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

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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