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Open Water Swim Training – Day #15

This is the fourth installation of the 15th practice session for our Open Water Swim Training example.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll post at regular intervals various days of the training.  The entire training session can be found in our 23 Week Training Session, which can be found here.

Watch the workout progression as we add yardage and change up the sets.

Day #15  Mid distance and Open Water

 

Warm up:

6 x50 all quick starts 25 kick / 25 swim heart rate above 20

6 x50 no grab starts 25 kick / 25 Tarzan sprint heart rate above 25

25 easy

Set #1  swim set  :15rest

            3 x 350  VS by 50 80% – 85%, inc stk cnt

3 x300  @ 90%

3 x 200  1st one @ 85% then descend

3 x 100 on1:20  sub 1:05 – 1:10 +/-

6 x 75 choice recovery swim on 1:10

Set #2  freestyle kick set  :15rest

            4 x 125 @ 80%

4 x75  VS by 25  80% – 100% – 80%

8 x50  VS by 25, 1-4  100% – 70%, 5-8  70% – 100%

100 easy

 

Set #3  swim set – VS by 50 with inc stk cnt  80% -90%

            2 x 100  on 1:20

2 x100  on 1:20

2 x100  on 1:30

2 x 100  on 1:10

100 easy

2 x 100  on 1:15

2 x 100  on 1:15

2 x 100  on 1:25

2 x100  on 1:05

100easy

100 on1:10

100 on1:10

100 on1:20

100 on1:00

100 easy

400 paddleswim for time

100easy

Set #4  kick set

            8 x 50  @ 90%   :10rest

100 easy

Set #5  complete this swim set three times

              50  @ 500 RP on 1:00

150 build to previous 50 RP by the last 50 with inc stk cnt  on 2:30

200 hold the 50 RP thru the whole swim with same stk cnt on 3:15

4 x 50 @200 RP on 1:15

 

100 easyon 2:00 into next time thru

Set #6  Tarzan set

              4 x 75  on 1:15 – 1:30

25   5 up Tarzan sprint / 2 downeasy

25  Tarzan sprint 6 strokes breakout then easy to wall

25  easy

Total yardage =10,025

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Open Water Swim Training – Day #10

This is the third installation of the 10th practice session for our Open Water Swim Training example.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll post at regular intervals various days of the training.  The entire training session can be found in our 23 Week Training Session, which can be found here.

Watch the workout progression as we add yardage and change up the sets.

Day #10      Mid distance and Open water

Warm up:  swim set

                 start into 400  @ 70%

3 x200 VS by 50  70% – 75% inc stk cnt by50  :10rest

4 x150 @ 75%  :10rest

5 x 100  negative split with open turn to getsplits  (:15rest between 100’s)

1st 50 @ 75%, 2nd 50 @ 500 RP

6 x50  VS by 25  75% – 85% :10rest

25easy

 

Set #1      kick set – complete this set twice  :15 rest

                 200 @ 75%

6 x75  VS  25 @ 80%, 50 @ 100%

50easy kick

2 x50 sprint kick

50easy swim after each time

 

Set #2       freestyle paddle swim set

                 7 x 100 on 1:25 @ :05 over500 RP  inc stk cnt by 50

into

2 x200 on 2:15 hold above pace

50easy

4 x100 on 1:20  @ 500 RP  inc stk cnt each 25

into

3 x200 on +/- 2:10  should be difficult @90%

50easy

3 x100 on 1:35  just make send off  inc stk cnt each 25

into

4 x200 FIP   +/- 2:05  @ 500 RP

6 x75 on 1:10 recovery just make send off

 

Set #3       kick set

                 12 x 50  @ 85% :10 rest

50easy

Total yardage = 8,525

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Open Water Swim Training – Day #5

This is the second post of the 5th practice session for our Open Water Swim Training example.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll post at regular intervals various days of the training.  The entire training session can be found in our 23 Week Training Session, which can be found here.

Watch the workout progression as we add yardage and change up the sets.

