Monday, February 1, 2016

BIG Swim Workouts

I'm lucky to be able to travel around the world and swim with a lot of different squads. Whenever I get to swim a neat workout, I think I'll add it to this file for you to follow along.


May 16, 2010 - Speed and Strength
Flatirons Athletic Club, Boulder, Colorado

A nice one designed by Jane Scott
5-10 minutes of easy swimming
6x125 mixed strokes 2 on 10s rest; 2 on 15s rest; 2 on 20s rest
3-5 x (2x25 non free on 10s rest; 2x100 free threshold pace on 5s rest) HOLD same send offs
4-8x25 kick or easy swimming on 5-10s rest
(3x) the following, no extra rest, no equipment

  • 150 Free Fast
  • 25 Easy
  • 125 Free Fast
  • 25 Easy
  • 75 Free Fast
  • 50 Easy

100 easy then
6x a fixed interval leaving on 4/4:10/4:20 repeat -- Paddles Only
Cool down

The way you swim the main set is the Free Fast should be swum faster than Threshold Pace with the send off at threshold pace - aim for 5s rest on the fast ones. As an example, if your Threshold Pace is 1:20 per 100 then:
150 leave on 2:00 swimming 1:55
125 leave on 1:40 swimming 1:35
100 leave on 1:00 swimming 1:00

With the fixed interval (paddles only) you want to aim for a similar sort of rest block. So if your Threshold Pace is, say, 1:30 then you'll swim 250, or 275, for each interval - appropriate distance will vary based on how paddles impact your swim speed.

The 100s in the early mini-main set (2x25; 2x100) should be done holding Threshold Pace, leaving on Threshold Pace plus 5s rest.

This set is a good check on your top end endurance. Swim fast, not max. If you max-it-out then you'll load up (and feel shame as you detonate in front of your lane mates).


Feb 22nd, 2010 - A Challenging Strength and Endurance Swim
Noosa Masters, Queensland, Australia

Greg Bennett designed this main set -- the ITU lane was swimming the "on"s at 1:20 base LCM. Those of you looking for the easy way with your swimming might want to stop reading now...

600 relaxed every 4th 50 non-free
++
200 free
200 alt by 50 breast / free
200 alt by 50 back / free
200 alt by 50 fly / free (if you can't make the fly 50 then use head-up free)
Choice rest -- I rolled it with about 30s before the 200 with fly
++
2x50 10 kick change
2x50 8 kick change
2x50 6 kick change
2x50 long strokes
All on about 10s rest (I used short fins)
++
Towel/Band/Buoy Set - if you blow to pieces then band/buoy ok
4x50 on 5s rest (KEEP SAME SEND OFF)
1x50 on 5s extra rest (from the first 4)
3x50 on same send off as the 4
1x50 with the extra 5s
2x50 on same send off as the 4
1x50 with the extra 5s
I did the 4/3/2 on 55 seconds and the 1s on 60 seconds
++
Straight into:
Main Set A (see below for send offs)
3x150 ON
150 Regroup
2x150 ON
150 Regroup
150 ON
100 Regroup
++
Repeat Towel Set, No Extra Rest Between Sets
++
Straight into:
Main Set B (see below for send offs)
3x100 ON
100 Regroup
2x100 ON
50 Regroup
100 ON
50 Regroup
++
Repeat Towel Set, No Extra Rest Between Sets
++
Straight into:
Main Set C (see below for send offs)
3x50 ON
50 Regroup
2x50 ON
50 Regroup
1x50 ON
++
Cool Down

Here's how to play the send offs. The ITU crew were using tighter send offs than what I will outline but most of us won't have the strength-endurance to cope with the torque loads of the towel sets. So you are going to need to manage yourself or... you will EXPLODE! :-)

Take your most recent 2K TT Time (fresh, no gear) - let's say you were holding an average of 1:32s for that. Round that time up so that you would get at least 6s rest if you were holding that pace. In this example... 1:40 per 100 speed.

In that case:
ON 150s... 1:40 base plus 15s = 2:45
Regroup 150s... extra 15s = 3:00
Regroup 100s... 1:40 base plus 10s = 1:50
ON 100s... 1:40 base
ON 50s... 0:50 base
Regroup 50s... 1:00 base

In my lane today (LCM) we did...
ON 150s = 2:30
ON 100s = 1:30
ON 50s = 0:45

The towel will make a BIG difference and this is a long main set. It's a great way to see if you are strength-endurance and arousal control limited in the water. Most are.

The set works best if you leave 10s between swimmers and swim the non-towel part without gear.

As you fatigue slow the movement of your hands and keep holding the water. You'll see what I mean - this swim is a butt kicker!


Feb 15th, 2010 - A good one to test long distance swim stamina
Noosa Masters, Queensland, Australia

600 nice and easy every 4th 50 back
++
800 build to steady every 4th 50 back
++
3x400 with towel/band/buoy
#1 alt by 50: breast combo / swim
#2 alt by 50: 4 strokes Left, 4 strokes right / swim
#3 alt by 25: fists / swim
++
No Gear
8x50 20 meters fly or head up free / 30 meters free on 5s rest
++
1000 pads and buoy
10x100 buoy
20x50
++
c/d

Set the main set send off so that you add 5s per 100 to the pace of each line. For example...

1000 on 1:30 is 15:00
so 100s are on 1:35 base
so 50s are on 1:40 base, or 0:50 each

If you get the send offs "right" then you get about 20s rest on the 1000; 5s rest on the 100s and the 50s are touch-and-go. I cracked a bit during the 100s. Mirinda Carfrae bailed out our lane and stepped up to lead. Strong showing by Eric Bell as well.

For an IMer, this is quite a good test set to see your overall swim endurance.

Laura Bennett led the fast lane today (50m pool) and made that entire set on 1:20 base, with a 12:15 1000 and holding 1:15-1:17 for the 100s!


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