Vertical/Horizontal Breaststroke Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

Our breaststrokers enjoyed this one. The vertical kick was “eggbeater style.” In the 200, swimmers did 3kicks-1pull-2kicks-1pull-1kick-1pull where they focused on getting Distance per Stroke. The 6 x 50 with the squats was a great leg workout and we saw some pretty decent early-season times at the end.

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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.

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

Breaststroke in a Short Pool

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We have been making good use of our 10m diving well lately. I am enjoying getting creative with it. Here’s a set for breaststrokers:

4 rounds:

6 x 10m one pullout only @:20

:30 vertical eggbeater in streamline position

:10 rest

1 x 40 breast FAST @ 1:00 (add 1 x 40 each successive round so that round 4 = 4 x 40 FAST @1:00)

Breaststroke Deep-Water Speed and Power Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We recently did this set in our approximately 10m-wide diving well. Our breaststroke group was nearly unanimous in their enthusiasm for this set, despite the dog-tired looks on their faces when they finished it.

3 rounds:

10 x 10m widths @:10 1 pullout and 1 cycle breast to make it to the other side.

:20 rest

1:00 vertical eggbeater kick, hands and elbows out of the water.

1:00 rest, hook up to stretch cordz

6 x 4 cycles cord-resisted sprint (no pullouts) and float back to the wall @ ~1:00

1:00 rest

For the cord-resisted sprints, we had a cord anchored to a chain link fence about 10 feet from the edge of the pool. This wasn’t quite enough resistance, so a coach held the cord to get enough tension so that the swimmers were only barely moving forward on the 3rd and 4th cycles sprint.

Breaststroke “Feel” Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We did this set aimed at helping our breaststrokers feel propulsion from their pull and their kick separately and then combine them into full stroke swimming. We modified the three 150s so that they did a 50 of each instead of 150 of each as written. The second part of the set emphasized leg quickness and strength with the descending 100 breaststroke.

Challenging Set for 400 IMers

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This IM Set can get quite challenging in a hurry. The set is somewhat tame at the start, but switching out the Free in the later rounds adds an interesting wrinkle

                1 x 300  25 IMO/50 Free                 @ 4:20
                1 x 200 25 IMO/25 Free                  @ 3:00
3x            1 x 100 IM FAST                             @ 1:40
                1 x 200 25 IMO/25 Free                  @ 3:00  (go faster than 1st 200)
                1 x 300  25 IMO/50 Free                 @ 4:20  (go faster than 1st 300)

  • 1st round performed as written
  • Intervals should be easy enough so that 1st round is not tight.
  • 2nd round: Free parts are now backstroke.
  • 3rd round: Free parts are now breaststroke.
  • These changing strokes on the 2nd and 3rd rounds make the set dramatically harder. 
  • You may want to add :20-:30 extra rest between rounds if swimmers are not strong 400 IMers.

This Isn’t One of Those Sets

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

Most of the time, sets that coaches share (including the ones I post to this blog) are ones that were at least modestly successful.  This isn’t one of those sets. Instead, this is a set that didn’t work how I was hoping.  I am posting to share what I learned.

This was originally intended to be just a breaststroke set, and I tried to make it work for a few butterfly specialists who didn’t fit into the backstroke/freestyle set that we were doing at the same time.  It was fine for the fly, but for breaststroke it just didn’t work.

Swimmers reported that during/after this set they felt that their timing was off and they felt sluggish.  In hindsight, the 6 x 50 kick with the bucket was probably too much. The volume made the 50s too slow and probably diminished any power-training effect.  The rest of the set probably would still work (FPA = Fastest Possible Average), but it might be better to do 1-2 50s or 2-3 x 25s instead, and include more drill before the FPA.

See other recent breaststroke sets here.