Day #5    mid distance and open water

 

Warm up: alternate no grab starts with quick starts by 50

 

                  8 x 50 coaches send off all from start

1-4  5 Tarzan sprint break outstrokes then easy to wall repeat each 25

5-8  25 Tarzan / 25   3 up Tarzan 4 down easy

25 easy

Set #1       kick set

 

                 3 x 300  kick

#1 VS by 150  75% – 80%

#2 VS by 100  80% – 85% – 80%

#3 VS by 50  90% – 100%

50easy

Set #2      complete this swim set three times eachtransition

 

                2 x 200 on 2:50  VS by 25 80% – 85% with inc stk cnt

25 @90% on :25 into 25 @ 80%                              total 50 on 1:00

2 x [email protected] 90% on :25 into 50 @ 85% inc stk cnt     total 100 on 1:45

50  @ 90% on :45 into 50 @ 85% incstk cnt           total 100 on 1:45

2 x50  @ 90% on :45 into 100  @ 90%                    total 200 on 2:45

inc stk cnt each 25

100 @ 90% on 1:20 into 100 @ 90%      into 50 easy

second time add :05-:10 to total swim sendoffs and increase effort by 5%

 

               third time thru add another :05 to send offs and sprint! 

Set #3    

               4 x 200  :10rest

25 kick @ 85% / 25 swim with ½ way fly kick off each wall @ 70%

Set #4     freestyle set paddles if desired –continuous on send offs

                remember to descend pace per100 thru set based on ability

               500 @ 5:50 speed +/-1:10pace per 100 on 6:30

6 x100  odds make send off, evens @ +/- 1:08pace per 100 on 1:25

1:30rest

500 @ 5:30 speed, +/- 1:06 pace per 100 on 6:00

4 x 1001-2 just make send off, 3-4 @ +/- 1:04 pace per 100 on 1:20

100easy on 2:00

500 @ 5:10 speed @ +/- 1:02 pace per 100 on 6:00

4 x 100recovery swim on 1:35

 

Total yardage = 8,475

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Open Water Swim Training – Day #1

This is the first practice session for our Open Water Swim Training example.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll post at regular intervals various days of the training.  The entire training session can be found in our 23 Week Training Session, which can be found here.

Watch the workout progression as we add yardage and change up the sets.

Day #1         mid distance and open water 

Warm up:

                 400 swim  :10rest @ 70%

25easy if started from block

Set #1

                6 x 300  swim descend with send off

1-2 on 4:30  25 kick / 50 swim

3-4 on 4:15  25 kick / 50 swim

5     on 4:00  swim

6     swim sub 3:45  inc stk cnt each 25 of each stroke

1:00rest

3(3 x100)  pattern below is to be completedeach set and descend with send off

1  kick odd 25’s and swim even 25’s @ 80%

2  reverse from number 1 @ 80%

3  swim @ 90%

the above 9 x 100 are continuous withsend off

set #1on 1:40, set #2 on 1:35, #3 on 1:30

:30restfrom last set

2 x 100swim on 1:30 @ 400 IM race pace

:30restfrom send off

2 x 100 swim on 1:15 @ 400 IM race pace

:30restfrom send off

100swim @ 100% timed from push

50 easy

Set #2  paddle freestyle swim set except the50’s  – set to be completed 3 times

             3 x 200  negative split with open turn at 100,  2nd 100 @ 500 race pace  on 2:25

2 x175  1st 100 @ 80%, 2nd75 @ 85% with inc stk cnt

1st time thru on 2:20, 2nd time thru on 2:15, 3rdtime thru on 2:05

2 x100  @ 500 race pace with inc stk cnt

1st time on 1:15, 2nd time on 1:10, 3rdtime on 1:00

50 easy kick on 1:30

2 x 75swim make send off on 1-2 times thru, 3rd as indicated

1st time on :55, 2ndtime :50, 3rd time on 1:15 sub :45

:30restfrom send off

100 on1:30 sub 1:00 +/- @ 500 race pace

50 easykick on 1:30 all three times

Set #3

            3 x 100 on 2:00 VS Tarzan by 50  80% – 90% (+/-18 stks, +/-22 stks by 50)

4 x 25 on:35  Tarzan 3 sprint stks then 1 downfree easy – repeat

100 easy

Total yardage = 8,525

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Open Water Swim Training – Focus & Requirements

Its summer time in the northern hemisphere, and that means outdoor swimming.  For the next few weeks, we’re going to discuss training for open water training.  The list below represents both initial instructions and keyword phrases used in the 6 week period of the 23 Week Training Manual which focus on 10,000 yard workouts, in preparation for a seasonal training period for high school as well as open water swim training.

