Video Station and Back or Breast

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

SCY. This morning we set up our underwater camera to get a closer look at our dolphin kicking and how we can improve it. Swimmers at that station kicked a 25, watched their video, panned the camera for their next teammate, and then got back in line to kick.

The second station got some short rest quality swimming with good technique.

Kick set to finish off the session.

It is amazing what people can accomplish with enough motivation!!!

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This was our finish to practice today. We have done 25s underwater pretty consistently, so every swimmer knows his or her best time. The lifetime bests were written down on a dry erase board and this challenge was thrown. If you can beat your best twice, you get to go home. Amazingly, more than half of our swimmers were able to accomplish this feat. The mind is an amazing thing!

Underwater Excellence

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

SCM. We did this kick set recently and our swimmers were very engaged. We timed the underwater 25s (we keep team records on this) and asked for an elite effort on the green parts. We ended up with several lifetime best 25s underwater and an excellent overall group effort.

The intervals on the ez Swim were deliberately large so that the last person would finish before we had to dive on the next 25.

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Steal the Underwater Bacon

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

Swimmers are divided into an even number of lanes with each lane serving as a team.. Lane 1 competes with Lane 2, lane 3 competes with Lane 4, etc. On the coach’s “go,” one swimmer in each lane pushes off to begin an underwater dolphin kicking length. As they push off, a coach throws one of our orange hockey pucks (we frequently use as bottom markers, but you can use anything that rapidly sinks) into the pool between each pair of lanes. The swimmers in each pair of lanes race dolphin kick to the puck and try to grab it off the bottom first. If you have the swimmers evenly matched by dolphin kicking ability you will get some excellent races!

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Getting Ready to Go Fast

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

LCM. The purpose of this set was to get us primed and ready for our main set. We did this in about 8 feet depth – the blastoffs involve sinking down to the bottom, pushing off, and exploding vertically through the surface while dolphin kicking. After the 5 sprint cycles, swimmers continued the rest of the 50 smooth.

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Underwaters & Speed Backstroke

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

In this set, we used orange hockey pucks on the bottom of the pool to mark the 10m mark we wanted them to kick past.

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Fartlek and Stations

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We did the fartlek set followed by 4 rotations of the stations below. The diving well underwater kicks were done hooked to a stretch cord anchored to a nearby fence for resistance.

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Underwater Kicking Challenge Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We did this set in a 25 m pool with a stretch cord stretched across the lanes at the halfway mark. We used hockey pucks on the bottom so the swimmers could tell where the stretch cord was located.

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The Oxygen Sucker

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

The first 25 underwater kick will suck the oxygen out of you..then you gotta hit a FAST 50. 75 easy to recover, then do it again. SCM.

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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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Recovery Workout?

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We generally don’t do “recovery workouts.” Not because I don’t believe they have benefit, but rather because rarely do I have an entire group on the same page where that is what they all need at the same time.

Today was one of those rare times. Most of the group has just come off their high school state championships. We spent time at the beginning of practice going back over what we learned, how we swam, and what we can do better next time.

Here was the main block of the workout:

3 x 10:00 fartlek @11:00

#1 – 10 cycles kick against the wall at every wall then great underwaters on the push off

#2 – 25 drill/25 build done as 50 free/50 no free

#3 – all choice, sprint 1 cycle on first lap, 2 cycles on 2nd lap up to 4 cycles on fourth lap, continue that pattern.

3 x 500 kick @ coach’s go

25 fast -25 ez

50 fast- 50 ez

75 fast-75 ez

100 fast-100 ez

Max Underwater Average Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

On the 25s, the goal was to hold the farthest possible average distance (with some pretty good speed) on each set.

The 225/200/175 was an A/B/C distance dependent on swimmer’s kicking speed. Swimmers chose the appropriate distance for themselves individually.

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