Extend the Sprint!

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

The idea behind this SCM set was to challenge our swimmers to maintain “top” speed over progressively longer distances. It turned out to be a very difficult set, but one that went well.

We used our pace cards to set objectives for the 15m sprints, and then the instructions from there were to go “all out” on the 35s.

From there, we set goals for the 55s and so on.

For example:

15m time = 6.6

35m time = 18.2 (difference = 11.6)

55m goal = 18.2 + 11.6 = 29.8

75m goal = 29.8 + 11.6 = 40.4

95m goal = 40.4 + 11.6 = 52.0

This gets difficult quickly! As an alternative to the math above, you can re-calculate the goal after the 55s and the 75s.

One thing I would change would be to give a little more active recovery between swims. We just didn’t have the lane space/time to make this happen.

Flying Snakes!

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

I have posted here before how we sometimes use “Snakes” (swim one direction in each lane, sidewinding your way down the pool) as a means for training fly in narrow lanes. This set took it a step further with the final 25.

I timed each individual on the final 25. Their goal was to score points by achieving their individual race pace but also by kicking underwater to one of two orange hockey pucks placed on the bottom at about 8 and 12m off the Wall. This dual incentive led to some individual experimentation with more underwater kicks than they are normally comfortable with.


When swimmers finished the final 25 of each snake, they added the points to a tally counter on a nearby iPad. This helped us keep an accurate tally without me doing extra work. We ended up requiring 6 rounds to achieve our 300 point goal.

The Hand-Me-Down Set

This set (or something very similar) was given to me by Jon Jolley, Head Coach of the Hickory YMCA, who used it with his star pupil Ross Dant. Jon says it was given to him by Eddie Reese, legendary Texas and US Olympic coach. We gave it a spin, and it was definitely a good one.

The idea is for the red set to be at a relatively tight interval. The blue is essentially active recovery on the same interval. Do a good job descending, and it’s pretty demanding.

Underwater Kicking Power & Lightning Speed Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We did this set at the end of a long practice that included dryland that was heavy on the legs and a long kick set. The goal was to work some underwater power and then get some “lightning speed” underwater kicks at the end of each round. It worked well, with a few of our swimmers setting personal bests & team records at the 25m underwater kicking distance.

For the part written in green, one athlete wore the belt/cord and a partner stood on the deck and held the cord to provide the resistance.