Here is the link to our 23 Week Training manual:

ASSUMPTIONS FOR OPEN WATER AND DISTANCE SWIMMING

1. The understanding of the physical demands to complete the20 workouts.

2. This is only a training aid for longer swimming.

3. Test yourself with a short open water swim previous to the 4 week enhancement.

 

SWIMMING FOCUS, REQUIREMENTS AND INDEX

1. Start with one fly kick off each wall for the first week and increase accordingly.

2. Incorporate no breathing into or off of turns and the last5 yards of the finish.

3. Emphasize correct spikes (streamline).

4. Emphasis on quality of workouts as written. Recover, sprint, variable speed as

indicated.

5. Percentage sign (%) means effort on set – 75% effort

6. RP stands for race pace

7. VS stands for variable speed

8. inc stk cnt stands for incremental stroke count

9. FIP stands for fastest interval(send off) possible

10. _ up Tarzan _down easy stands for  _ strokes up sprint Tarzan then _ strokes down

easy freestyle, the underscore is for variable patterns of strokes

11. Remember to adjust all send offs and rest intervals based on your ability

12. Try to achieve stroke count sets.

13. Racing and overspeed work, see outline and practice techniques.

14. Alternate upper and lower body with in sets or by sets.

15. Turns, starts(relay) and finish work.

16. Introduce paddle and other equipment in workouts.

17. Varied Tarzan work, see outline and practice techniques.

18. Complete variable speed work for swimming and kicking as close to percentages

indicated as possible.

19. Kicking and Race Race are specific during the season.

20. The percentage of kicking per day is indicated in weekly outlines.

21. Follow yardage within reason. Don’t get wrapped up in this as it is

only aguideline. I’d rather you attempt to achieve all the sets while maintaining

quality. Adjustyour yardage as needed.

The goal of 10,000 yard workouts are not for everyone but those that can physically and mentally handle the workload. If you need to,alternate upper and lower body thru the sets as your body tells you. Try to end every day with some speed work followed by a long enough warm down to feel better. You may split this up with doubles. Please adjust accordingly.

Quality is the main focus while completing sets as written. Please read your body and adjust the amount of sprinting and recovery you need. If a swimmer needs more recovery to achieve the goals of each set then the swimmer and or coach need to communicate to each other. Monitor your heart rate to help you decide if you are resting enough or too much. You’ll eventually be able to tell if you need more sprinting or recovery. We are now focusing on speed and power. Trust you have done enough and only you are the judge.

READ YOUR BODY AND REMEMBER TO ALWAYS PRIME YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM WITH RACE PACE, TARZAN AND VARIABLE SPEED WORK EVEN IF YOU HAVE A FULL RECOVERY DAY.

Please email me with any questions along the way. [email protected]

If you’re looking for open water swim meets, please visit USMS to find a meet closest to you.  Follow this link:

http://www.usms.org/comp/event_search.php?action=filter&AdvancedSearch=1&SortBy=U3RhcnREYXRl&MeetTitle=&SeriesTitle=&CourseLD=1&CourseOW=1&Championship=include&Recognized=1&NonUSMS=1&International=1&Clinic=1&bsmSelectbsmContainer0=

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Seasonal Planning

When writing your seasonal plan you must start with your taper. What dates are your championship meets, yes meets? You don’t train all season/year just for one meet. Tapering is up to a 7 week process that prepares an athlete for multiple meets, not a one or two week resting process after yardage overload and sprinting. We will discuss the training of energy systems and how that works with race pace sets throughout your season and of course the importance of recovery.

Tapering reinforces race pace(goal times), increases aerobic capacity, solidifies energy system demands needed for race pace swims and increases strength. This process also includes tapering your dryland and weightlifting programs. Since you are including these programs for their strength benefits you must continue them through your season and actually taper these workouts as well. You want your swimmers as strong as possible at the right time which makes it a huge mistake to stop strength programs weeks out. Your goal is maximum strength! Coaches must learn to taper these programs and not just discard in order to optimize your training.

A lot of coaches think of the phase before taper as building aerobic capacity or the accumulation phase of training. This phase of swimming needs adjustment as it does not train athletes to swim fast or at their full potential. If you train at slower race pace then that is what you should expect for results.

Most coaches consider the phase before resting as sprinting and usually to exhaustion. Sprinting and recovery are key components but they must have a direct purpose to the events being trained. The emphasis of your seasonal plan needs should incorporate how to train and taper for the best results. The word “taper” means a lot of things to different coaches. Hopefully after reading the combinations of articles it will mean a lot to you. The two most common errors are the lack of detail given to kicking through the entire year and the quest for yardage by coaches.

