Mini Maxi 25s

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This is a simple set designed to help your swimmers physically explore the relationship between stroke tempo, stroke length, and speed.

8 x 25 @ :35 all one stroke, choice
odds minimum cycle count (long strokes)
evens maximum speed (count cycles for comparison to odd 25s)

1 x 200 @ :20 rest
Steady swim of the same stroke as the 25s, try to hold a cycle at or within 1 cycle of the minimum count from the odd 25s.  This should be challenging, particularly if the pace is pushed a bit.

Repeat as many times as you want!

Using cycle count…

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This set was a follow-up to yesterday’s set where we determined what our cycle count was.  Now, we put it into action trying to hold one cycle less than the determined cycle count.

Editor’s note: Our goal for this year is to provide coaches around the world with a free new idea or set EVERY DAY this year! Can you help us reach that goal? Please send submissions to swimmingwizard@gmail.com.

Learning to find our cycle count…

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

Editor’s note: Our goal for this year is to provide coaches around the world with a free new idea or set EVERY DAY this year! Can you help us reach that goal? Please send submissions to swimmingwizard@gmail.com.

Knowing your stroke or cycle count is a  simple yet effective way to consistently monitor your technique and efficiency.  We used the following set to determine our true cycle counts.

The ? Set

Ryan Woodruff
 
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SCY

? x 50 @ :50
Using a dry-erase board, give the swimmers a different set of instructions for every 50, erasing the old instructions and writing the new one while they swim. Mix it up, changing speeds, strokes, drills, breathing patterns, etc. Don’t let the swimmers know what is coming beyond the next 50. All swims are choice unless the stroke is specified. Here’s an example:
#1- P200+5
#2- P200+3
#3- P200+1
#4- P200-1
#5- EZ free B3
#6- Free B5
#7- Free B7
#8- At count
#9- Race!
#10- At cycle count -1
#11- 25 underwater dolphin kick/ 25 sprint
#12- 25 sprint/25 underwater dolphin kick
#13- 25 race/25 ez kick
#14- Fly B 1 up/1 down
#15- Fly B 1 up/2 down
#16- Fly B 1 up/3 down
#17- Fast fly
#18- EZ breaststroke
#19- Race!
#20- At cycle count -2
#21- 12.5 fast/12.5 ez of same stroke as #20
#22- At cycle count
#23- Breast with dolphin kick
#24- Backstroke 12.5 spin drill/12.5 swim
#25- P1650

The set could go on for as long as you like. The changing up speeds and instructions every 50 keeps the swimmers alert and the set fresh and interesting. What other interesting instructions can you come up with?

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21-Cycle Swims for Developing Stroke Efficiency

Dani Caldwell
SUSA Stingrays, St. George, Utah

21-Cycle Swims
SCY
Short set we do with HS kids…
8 x 21 stroke cycles — stop when you reach 21 cycles, begin from that point on the next one
Rules:  you must continue stroking or streamlining off the wall — no side-glide or other forms of “cheating”
Some of our older boys were getting to 125 yards the other morning!  It was interesting how “into it” they got — they turned it into quite a competition.
This fantastic idea was originally posted in 2011.

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Breaststroke Magic for Age Groupers Using @FinisSwim Tempo Trainers

Ryan Woodruff

We did this set the other day with our age-groupers and it worked like magic.

One of the most common stroke flaws for younger kids is that they pause with their hands under their chest and don’t glide long enough in a near-streamlined position.  Try this using the Finis Tempo Trainer Pro.

2 x 150 breaststroke swim (@ :20 rest) with Tempo Trainer on Mode 1 set at 4.00 seconds
Swimmers take 1 cycle of breaststroke for each beep.  This will be an incredibly long glide for them all.  Make sure they spend the time in the glide phase and are using proper timing of the pull and kick.

2 x 100 breaststroke swim (@:20 rest) with Tempo Trainer on Mode 1 set at 2.00 seconds
Same instructions, just a faster tempo.

2 x 50 breaststroke swim FAST (@:20 rest), focused on swimming fast but still getting a glide between each stroke.  Do not use the tempo trainer here.

If they don’t glide on the 2 x 50, repeat the 2 x 100 and then do the 2 x 50 again.

