allowed recovery stroke followed by a double arm underwater stroke (both arms at the same time) into the turn.

Freestyle turn:

Let’s assume that you have mastered judging the wall for your turn. Do not change your arm rotation into the wall as you need to hit the turn as if you are continually swimming. Let’s say that you are going into the wall with your right arm out pointing to the wall meaning that you have completed the underwater part of your left arm. Leave the left arm at your side while starting the underwater stroke of the right arm. When this is complete both arms are at your side. Turn your arms so the hands are facing palms down to the bottom of the pool. You are now ready to initiate the tuck of the turn. Start by bending in half where you bring your legs and chest together. Once this has happened, bring your legs over and your feet to the wall. The tighter the tuck the faster the turn or the closer you can bring your legs to your chest the better. During the tuck you bend your arms to your face using your “arms and hand” to help speed the turn. Once your hands pass your face they will extend past the head into your spike. Do not touch flat footed or come to a stop. Touch with the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent. The turn must be completed as one continuous motion, thus leaving the wall immediately. You may push off of the wall on your back. If on your back you will need to turn on your stomach by rotating your shoulders. This begins after your feet leave the wall and you have achieved a spike. If you are more advanced, you have initiated the shoulder rotation slightly, as you are tucking before the feet hit the wall.

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Tapering Explained with Example Workout

Tapering means a lot more than resting and is a long process to prepare the athlete for a series of championship meets or “The Big Meet”. The athlete will still increase aerobic capacity while developing the speed needed for the end of the season. Developing Speed and Power is the focus for the athlete’s niche events.

Let’s walk through the first taper workout. Each coach will need to adjust this workout based on practice time constraints and ability of the athlete. Set #1 could be completed once. Set #4 could be eliminated as it is a repeat kick set. Set #5 could be changed to 4 x 100 instead of 200’s and you could adjust your speed to 100 Race Pace work.

Warm up:

You will notice that % of effort is noted throughout the workout. Variable Speed is a major part of the workouts. You don’t want your swimmers training at slow speeds for long periods of time so Variable Speed is always used. You want Race Pace work! Emphasize to your athlete that perceived effort is a major part of the 23 week and 14 week plans. Make sure that your swimmers understand the importance of QUALITY work during taper. TAPER DOES NOT MEAN RESTING BUT THE SPEED AND POWER PHASE.

“No Grab Start: is a drill used to get the swimmer to use legs first when reacting on a start.

Tarzan is used a lot as a speed drill throughout the taper. Please email me with any questions or further explanation of drills or this workout. [email protected]

Heart Rate is only used once in this workout during warm up but is a great tool and used a lot during taper.

Warm up: start into 300 choice swim Variable Speed by 150 70% – 75%

6 x 50 all no grab starts (emphasize leg reaction first no arm swing or upper body movement)

1-3 25 choice swim / 25 Tarzan heart rate above 25 beats for :10 seconds

4-6 25 choice swim / 25 3 strokes Tarzan fast then 1 stroke easy freestyle with head down repeat pattern.

25 or 50 easy based on what end of the pool you train.

Set #1

Sets are designed for this workout alternating upper body and lower body by set. This is built-in recovery work and a planned part of each workout. All workouts will either alternate upper body and lower body sets or the sets are designed to alternate upper and lower body within the set.

For ex: 4 x 100’s alternating 25 kick @ 70%/ 25 sprint swim/ 25 kick @ 80%/ 25 drill swim.

Incremental Stroke Count – Where the athlete increases the number of strokes per a specific distance to increase speed. This does not imply less efficiency or a change in stroke mechanics.

Complete the set below IM with :15 rest into the 3 x 100 IM on 1:20 send off followed by the 50 easy into the second time swimming freestyle also with :15 rest.

The freestyle part includes incremental stroke count and variable speed work by a specific distance or by stroke count.

The variable speed work in the 400IM is a great way to teach your swimmers how to actually swim the 400IM in a meet.

Set #1 complete this swim set twice – 1st time IM(Individual Medley), 2nd freestyle :15 rest

3 x 200 reverse IM order (combo fly 2 right arm, 2 left arm, 3 swim both arms) @ 75%

(2nd time thru free – incremental stroke count each 50)

400 IM order (combo fly as above) Variable Speed by 50 75% – 80%

(2nd time thru free – Variable Speed by 50, 75% – 80% with incremental stroke count on the 2nd 50).

3 x 100 IM on 1:20 1st one @ 80% with last sub +/-1:05 adjust for ability.

(2nd time thru free with :15 rest, 1st 100- 15 fast strokes / 15 slow strokes,

2nd 100- 10 fast strokes / 10 slow strokes, 3rd 100- 5 fast strokes / 5 slow strokes)

50 easy into 2nd time

Set #2

This kick set includes variable speed work by a specific distance and kick count. Make sure your athlete understands the importance of kicking. Kicking is specifically outlined throughout the season and especially during taper. Understanding the importance of kicking for speed and power and how to taper legs are essential. This taper process takes you step by step.

Set #2 top stroke kick set :20 rest

2 x 300 VS by 150, #1 70% – 100%, #2 100% – 70%

4 x 50 #1 5 fast kicks / 5 slow kicks, #2 10 fast kicks / 10 slow kicks,

#3 15 fast kicks / 15 slow kicks, #4 20 fast kicks / 20 slow kicks

50 easy

 

Set #3

Race Pace is the goal time the athlete wants to achieve in a specific event. Holding Race Pace when asked for shorter distances is necessary to prepare each athlete for the physical and mental demands of the work needed. Know what times you want the athlete to swim for each distance. When tapering, the athlete will complete race pace sets with less rest, on faster send offs and for longer distances to prepare them for the eventual swim.

Set #3 top stroke swim

25 on :25 @ 100 Race Pace

75 on 1:20 @ 200 Race Pace

50 on :45 @ 100 Race Pace

100 @ 200 Race Pace

100 easy

2nd stroke swim

50 on :50 @ 100 Race Pace

100 on 1:50 @ 200 Race Pace

75 on 1:30 @ 100 Race Pace

125 @ 200 Race Pace

100 easy

Set #4

Complete as noted above

Set #4 2nd or 3rd stroke kick set repeating set #2

Set #5

Achieving Race Pace is essential and the athlete needs to take responsibility for this. Please adjust rest when breaking the swim or allowing more warm down or recovery time if needed. Try to consider where the athlete is in their training to help you decide parameters for the set. Adjust as needed to achieve Race Pace time.

Complete from blocks if time allows – top stroke swim

flyer’s swim the 1st 200 freestyle, add warm down if needed between 200’s

4 x 200 on 3:30 – 4:00 +/- based on quality and time needed to recover

1st @ 400 IM Race Pace or 500 Race Pace

2nd @ 200 RP – 400 Race Pace/500 Race Pace broken @ 100 for :05 – :15 as needed

3rd and 4th @ 200 Race Pace broken @ 75 and 150 for :05 – :15 each time

100 easy

Total yardage = 6,725