The Mindbender

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

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This set is a variation on our 200 Pace 50s set, and gives the athletes an extra challenge — not only do they have to swim fast, but they can’t look to far into the future because they don’t know what is coming next.  This definitely threw an element of mental difficulty on top of the already difficult physical expectations. 

Swimmers were told we were doing 40 x 50.  A coach wrote the pace expectation and the interval on a dry erase board, changing it each 50.  This meant that the swimmers had no idea if the next 50 would be easy, at 200 pace minus 1 second, at 200 pace, or at 200 pace +1.  Swimmers could choose any stroke for any 50. Here is some of the feedback afterwards…

“I liked the set… It challenged me but the way we did it prevented me from thinking too far ahead.”
“It helped me how I had to focus on just one 50 at a time instead of worrying about the whole set.”
“That was definitely hard, but it was a good kind of hard.”

Below is the sequence of paces and intervals (SCM) we used.  No magic to it, just mixing up the challenges and keeping them on their toes.

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