Breaststroke Challenge Set

Greg Johnson
SCY
3 x
4 X 1 MIN VERT. KICK- BR (W/ MEDBALL)
4 X 75 BREASTROKE (SUBTRACT ONE STROKE CYCLE PER 25) @ 1:20
I had the swimmers pair up and put one partner in the water for VK and the other partner on deck. The swimmer in the water was to vertical kick breastroke right up on the wall (so their knees couldn’t come up). I had the kicker hold the med ball for 4 kicks and pass on the 5th. The partner on deck would simply drop the ball back to the swimmer. After 1 min, they switched. So actually each swimmer kicked 2 x 1 min.
On the 75s, I had the swimmers think about stretching their strokes out into long streamlines, and although tired from the VK, have them think about lowering stroke count through leg-driven breaststroke and streamline. The interval gave rest to the good breaststrokers and challenged the others (but with rest).
I realized that the attention to the VK and throwing the med ball might be too much for the group, I switched it up each round. I made the partner out of the water do flutter kicks on the edge of the wall while the swimmer in the water VK with med ball, etc.

Fly Set for Groups

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Parkland Aquatic Club
This set is effective for doing butterfly with a group of varying levels of ability. Simply divide your group into A, B, and C levels of ability and you should be able to keep them on the same intervals. Here are the distances with instructions below.
200
2 x 25
100
200
4 x25
100
200
6 x 25
100
200
8 x 25
100
200s always on 3:20
“A” instructions: 5 through 8 cycles fly off each wall x2
“B” Instructions: 5 cycles off every wall sprint fly then ez free
“C” Instructions: 3 cycles off every wall sprint fly
25s always on :30 are all sprint fly no B last 10 yards
100s kick @ 2:30, 25 on back hands at side, 25 right side, 25 left side, 25 front, hands at side

A Few Favorites

Dan Harrigan
1976 Olympic Bronze Medalist- 200 Back
Former Coach, Penn State University

Dan counts the great Dick Jochums as his mentor.  Here are a few of Dan’s favorite sets:
10 x 100 free (yds)on 1:15 count strokes for each lap. Each 25 take one less stroke.
This will tend to make you kick more toward the end of each hundred.

10 x 200m back swim/kick by 100s on 2:45 (or an interval that gives you little time to rest, maybe 5 to 10 seconds.)

15 x 100 free on descending intervals (meters):

first five on 1:15

next five on 1:10

last five on 1:05

21-Cycle Swims

Dani Caldwell
SUSA Stingrays, St. George, Utah


21-Cycle Swims
SCY
Short set we do with HS kids…
8 x 21 stroke cycles — stop when you reach 21 cycles, begin from that point on the next one
Rules:  you must continue stroking or streamlining off the wall — no side-glide or other forms of “cheating”
Some of our older boys were getting to 125 yards the other morning!  It was interesting how “into it” they got — they turned it into quite a competition.

Tempo and Cycle Count Set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

Today’s set utilizes the cycle count and tempo you can find with the Find Your Sweet Spot set. You’ll need a Tempo Trainer. This set can be performed any stroke.

1 x 200 build each 50 up to your tempo @ :20 rest
1 x 150 25 at tempo, 25 ez swim or drill @ :20 rest
1 x 100 25 ez, 50 at tempo, 25 ez @ :20 rest
1 x 50 at tempo and cycle count @ :20 rest
1 x 300 swim ez at cycle count @ :30 rest

Can You Spot Me?

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach, Lynchburg YMCA

This set uses yesterday’s Sweet Spot Test

Warmup w/ fins
400 smooth swim B3
4 X 100 build @ :20 rest
4 x 50 choice 15m sprint then ez

Main set using a Tempo Trainer

3x through:

1 x 50 @ 1:20 in sweet spot range
1 x 100 build @:10 rest
1 x 100 ez @ :10-:20 rest (leave on next multiple of 10)
1 x 50 @ 1:20 in sweet spot range
1 x 50 @ 1:10 in sweet spot range
1 x 100 JUST GO FAST @ :10 rest
1 x 100 ez @ :10-:20 rest (leave on next multiple of 10)
1 x 50 @ 1:20 in sweet spot range
1 x 50 @ 1:10 in sweet spot range
1 x 50 @ 1:00 in sweet spot range
1 x 100 JUST GO FAST @ :10 rest
1 x 300 25 drill/25 swim

On the JUST GO FAST parts, use the Tempo Trainer as a guide, but do not worry if you cannot hold it.

The Swimming Calculator

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
coachryan@ncacswim.org

Ever wonder how much faster your swimmer would be if he would just fix his turns? Curious about the combination of tempos and cycle counts that will lead to the fastest time for your swimmer?

This is the tool for you.

The Swimming Calculator (click to download the excel sheet)

Toy around with it a bit and let me know what you think. I am interested to hear any suggestions, and if anyone knows how to set this up in an html format, I would love to be able to put it on the web to eliminate the cumbersome excel download.

The Swimming Calculator can also henceforth be found in the Tools for Coaches section at right.

