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.

RACE PACE + GREAT UNDERWATER KICKING = SUCCESS!!!

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.

Broken Butterfly

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This was one of our recent most popular fly sets among the swimmers.  We had 5 lanes and 22 swimmers, so the broken 200s happened in 4 lanes with half of the group while the 5 x 50 happened in the 5th lane (against the wall) with the other half.  We had only two or three swimmers in lane, allowing for good fly technique.

F.L.Y. = Fantastic Laps, Y’all!

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We did this fly set recently (SCY).  The  different instructions for A, B, and C groups were determined based on swimmers’ ability to maintain the integrity of their stroke technique over time.

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Simple Fantastic Fly Workout

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that our Friday Fly workouts are some of my favorites to post.  This particular workout was one of our best fly sets ever.

We train in a SCM pool primarily.  The lanes are a bit narrow and we have about 20 swimmers in 5 lanes (really not bad from a space standpoint, but still hard to train fly with doing 1-arm strokes).  This set allowed us to swim fast repeatedly with out sacrificing stroke quality for safety.  We had 16 swimmers at practice, so I split the group into two squads of 8.  The first squad of 8 swimmers used 4 lanes (2 per lane going :05 apart so that swimmer 1 would still be kicking underwater when he or she passed swimmer 2) for a fly set and then moved into a single lane for the “recovery set.”  Then squad 2 would move into the 4 lanes and do their fly set.  Thus they alternated doing the fly set and the recovery set.

The groups were split not based on speed/distance orientation but more based on how well each swimmer holds his or her fly technique under fatigue.  Those whose technique tends to suffer under duress were in group 2.  Both groups were well challenged and nobody could complain about being in the “harder” group because both swam the same total distance butterfly.

We had some excellent performances, particularly on the 75s and 100s at the end.

Free and Stroke Set for SCM

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We performed this set in a SCM pool, same as for most of the sets I post during the September-May time period. In this one, the time expectation of beating our best 500 SCY time during each 400 was key to the success of the set.

Free and Stroke Set for SCM.

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Friday Fly Day Relays

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We sometimes swim butterfly relays in order to get some quality butterfly swimming done without the need to one-arm drill or lose our rhythm in order to not smack arms in narrow lanes.  Recently, we did a little change-up on the relays that worked well.

  • 3-4 swimmers per lane are on a relay team.
  • We placed markers (in our case, orange hockey pucks) on the bottom of the pool 15m and 20m from the start end.
  • Each swimmer swims 3 times.  The first time, the swimmer sprints fly to 15m mark, does an open turn on an imaginary wall at that point, and swims back.  Next swimmer does the same.
  • The second time a swimmer goes, he goes to 20m and back.  The 3rd time to 25m and back.
  • After the relay concludes, swim a bit easy, and do it again! Change up the distances, the order, the number of total swims, whatever you want!

60 x 50 Friday Fly Day Set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

It is critical to train fly with excellent technique or it becomes what I call “butterstruggle” and is counterproductive. This set allowed is to get a decent volume of fly in while keeping it in manageable chunks. We allowed two versions of the set: The A is for our strongest flyers. The B is for our non-flyers or flyers without as much strength. Doing the set in “zipper” fashion allowed us to never half to “fly-dodge” or take one-arm strokes.


60 x 50 @ 1:00 DIFFERENT INSTRUCTIONS BASED ON A/B LEVELS
DONE IN 6 SETS OF 10, “ZIPPER STYLE” – DOWN IN LANE 2, BACK IN LANE 1 AND 3.
5x:          A                                  B         
#1        DRILL                           DRILL              
#2-3     25m FLY                      15m FLY         
#4-6     35m FLY                      25m FLY         
#7-9     50m FLY FAST              35m FLY FAST
#10      EZ FREE                       EZ FREE
FOR THE LAST SET OF 10:
ODDS: 15m FAST FLY THEN EZ FREE
EVENS: 50m FLY at P200 TIMED TO HAND TOUCH

Butterfly Stations

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This week we split into 3 stations for our customary Friday Fly Day.  This allowed us to use a variety of equipment and stagger our numbers to give us more space where we needed it (Station 3). We did 2 rounds through the 3 stations.

Station 1 – with Power Bags
12 x 25 Fly @ :40
descend 1-5 and 6-10, take the bags off for #11 and #12 all out
Hold consistent cycle count & breathing pattern, use the core to drive the kick.
For round 1, swimmers wore the Power Bags on their calves.  For round 2, swimmers wore the Power Bags around the ankle with the mesh hanging off their feet.

Station 2 – No equipment
18 x 25 fly @ :30
1 dolphin kick on side, 1 drill fly, 4 swim fastest possible average

Station 3 – with fins
4x:
3 x 25 Fly @ :25  Kick past 10m underwater, focus on rhythm and breath timing
1 x 50 Fast Fly @ 1:00 with a flip turn, no breath on the last 10m

After each station, do a 100 easy before rotating to next station.