Tempo Trainer Set for 1/2 of the Group

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We have enough Tempo Trainers for half of our top group to use them at the same time, so I devised this two-station set.  The set in red is designed to use the Tempo Trainers to challenge their ability to hold Distance Per Cycle at  race speed.  The set in blue encouraged long, kick-driven strokes.

Editor’s note: This set first appeared on this blog on August 28, 2017

Kick, Fartlek, and Descend

Ryan Woodruff

Head Coach

Lynchburg YMCA

Kick Set (last 25 of every repeat is MAX UW- at least 12.5 yards)

Slower kickers should drill or swim the first part of each repeat to keep up

No kicking with board, no br kick

Options: face down fly, face down flutter, side fly, side flutter. Snorkel is o.k.

4 x 25 @ :30

3 x 50 @:55

2 x 75 @1:20

1 x 100 @1:45

100 smooth swim @1:30

4 x 100 intervals same as above

3 x 75

2 x 50

1 x 25 all out all UW kick

100 smooth swim @1:30

Wrench Bang Fartlek Set

6 rounds (4:30 per round)

2 x {Round 1 – free, Round 2- No free, Round 3- weakest stroke}

:30 scull

WRENCH BANG

1:00 drill (athlete’s choice of stroke)

WRENCH BANG

1:30  smooth swim with CRAZY FAST turns & underwaters

WRENCH BANG

Sprint between 25 and 50 yards (do one great turn and one great finish)

Start next round all together

Main Set

20 x 150 free

(paddles and/or buoy optional on all descending parts)

1 @1:35/1:40/1:45

5 descend @ 1:45/1:50/1:55

1 @1:35/1:40/1:45

4 descend @ 1:45/1:50/1:55

1 @1:35/1:40/1:45

3 descend @ 1:45/1:50/1:55

1 @1:35/1:40/1:45

2 descend @ 1:45/1:50/1:55

1 @1:35/1:40/1:45

1  @ 1:45/1:50/1:55

Editor’s Note: This set was originally published to the blog in July 2016

Kick Set with a Kicker

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This kick set will be a bit of a challenge if done correctly.

10 x 100 kick choice, but all same stroke, descend 1-10, pay attention to clock

#1-4 @ :10 rest

#5-7 @ :20 rest

#8-10 @ :30 rest

200 ez swim with fast turns and 4+ underwater kicks

6 x 100 kick @ :20 rest, goal is for all 6 to be faster than #8 from the first set

Editor’s note: This post was originally published to this blog in August 2017. Check out our scrollable archives below for more hidden gems!

Age Group Breaststroke Set with Caradon Swim Club

Keith Haynes
Head Coach
Caradon Swim Club

Below is a Breaststroke set I ran this evening with my age group swimmers – although I think age group is different in the US, so 11 – 14 year olds. They said they really liked it and that it was easy! Outrageous.

I love doing descending work with this age group, as when it comes to a race situation they really understand the concept of applying more effort throughout a race to maintain speed even though they are getting tired. Just like when we do descending work in training!

Clearly I was too generous with the turnaround times, but I will get them back on Tuesday and Friday. So adjust turnaround times to suit your swimmers capabilities or where they are in their training programme…

1 x 100 as 50 F/S – 50 BK on 2.00

4 x 25 BR/S Descend 1 – 4 to sprint speed on 45

2 x 100 as 50 F/S – 50 BK on 2.00

4 x 50 BR/S Descend 1 – 4 to sprint speed on 1.30

3 x 100 as 50 F/S – 50 BK on 2.00

4 x 75 BR/S Descend 1 – 4 to sprint speed on 2.15

3 x 100 as 50 F/S – 50 BK on 2.00

4 x 50 BR/S Descend 1 – 4 to sprint speed on 1.30

2 x 100 as 50 F/S – 50 BK on 2.00

4 x 25 BR/S Descend 1 – 4 to sprint speed on 45

1 x 100 as 50 F/S – 50 BK on 2.00

Editor’s Note: This set was first published to the blog in June 2014.