The ? Set

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
coachryan@ncacswim.org

Here’s a workout for when you only have 30 minutes.

300 smooth swim for warmup

? x 50 @ :50
Using a dry-erase board, give the swimmers a different set of instructions for every 50, erasing the old instructions and writing the new one while they swim. Mix it up, changing speeds, strokes, drills, breathing patterns, etc. Don’t let the swimmers know what is coming beyond the next 50. All swims are choice unless the stroke is specified. Here’s an example:
#1- P200+5
#2- P200+3
#3- P200+1
#4- P200-1
#5- EZ free B3
#6- Free B5
#7- Free B7
#8- At count
#9- Race!
#10- At cycle count -1
#11- 25 underwater dolphin kick/ 25 sprint
#12- 25 sprint/25 underwater dolphin kick
#13- 25 race/25 ez kick
#14- Fly B 1 up/1 down
#15- Fly B 1 up/2 down
#16- Fly B 1 up/3 down
#17- Fast fly
#18- EZ breaststroke
#19- Race!
#20- At cycle count -2
#21- 12.5 fast/12.5 ez of same stroke as #20
#22- At cycle count
#23- Breast with dolphin kick
#24- Backstroke 12.5 spin drill/12.5 swim
#25- P1650

The set could go on for as long as you like. The changing up speeds and instructions every 50 keeps the swimmers alert and the set fresh and interesting. What other interesting instructions can you come up with?

Sub-Threshold Tempo Set

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
coachryan@ncacswim.org

Try this set for a little tempo and technique work. Tempos should work well for free, back, or fly.

4 x 25 at threshold tempo @ :10 rest
100 ez swim at normal cycle count
4 x 50 at threshold tempo +0.20 @ :15 rest
100 ez swim at normal cycle count
4 x 75 at threshold tempo +0.30 @ :20 rest
100 ez swim at normal cycle count
4 z 100 – 25 at threshold tempo/50 at cycle count/25 at threshold tempo @ :20 rest

Twenty Ways to Do 20 x 25 – #13

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
coachryan@ncacswim.org

#13 – The Cookie Cutter Set

? x 25 Any stroke @ :30

Keep doing them until you achieve 20 in five successful sets of 4. The coach times each 25 to the tenth of a second. To perform a successful set of 4, all swims must be in a range of .2 seconds. Try to do everything the same each time – same streamline, same underwater kicks, breakout, cycles, and finish. If one of your 4 swims falls outside the range, those do not count. Start a new set of 4. You are done when you have achieved five sets of four.

I.M. What?

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
coachryan@ncacswim.org

Warmup
600 RIM 50 kick/drill/swim (RIM = Reverse I.M.)

100 IM @ 1:30
200 RIM @ 3:00
300 IM @ 4:30
200 RIM @ 3:00
100 IM @ 1:30
200 Breast, max speed holding race cycle count
100 ez freestyle @ :30 rest

100 IM @ 1:25
200 RIM @ 2:50
300 IM @ 4:15
200 RIM @ 2:50
100 IM @ 1:25
300 Breast, max speed holding race cycle count minus 1
100 ez freestyle @ :30 rest

100 IM @ 1:20
200 RIM @ 2:40
300 IM @ 4:00
200 RIM @ 2:40
100 IM @ 1:20
400 Breast, max speed holding race cycle count minus 2
100 ez freestyle @ :30 rest

The Cold Mountain Stream

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
coachryan@ncacswim.org

Jump right in. It’ll take your breath away.

B5 = Breathing pattern of once every 5 strokes

Warm up:
20 minutes 100 swim/100 drill/100 kick continuously

Freestyle Pull Set – paddles & buoy (buoy is used only for 300s)
300 B5 @ 3:40/3:50/4:00
2 x 75 @ 1:00 #1 – 25 strong B3/25 NO BREATH/25 strong B3, #2- EZ
300 B5 @ 3:40/3:50/4:00
2 x 50 @ :40 #1- 25 strong B3/25 NO BREATH #2 – EZ
300 B5 @ 3:40/3:50/4:00
2 x 25 @ :20 #1 – 25 NO BREATH #2 -25 ez
300 B5 @ 3:40/3:50/4:00
2 x 50 @ :40 #1- 25 strong B3/25 NO BREATH #2 – EZ
300 B5 @ 3:40/3:50/4:00
2 x 75 @ 1:00 #1 – 25 strong B3/25 NO BREATH/25 strong B3, #2- EZ

100 ez

Mini-Maxi Set – 3 x through
16 x 25 choice @ :30 odd minimum cycle count, even max speed
100 ez @ 2:00

Loosen down 400 freestyle at minimum cycle count