There are good components listed above but there needs to be a lot more detail. Training sets at race pace, carefully thought out recovery, monitoring of heart rate changes, learning how to train the legs (kicking) through champs and of course strength training. Tapering combines the phases of building aerobic capacity and sprinting while adding energy system work and race pace sets to prep an athlete for champs. This article combines resources from past newsletters to help you plan your season carefully. Future articles will explain how to write each workout in detail.

Tapering is not just resting your body for the big event. It is fine-tuning it for optimal performance. Athletes must be able to practice at a high caliber to perform to expectations. Athletes must be their strongest, sharpest and most focused before taper meet(s). Athletes need to take responsibility for training, “I missed my taper” or “coach didn’t taper me correctly” are just excuses…

To taper correctly your athletes must have goals and the goals must drive training. You must understand recovery and muscle development of athletes and have the flexibility to individualize for a specific athlete and his/her events.

Understanding how athletes respond to different types of training based on slow, medium and fast twitch muscle fibers helps individualize training. Training slowly doesn’t help the athlete who has fast twitch predisposition and resting doesn’t produce optimal performance.

Taper is an in depth process that is a whole lot more than dropping yardage the last few weeks and adding sprints.  Most coaches use weight training to cross train and prevent injury then stop weights 2-4 weeks out from championships. The athletes must continue to lift throughout taper in order to achieve strength gains, which coincide with speed and power necessary to perform at meets. If you cross train during the season you must taper the crosstraining to optimize performance.

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Swimming Drills

We all have knowledge of swimming drills for each stroke as they have been handed down by coaches for many many years. I just ask coaches to please understand the reason you are coaching a specific drill to your swimmers and each swimmer to understand what they may be learning or unlearning from the drill. Think through it logically.

Drills definitely have a place in coaching. When swimmers are uncoordinated and growing it helps teach awareness to engage arms, legs, core, and breathing in specific orders.
Just a few questions to answer on your own:
1. Why are we teaching swimmers to do a thumb drag drill in freestyle?
2. Do you they actually drag their thumb on the water or up the side of their body while racing?
3. How does thumb drag use the core?
4. How does teaching a Catch-up drill teach proper rotation?
5. Do we really want swimmers to swim with a catch-up stroke?

Just make sure you teach drills at the right time in the swimmers’ development and understand why you are teaching the drill.

Warm up:

start into 600 choice swim @ 70%

4 x 125 choice stroke :15 rest
75 kick 10 fast kicks / 10 slow kicks
50 swim 10 fast strokes / 10 slow strokes

4 x 100 swim VS by 50 75% – 100% :15 rest
check heart rate twice and keep between 25 – 30
100 easy

Set #1

12 x 25 on :50
1,2,5,6,9,10 tarzan increase arm speed
3,4,7,8,11,12 partner racing free kick
50 easy kick on 1:30

2 x 100 on 2:00 5 up tarzan sprint 4 down easy
50 easy kick on 1:30
OVERSPEED
2 x 50 drag and pull continuous :20 rest
100 easy

Set #2 complete this set twice

2 x 150 free strong with PADDLES on 2:30
2nd time thru top stroke on 2:45
50 kick (25 @ 100% / 25 @ 75%), open turn to get time into
100 swim broken each 25 for :05 – :15, 1st and 3rd 25 @ 200 RP,
2nd and 4th @ 100 RP
100 easy

Total yardage = 3,200
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Starts & Stops Continued

 

This is a continuation of the starts newsletter. We will continue to expand and detail every aspect of the start. There is a swim workout and the end of this article with outline explanations of how it was written.

Full season outlines are also in the 23 week, 14 week and Faster Swimming books.

Center of Gravity

When considering body position on the block we need to look at the athlete’s center of gravity.  We look at the center of gravity not in a side to side (lateral) aspect, but in a front to back (anterior/posterior) aspect.  The farther forward athletes are able to shift their center of gravity in relation to the point of force production (feet), the more efficient their first movement will be.  If the center of gravity is behind the point of force production athletes must first pull their body forward before pushing it forward.  If we all had hands at the ends of our legs we would be able to grab the block and pull, but our feet have a limited ability to grab the block leaving our legs useful only for a pushing motion.  This results in the beginning pull to be done entirely with the arms which have a limited ability to produce much forward motion and lead more to wasted time and inefficiency on the block. The brief amount of time that it takes to go through a start for any athlete (even those with a slow start) only increases the need to be as efficient as possible to gain an advantage.