Flying Pigs

Coach Doug Russell, Austin Trinity, Austin Texas

We got this base set for under-waters from the women’s program at the University of Arkansas several years ago and we use it often with variations. We call it Soo-E-Pig.

We almost always use it as a fin set. We train in a 25 meter pool. The basic set is 4 under – 1 recovery (we call it “over”) , 3 under – 1 recovery, 2 under – 1 over, 1 under – 1 over. We usually repeat it 4 times though. Today we went with a variation to work our butterfly and up tempo our Freestyle.

Soo-E-Pig

1 6 dolphins – 3 strokes Fly – if not at wall back under water and work finish.

2 5 dolphins – 4 strokes Fly – same

3 4 dolphins – 5 strokes Fly – also

4 3 dolphins – 6 strokes Fly – again

As they work through the set they drop a round in sequence.

Set:

Round 1 Soo-E-Pig > :40

Swim 6 x 50 Free > :40 (Descend 1 – 3, 4 Negative Split, 5 Build, 6 Faster than first three)

Round 2 Soo-E-Pig > :35

Swim 6 x 75 Free > 1:00 (Descend 1 – 3, 4 Ez-Ez-Fast, 5 Ez-Fast-Ez, 6 Fast-Ez-Ez)

Round 3 Soo-E-Pig > :30

Swim 6 x 100 Free > 1:20 (Descend 1 – 3, Descend 4 – 6)

Round 4 Soo-E-Pig > :25

Swim 1 x 200 Free > Goal Time for 200 Free LC minus 3 – 6) They have fins on!

Total 2650 meters SC

Editor’s note: This set was first posted to this blog in June 2014.

Really Hard IM Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

9 x 800 @ 13:00

#1 – straight 800 IM
#2 – done as 2 x 400 FRIM
#3 – done as 4 x 200 IM
#4 – done as 2 x 400 FRIM
#5 – straight 800 IM faster
#6 – done as 2 x 400 FRIM
#7 – done as 4 x 200 IM
#8 – done as 2 x 400 FRIM
#9 – straight 800 IM – all out effort

Descend 1 – 5 – 9

FRIM = Free IM (Free, Back, Breast, Free)

Editor’s note: This set was originally posted to this blog in July 2012

Short Axis Throwdown

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

LCM
3 x 100 @ 1:30 25 sprint fly/75 free B3
1 x 300 5 cycles fly/5 cycles breast @ 6:00
3 x 150 @ 2:10 50 sprint fly/100 free B3
1 x 200 5 cycles fly/5 cycles breast @ 4:00
3 x 200 @ 2:50 75 sprint fly/125 free B3
1 x 100 5 cycles fly/5 cycles breast @ 2:00

100 easy free

20 x 50 fly, breathing 1 up/1 down
Put cones or markers on bottom 10m from the finishing wall. No breathing after the cone. Try to keep time consistently strong on all 20.
4 @ 1:00
3 @ :55
2 @ :50
1 @ :45

Editor’s note: This set was originally published to the blog in July 2012

The Dirty Thirty

Coach Lauren Harrington

Warmup
300 free
200 IM drill/swim
100 pull
12×25 12 1/2 yards fast, getting the heart rate up
4x50s from mid-pool (stroke)
4x50s from mid-pool (free)

Main Set – “The Dirty Thirty”

30x100s

  • 10x100s on 1:30/1:35 (may adjust interval for swimmers, but these are the two we used for the women’s team)
  • 10x100s on 1:20/1:25
  • 10x100s on 1:10/1:15

The point of the set is to hold the same pace throughout…so you start out on 1:30/1:35 going as fast as you would to make a 1:10/1:15 pace. Obviously, you get a lot more rest at the beginning, but that’s the point. It’s a test of endurance, and it’s always fun to see where the swimmers are at the beginning of the season doing this set vs. the end of the season. It’s a good benchmark for where they’re at.

