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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Blackjack Drill with Coach Raymond Keown, NRG Swimming

Raymond Keown
NRG Swimming
Levittown, PA

 Blackjack Drill:
-100/125/150s (or appropriate distance for ability) on a moderate to tight interval (make it harder over time).
-Swim 21 cycles then streamline kick the remaining distance.
-If you make the distance 3x in 21 cycles or less= BLACKJACK- your done with the set.

This encourages kids to lengthen their strokes so that they kick less and get more rest at the end of the repeat.  The tight interval keeps them from exaggerating their stroke too much and maintain some moderate tempo.

*we do allow the kids to “cheat” by doing more underwater dolphins off the walls (kills two birds with on stone).

Once someone gets Blackjack, they move up in distance x25.

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!

Speed Squats Hybrid Set for Breaststroke Leg Speed

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

One thing we have been trying to emphasize with our breaststroke swimmers is heel speed during the kick.  I like “speed squats” as a dryland exercise to help develop this ability.  A speed squat is essentially a regular squat done so quickly that the athlete almost pulls himself down with his hamstrings.  We combined this exercise into the following breaststroke set that also emphasized hitting the walls on a full stroke.

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.

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

Meters for Breakfast

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

LCM
3 x 400 free descend and negative split
1 @ 5:40
1 @ 5:30
1 @ 5:20

300 w/snorkel 25 kick/25 swim choice

4 x 300 free 200 DPC B3/100 Overkick @ 4:10

300 same as above

6 x 200 free, paddles & buoy optional
2x: 1 @ 2:45
1 @ 2:40
1 @ 2:35

300 same as above

12 x 100 free swim
2x: 1 @ 1:25
1 @ 1:20
1 @ 1:25
1 @ 1:15
1 @ 1:25
1 @ 1:10

300 same as above

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.

Find Your Sweet Spot

Ryan Woodruff
@WoodruffRyan

This set was adapted from SwimSmooth.com‘s Ramp Test

The Sweet Spot Test Set

Using a Tempo Trainer
12 x 50 LCM @ 1:20
Begin at a tempo you know you can hold (if you are doing freestyle, try something between 1.50 and 1.80). Hold that tempo as precisely as possible for the entire 50m. Have a friend or a coach count your cycles and record that info using this worksheet. On each subsequent 50, lower your tempo by .10 until you reach a tempo that you are unable to hold. After that failure point, take your tempo back up to near where it started, and bring it down again. Also make note of your effort level on a scale of 1-10.

At the completion of the set, you should have a range of tempos, cycle counts, efforts, and times. Look for effort levels in the 8 or 9 range. If you are in shape, these should roughly approximate 200 pace. The range of data that you find will be your “Sweet Spot.” Train in and around this sweet spot as often as possible to improve your ability to sustain this pace or even to improve upon it.

Friday Fly Day

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

100 LAST 25 IS FLY @ 1:10
300 LAST 50 IS FLY @ 3:30
500 LAST 100 IS FLY @ 5:50
700 LAST 200 IS FLY @ 8:10
800 FIRST AND LAST 100 ARE FLY, MAKE LAST ONE FASTER @ 9:40
600 FIRST AND LAST 100 ARE FLY, MAKE LAST ONE FASTER @ 7:20
400 FIRST AND LAST 100 ARE FLY, MAKE LAST ONE FASTER @ 5:00
200 BUTTERFLY SWIM FAST

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.