Many athletes understand the concept of a forward center of gravity but go about it the wrong way by attempting to lean out as far as they can.  The problem with this is that their center of gravity will usually end up being farther back due to the athletes inability to maintain balance. The best way to allow for a forward center of gravity is to keep the hips high and forward while dropping the head and shoulders into a relaxed position as close to the thighs as possible.  The closer the shoulders and head are to the hips from the anterior/posterior view the farther forward the hips will be able to shift without throwing off balance and stability.

If the center of gravity is placed behind the point of force production, weight must first be shifted forward before being able to apply force in a rear direction propelling the body forward.  Most athletes and coaches have seen swimmers on the block who lean as far back as possible under the premise that they will produce a more powerful start.  When this technique is used athletes spend half of their motion using arms for their force production before their center of gravity shifts far enough forward for their legs to explode.  While it is helpful to use the arms in a limited manner to shift the center of gravity to a favorable position, the arms shouldn’t be used as a major force producing piece of the start.

With the two different styles of starts, track and two feet forward, the center of gravity in relation to the point of force production is the major difference between them.  The two feet forward start makes it far more difficult to bring the center of gravity up to the point of force production.  However, if a start is well trained and athletes are able to have enough flexibility, stability, and balance, there is much greater power potential in this type of start.  With the track start it is very easy to place the point of force production behind the center of gravity.  The rear foot is very easily placed behind the hips and allows the athlete to produce a very efficient first motion.  This efficient first motion and easy body positioning have caused this start to be used almost exclusively without any consideration being given to the start that allows for more power to be produced.  Don’t get me wrong though, changing every athlete’s start to a two feet forward style may not be appropriate as not every athlete has the flexibility, stability, and balance necessary to make this start viable.

Here is the first workout of 115+ from the 23 week workout. This is a very simple beginning into workouts that are written with complex details thru the season. Each week has an outline which you can follow and write your own workout or sets. The outline includes percentage of kicking in each workout, speed work, recovery, time allotted for starts and turns, variable speed intensities, race pace work, heart rate and test sets to help you adjust workouts for your athletes.  The last 7 weeks is the taper written in great detail to fine tune speed, build confidence, increase and maintain aerobic capacity, train energy systems for the demands of championship meets and get your athlete ready for many weeks of fast swimming. All you have to do is administer the workout!

Here is to Faster Swimming.

Brad

Day # 1

Maintain one fly kick minimum off each wall!

Warm-up:

3 x 200 freestyle all from a start on 3:30 / 3:00 / 2:45 descending send off

Do another start into a 25 with 3/4 fl y kick underwater to the other end

Set #1

9 x 50 free kick @ 80% :05 rest between

6 x 75 25 back kick @ 80%. 50 breast drill 2 kick-1 stroke :10 rest between

( long spikes )

4 x 100 50 kick fl y/ 50 back swim 100 @ 80% effort :15 rest

200 IM kick no board variable speed by 25 @ 70%-90% effort

50 ez swim

Set # 2 – Timed turns during set

3 x 300 IM 25 kick / 50 1 arm drill swim each stroke @ 80% effort :10 rest between

50 ez

4 x 100 IM swim descend on 2:00

50 ez

12 x 25 racing kick partners free coaches send off

100 ez

Set # 3

5 x 100 freestyle

#’s 1-3 50 kick – 50 swim variable speed by 25 @ 70%-90% effort :10 rest between

1:00 rest

#’s 4-5 swim sub 1:00 – 1:05 based on ability 1:00 rest between

100ez

Total yardage = 4,525

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The Start

The forward start is one of the most ignored and misunderstood skills of swimming. Improving a start may only drop a small amount of time but this will be the difference between winning or losing and qualifying or not. A quality start allows swimmers to launch off the block sooner with greater speed, superior body position while creating momentum into the race. You can’t underestimate the psychological benefits of leading a race!

If you learn how to coach the start you are helping the turn.

Regardless of how well conditioned an athlete may be he or she must be able to translate that ability correctly. Proper body position must be achieved for each athlete by considering two dominating factors, center of gravity and point of force, as they are interdependent. Athletes need to produce forward motion as quick and powerful as possible by understanding their body position where the center of gravity will be as close to or even with the point of force production. You have to consider foot placement, hips and head positions, proper leg length for maximum force production and you have to react with the legs first not arms.