EASY 100 Stretch it out

6x100s 50 catch-up drill/50 swim freestyle to regain stroke and make sure swimmers are not just spinning their wheels after a set like that…@ 1:30

200 Warm Down

Editor’s Note: This set was originally published to this blog in 2010

Burning The Candle at Both Ends

Erik Wiken

First time I ran this, kids had never heard of the phrase before and didn’t understand why I would call this set that name. After 20 x 25s, they knew why…

1. Partner Up:

-You will need 1 Buoy & 1 Kickboard per tandem, both with center-mount snorkel (HIGHLY recommended)
2. 20 x 25 @ 1:00 (interval & # of repeats according to ability)

(want to make it longer?, suggest breaking @ 1/2 or 1/3s with a 50 easy on same interval)

One person does a 25 sprint scull (hands out in front of snorkel), head in line

The other person does a 25 sprint FR tombstone kick**, head in line

Rotate equipment after each 25
**Tombstone Kick: Stand board on end, grab 1/2 way and stick bottom half in the water. Board stays vertical. (We also do tombstone kick sets where the last repeat (usually 25s) we “bury it”, board is vertical and totally submerged.)

Editor’s Note: This set was first published to the Swimming Wizard blog in 2010

The Dolphin Maker

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg  YMCA

Want to have a killer underwater kick in your arsenal for the end of a race? You had better practice kicking hard and fast under fatigue! Try this one:

5x through:

4 x 100 free w/ fins 1 @ 1:10, 1 @ 1:05, 2 @ 1:00

This initial set of 100s is intended to put the athlete in a fatigued state. Then immediately go into:

6 x 25 @ :30  First 2 with fins, last 4 no fins: #1 All UW dolphin kick, #2-6 Max UW kick and then sprint

:30 extra rest to put fins back on.

Editor’s note: This set was originally published to this blog in 2010

 

The Good Morning Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

SCY. The purpose of this set was just to wake everyone up, get some good aerobic yardage in, and get the juices flowing for an aggressive end-of-practice kick set.
1000 free swim B3 @ 12:30 (1:15 base)

100 free pull B3 @ 1:15

800 free swim B3 @ 10:00

300 free pull B3-5-3 by 100 @ 3:45

600 free swim B3 @ 7:30

500 free pull B3-5-7-5-3 by 100 @ 6:15

400 free swim B3 @ 5:00

700 free pull B3-5-7-9-7-5-3 by 100 @ 8:45

200 free swim B3 @ 2:30

900 free pull B3-5-7-9-3-9-7-5-3 by 100 @ 11:15
5500 yards, 1 hour, 9 minutes

Editor’s Note: This set was originally published to this blog in 2010

“On Your Own” Freestyle Set with Coach Erik Wiken

Coach Erik Wiken

Swimmers are working on either their 200 or 1500 Freestyle events for this 25 minute Set. For 200s, they are doing 25 x 50. They start with one easy, then one build, then one at race pace. If they succeed at making that one, they do another one pace. If they succeed at that one, they do another one build and then one at pace. Any time they fail at making race pace, they cycle back to the top of the set.

For the milers, the set is 100s @:20 rest with a similar succeed/fail flow chart. You get the idea.

Editor’s note: We love how this encourages athletes to take ownership during the set and watch their own times. Coach Wiken says “I’m still monitoring, loosely, it’s more so to keep everyone moving the same direction.. they should know what they’re holding or should be holding at this point in our season. Kids who are on are having a lot of success in the set while others are given opportunities to be successful and continue to be a part of the set.”

Goal-based Quality Set for Age Groupers

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This a good set for a group of 14 & unders who have improved a bunch over the course of a season. The main idea: have them swim repeat 100s with the goal being to beat their best time from the before the start of the season. The purpose is to show them how far they have come and to build their confidence heading into the championship season.

? X 100 @ 2 minutes rest (at least)

Print out a list of your group’s best 100 times prior to the start of the season or after the first meet and post it to the wall. Each swim performed under that time counts as a point for the group. Give them a point total to shoot for as group (maybe a clever incentive too) and then watch them destroy it!

Important: Do this with a group that has already seen great improvements, or have them do only 100s of the strokes in which they have improved.