Speed Checkpoints

Josh Sinclair

I did this set with my age 9-13 boys on Saturday.  There season is effectively finished, with their major champs swum, so I was looking for ways to keep them motivated and keep them in the water till our squad break over Easter…
This set worked really well..
Warm Up
DPS = distance per stroke
Base drill = any freestyle drill that targets streamline eg catch-up
MPT+6 = mid pool turn + 6 dolphin kicks
Stroke drill = any freestyle drill that targets length and catch eg 2La 2 Ra
20×25 designed to get their heart rate up.  Fly HVO (15m fast no breath) was to focus on fast starts, also believe that fly is great way for young swimmers to feel and find their anchor and not slip on the 1st strokes out of their breakout.  Cat n Mouse is a game we play where the swimmers scull in one line across the pool, at some point before the 15m mark into the wall, the nominated “mouse” must sprint to the wall and try and beat the “cats”.  They must go before the 15m mark so the closer they get to the mark the more the cats are ready.  This obviously focuses on finishing, and it is also interesting to see the different tactics of the mouse on when to take off for the wall
Main Set 

target was PB+1, and worked off about a 4min cycle.

The 15m was 1/4 PB +0.5 or better to progress…
The 25m was 1/2 PB +0.5 or better to progress…
The 35m was 3/4 PB + 0.5 or better to progress…
The 50m was PB+1 to progress to warm down.
Set really had the boys motivated and excited from the moment I explained it.  1st 15m checkpoint on average took about 3 attempts, which gave me the opportunity to teach and correct dive and breakout techniques and boys were a lot more receptive.. because of the incentive.  The 25m and 35m check points were all achieved on average in 2 attempts, and the 50m on average 4 attempts, which allowed me to talk about the value of holding their length and rating up into the wall..
Information overload maybe, so apologies if that’s the case, figure the more information provided, the greater opportunity for specific feedback..
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“Broken and Blast” Kick Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

SCM. For the broken 225 kick, we got our total kicking time (total time minus 3:20 for the 4 x 50 @:50). The goal on the following 200 was to beat that broken 225 time by at least 10 seconds.

In hindsight, the goal on the 200 wasn’t extremely tough, but it kept them honest and we got an effort level from the group that I would grade as an A-.

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Freestyle Win/Fail Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This set prompted a discussion about how we judge success/failure during a set. Most often, there is a prescribed speed an interval that helps guide our effort level. On this one more than most, I wanted to push our swimmers to the verge of “failure” in the conventional sense of missing an interval. Post-set, we redefined success as having pushed ourselves to the limit and actually finding the point of failure.

Overall, our team embraced the challenge of this set. The intervals were specifically set up (25m pool) so that I expected the second set of 4 x 100 and the final 2 x 100 to be extremely challenging.

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Butterfly Power Stations

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

Each station takes around 9:00. We did each station 2x, doing the fly set at the bottom after each station (4x total).

“Buddy cords” refers to a stretch cord with a belt at both ends. Swimmer 1 pushes off and swims a 25 fly while swimmer 2 stays at the wall providing resistance for the 1st 10 cycles of fly. After the 10th cycle, swimmer 2 pushes off the wall and swims easy free following swimmer 1 who completes the 25 fly.

For the Drag Sox, the Set utilizes the Sox worn in two different ways. Sox at the ankles provides high resistance to the kick. Moving them up to the calves provides a little less. Taking the Sox gives the swimmers the boost of a fully involved kick for the last 2×25.

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Underwater Kicking & IM Blast Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This workout involved two stations – one working underwater kicks and one doing an IM set. We did each station 3 times — the cord set was the same each time, and the IM set progressed through the three versions listed. The 3rd round was essentially a broken 400 IM.

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