We will elaborate next week.

Weekly Workout from the 23 week program. This is the first taper workout of the 7 week program. The program is detailed as it tapers legs, works on race pace for champs, enables recovery and prepares the athlete for many weeks of fast swimming!

W E E K 1 7 of  23 ( W O R K O U T 1 OF THE 7 WEEK TAPER)

Day #81

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

6 x 50 all no grab starts (emphasis leg reaction)

1-3 25 choice swim / 25 Tarzan heart rate above 25

4-6 25 choice swim / 25 3 up Tarzan 1 down easy repeat

25 easy

Set #1 complete this swim set twice – 1st time IM, 2nd free :15 rest

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

2nd time thru free – incremental stroke count by 50

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

2nd time thru free – VS by 50 75% – 80% with incremental stroke count

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

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

Second 100- 10 fast strokes / 10 slow strokes, Third 100- 5 fast strokes / 5 slow strokes

50 easy into 2nd time

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 top stroke swim. This set is very difficult. If a swimmer needs more rest to achieve Race Pace then change send offs accordingly. You may need to help the swimmers with their Race Pace goals and times to achieve in this set.

25 on :25 @ 100 Race Pace

75 on 1:20 @ 200 RP

50 on :45 @ 100 RP (Could be first or second 50)

100 @ 200 RP

100 easy

2nd stroke swim

50 on :50 @ 100 RP

100 on 1:50 @ 200 RP

75 on 1:30 @ 100 RP

125 @ 200 RP

100 easy

Set #4 2nd or 3rd stroke kick set

repeat set #2

Set #5 complete from blocks if time allows – top stroke swim

flyer’s do the 1st 200 freestyle, add warm downs if needed between 200’s

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

1st @ 400 IM RP or 500 RP

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

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

100 easy

Total yardage = 6,725

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Hi / Lo Intensity Training for Big Meets

The following explains a little of the peaking phase of training that we structure into the end of the season,along with some general ideas and considerations.

Generally

We most often use a Hi/Lo system of training sessions as we near our biggest meets.  “Hi” being high intensity, race pace work that includes more and more rest as we move toward each swimmer’s probable top meet.  “Lo” being lower intensity mainly aerobic work, with very short distance skills work(starts, turns, underwaters, etc) mixed in.

Training intensity is directly proportional to competitive results.

Training intensity (speed) is directly proportional to competitive results, and so we maintain a fairly high level of intensity (fast tempo, goal race pace training) throughout the Hi/Lo template above.  This can vary from swimmer to swimmer and from meet to meet.  We want each swimmer to know, understand, and “feel” race speed and race plans from both a physical and mental perspective.

We drop volume far more than intensity as we near the swimmer’s biggest meets in order to reduce fatigue and allow for their ultimate expression of speed.  This drop in volume most often allows for a higher energy level for each swimmer as we move through the peaking phase, and is often accompanied by lower RHR’s, stable or slightly increasing body weight, and (hopefully) more consistent sleep habits – all of which should be noted in their training journals.

We shift dryland and lifting to more reactive training(faster lifting with moderate weights, med ball work, some fast-paced dryland)and continue to include a solid base of lower intensity core, dryland and mobility work.  We continue to lift and do dryland as we move through our peaking phase as we want ALL of our physical qualities at their peak as they step up on the blocks for their biggest races.

Specifically

Swim practice is still our main focus throughout the peaking phase.  All aspects outside of swimming(nutrition, rest, strength, etc) are of secondary importance to fast(er)swimming.

Coaches “listen” by watching the swimmers practice as much as listening to what the swimmers are actually saying.  Big meets and high level performance can cause some jitters, and actions most often speak louder than words – perhaps especially at the end of the season.

We adjust training as necessary by practice, by swimmer, in order to have each athlete swimming their fastest at their biggest meet(s).  This can mean more work for some and less work for others – and only in order to have each swimmer peak at the appropriate time.

Our season-long focus on quality swimming over quantity swimming – combined with our advanced dryland and lifting training – most often allow for an extended peak period for our swimmers.  It is not unusual for our NAAC swimmers to hold their peak for 3+ weeks.

– Written by Coach John Coffman, Head Coach of New Albany Aquatics Club